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Ejiogu’s ‘Rebuild Imo’ Rallying Cry: Will the People Listen?

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By Barr. Canice Manukaji (Obilimba)On a regular day, no one will mistake Tony Ejiogu for a Nigerian politician. With an impressive mien and the intellect of a professor, Sir Ejiogu, who had excelled in boardrooms in the United States and Nigeria, took many by surprise when he took the plunge and threw his heart into the political ring as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA in the November 11 governorship election in Imo State.His fiery and inspiring speech during his campaign flag-off in Owerri on August 31, 2023, cleared all doubts that he feels passionate about turning the fortunes of Imo State around and that he indeed appears better prepared than any of the other contenders in the race.His message was simple – “It was time to rebuild Imo”. Hurt by the rampant insecurity and the consequent needless loss of lives and destruction that had become commonplace in his dear Imo land over the past four years, Ejiogu rallied the people to ditch their differences and join hands with him to rebuild Imo and make it live-able again.“Despite our past triumphs and legacies, this is a time of great tension between good and evil, progress and retrogression, and a time to choose whether to continue on the path of destruction or begin the process of rebuilding our dear Imo,” Ejiogu said in his soul-searing message to thousands of supporters at the campaign flag-off that sweltering Thursday afternoon in Owerri.“My first charge in the rebuilding agenda is to make our communities livable again,” he added.Between August 31 when he launched this message and now, Ejiogu has taken the path less travelled by Nigerian politicians. Along with a dedicated team of supporters and party men, Ejiogu traversed the nooks and crannies of Imo State, including places like Obube Ancient Kingdom, which no politician has ever visited despite the community’s historic significance. The people of Obube Kingdom believe his visit was a sign of the light to come after decades of neglect.Beyond Obube, and from Owerri to Okigwe and Orlu Zones, Ejiogu has so far taken his message of Rebuilding Imo to all the strategic communities in the state and interfaced directly with community leaders and thousands of voters.In Isiala-Mbano, the traditional ruler of the Amato Amaraku community, Eze Joseph Mbamara, who could not hide his excitement extolled Sir Ejiogu’s character and leadership virtues, even as he declared that Sir Ejiogu’s candidacy heralds immense hope for a better Imo.When the campaign train touched Ngwuoma-Obube, Agballa and Uluakwo communities in Owerri North LGA, the people went agog as Ejiogu was the first politician of Imo Extraction to visit and pay homage to Obube Ancient Kingdom. In this historic community, Imo State’s creation was first announced in 1976 and Owerri was declared as the capital.”Sir Tony Ejiogu is an exceptional leader, we are praying for him to succeed because he means well for our people, we need a progressive-minded leader, who would create an enabling environment for business to thrive and for the state to prosper,” said one of the leaders of Obube, Chief Samuel Akujiuobi who saw Ejiogu’s visit as a bellwether political event.Perhaps, a major highlight of Sir Ejiogu’s campaign was the endorsement by the APGA leader and the governor of Anambra State, Professor Charles Soludo, who believes Ejiogu’s candidacy to be a watershed in the party’s history.During Ejiogu’s visit to the APGA leader, Soludo assured of a successful outing because of Ejiogu’s outstanding personality and acceptance by the people.According to Soludo, one of the reasons he believes Ejiogu is the right man for Imo at the moment is because of the quality of his ideas. In his words, “Mr Ejiogu’s manifesto speaks volumes of a man who understands the problems facing Imo people at a fundamental level and is poised to provide solutions and deliver democratic dividends in an unprecedented manner.”At Ngor-Okpalla, Ohaji, Ezinihitte Mbaise and at several markets and churches across the breadth of Imo State, Ejiogu has taken the message of rebuilding Imo to the people.Having taken his message of rebuilding Imo to millions of Imolites across the 20 local governments he toured during his campaign, Ejiogu appears to have said all there is to say, and done all there is to do. One thing is certain, he seems an obvious choice as he appears ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work, and he has demonstrated it beyond the stump speeches. But will the people listen? Are the people of Imo ready to rebuild their land? 
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Politics

APC Suspends Mashood Mustapha over campaign against President Tinubu, other anti-party activities

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Kwara State All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended former lawmaker and Saraki’s ally, Mashood Mustapha, for alleged anti-party activities in the 2023 general elections.

Mustapha was accused of pitching his tent with the former Vice President and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, against the candidate of his party, President Bola Tinubu.

Several pictures featuring the former lawmaker, the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at Atiku-Okowa campaigns in different states have also emerged on the internet.

But Mashood Mustapha, in December 2023, told his followers that his reason for supporting the former Vice President was personal, adding that he had once helped him and Saraki.

Mr Babatunde Abubakar Tukur, the Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Alanamu Ward of Ilorin West Local Government, where Hon Mustapha hails from, in a recent statement described him as a divisionist whose plans to hijack the party at the grassroots level failed.

Abubakar added that Mustapha was no longer a chieftain of the APC in Alanamu Ward. He described him as an outcast playing the script of his benefactor from the opposition party.

Parts of the statement read, “It is not out of words to say that MM is a divisionary leader for most of his styles are to always finance dissent group that will cause chaos and confusion whenever political scheming is out of his fingers.

“Do we still need to narrate his act of insincerity towards the party he claimed to be a Chieftain of, he flagrantly abandoned his party and pitched a tent with the main opposition party; his appearance at the Kogi State Presidential rally was not a mistake and in its worst form, he instructed his loyalists to vote against the candidates of our party, and despite that, the party recorded impressive results and that shows that you Hon. Moshood Mustapha is just an empty vessel; then how do you want to dubiously eat from the struggle you failed to partake in.”

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Kwara PDP crisis deepens as Organizing Secretary, Bilikisu Oniyangi resigns

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**…reason linked to embezzlement of 2023 campaign fund*The crisis in the Kwara State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has continued to linger as the party Organizing Secretary, Bilikisu Oniyangi, resigns.This is coming after the party secretary, Razaq Lawal, resigned a fortnight ago.Bilikisu Oniyangi served as the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development under ex-Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and her sudden resignation is another major blow to the party’s existence in Kwara State.The development followed her letter of resignation addressed to the Chairman of the party, dated 24th November, 2023.The letter reads in part;”Please accept this letter as formal resignation from my position as the State Organizing Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”I regret to inform you that I am resigning due to personal reasons. While it was a difficult decision to make, it is the best course of action for me at this time”Though reasons for the resignation were not stated in the letter, a source in the party revealed that the reasons may not be unconnected to the refusal of the former Senate, President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to account for the 2023 election’s campaign fund.On the heels of this, the party presidential flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has commenced probe of campaign funds embezzlement allegations in Kwara State.

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Imo Election: Ejiogu rounds off campaign, promises to serve the people if elected

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Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 11th Governorship election in Imo State, Sir Tony Ejiogu, ended his campaign on Thursday November 9 2023, with a pledge to serve the people of the State with integrity and commitment.

Ejiogu, an accomplished Financial and Business Development Expert said it’s “time to rebuild Imo” and restore its lost glory rampaged by insecurity, poor public infrastructure, unemployment, camotose health sector and the neglect of workers and pensioners’ welfare.

He made these promises while addressing a crowd of supporters at Owerri North, assuring them of the beginning of a new dawn in Imo politics.

In his closing remarks, he said; “I want to sincerely thank our party faithful and Imolites for their labour of love and support since we started this journey. I’ll never take your efforts for granted, I have resolved that in line with our party manifesto, we’ll ensure that our state is rescued and repositioned for greatness.”

While urging his party supporters and Imolites to troop out enmasse to vote for APGA come Saturday, November 11th, Sir Tony Ejiogu urged them to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner, and ensure that their votes count. 

“I speak to your consciences. Let’s all come together and make this project a reality. Vote and protect your vote, stand there, and make sure your vote is counted. t

Their will be no voter intimidation,” he said.

He added, “I have presented myself and taken the bold step, and we are well-positioned to move Imo to the promised land. Yes, there’s hunger in the land, but change your mindset and don’t accept money to vote for people who will still keep you in bondage. Let’s make things right. “

Those present at the event include the state chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the deputy governorship candidate, Director-General of the Tony Ejiogu Campaign, ward chairmen, women, youth leaders, elder statesmen and host of other stakeholders. 

From August 31 when he unveiled his plan to rebuild Imo, Ejiogu has traversed the nooks and crannies of Imo State, covering over 21 local government areas, including places like Obube Ancient Kingdom, where no politician has ever visited despite the community’s historic significance.

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