The hope of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige, to become the next governor of Anambra State may have suffered a setback as mutual suspicion has allegedly set in between him and the APC chieftains funding his campaign.
But a senior member of the APC has dismissed the report as a baseless rumour designed to cause disaffection in the party, adding that the APC does not reach any understanding with candidates before fielding the qualified ones in an election.
However, feelers from the APC camp indicated that one of the party’s leaders and major financier, Bola Tinubu, had his reservation about Ngige’s readiness to honour the pact he had with them, including the controversies the APC gubernatorial candidate was said to have put the party lately.
An APC source who pleaded anonymity at a dinner in Victoria Island, Lagos, said the party leadership had always looked at Senator Ngige with suspicion. “The man has a history of not keeping his word. He is very slippery and seems to be constantly drawn to things that will give him cheap and instant popularity at the expense of long term, carefully thought-out political stratagems,” explained the source.
He said Ngige’s record of broken promises has made it difficult for the party leadership to mobilise the support of all the APC governors to push for his victory in the coming election as most of the governors believed that Ngige was simply playing along for now and would show his real nature once he wins the election.
“That was the reason most of the APC governors did not show up at the Onitsha campaign kick-off as earlier advertised. If you recall, we had put out an advertisement claiming that the 11 APC governors would be going to Onitsha to boost the overall appeal of Ngige’s candidature to his people. But most of the governors developed cold feet, fearing that Ngige would not make a loyal candidate as he would assert himself sooner than later,” the source further revealed.
The source pointed at the sudden withdrawal of support by Senator Annie Okonkwo, who had earlier accepted to serve as the Chairman of Ngige’s Campaign Committee as one of the reasons that made the APC governors withdraw their support for Ngige.
Also fingered as one of the reasons the APC leadership is turning its back on Ngige are the accusations and vicious media attacks on for Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole, who have been blamed by many Igbos for partaking in Ngige’s campaign kick-off on a day the Ofala festival was taking place in Onitsha.
“Our leaders are not happy that their participation in the Onitsha rally has cast them in the mould of anti-Igbos. They blame Ngige for not paying enough attention to details while planning his activities. They consider the Onitsha rally a mistake that should have been avoided.”
“As things stand now, I’m not sure that he will receive more funds from the party once he exhausts the last slush of funds that was released to his campaign committee,” the source revealed.
Dismissing the allegations as a sheer figment of the imagination of the sponsor, the APC chieftain, who pleaded anonymity said there was perfect understanding between the party’s leaders and Ngige and that they have absolute confidence in his ability to change Anambra State for the better.
“We are not bothered because more of such would still come as election draws close. But it is an indication that the opposition has hit the panic button and as such, resorted to filthy politics in the bid to stay afloat. They can do as much of that, it certainly won’t take them anywhere,” he said.