By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
The Apex Leader of Igbos in All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos state, Hon. Jude Idimogu, has assured the leadership of the party of delivering over 70% of Ibo votes in 2023 general elections, saying that they are ready to work for the actualisation of the presidential ambition of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu once he declares.
Idimogwu, who is currently representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, made this known while speaking with journalists at Alausa, Ikeja, after his endorsement by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the Apex Leader of Igbos in Lagos APC.
The Igbo Apex Leader explained that the South Easterners were being mobilised to support the APC, which he said could give them better chances politically.
Idimogwu said that time had come for the Ibos to be more interested in politics and support the party in power.
He advised the Ibos in the state to get involved in the political activities in their various local governments, stressing that it is through their active involvement they could influence political and policy decisions.
The Igbo Apex Leader stressed “We have started already, the train has left the station. We have been visiting all the local governments in Lagos State to tell the Ibos that things have changed.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not our father’s party. There is no similarity of letter in Ibo and the PDP. So, the PDP is just an old platform for the Ibos, APC is the new platform, they are now a national party.
“Today, APC is the party that is ruling in Nigeria and they rule in Lagos State. Instead of us to protest that we are being marginalized, thank God, the word “marginalized” is no longer being mentioned, I don’t know what happened. If you say somebody marginalises you, do you marginalise yourself.
“Today, it is my joy that by the grace of God, He has put me in a little higher level in Lagos State politically. It is my duty to go round and tell them that we will gain a lot, when we are fully involved in politics,” he said.
Idimogwu explained further that a typical Iboman is a businessman, and that they are not concerned about the government.
He said that Ibo men are more concerned about making money unlike Hausamen, who he said carry their transistor radio all about and listen to news,
This, he stated was why Ibo people are seen everywhere in terms of business, and trading everyday, adding that an Ibo man goes out in the morning and comes back late in the night.
The lawmaker revealed that it was his job to meet the Ibos in their workplaces and tell them that they should create time for politics and let them know the benefit they would get from such.
“I am not saying you should leave your business, but you don’t say politics doesn’t concern you and when they make policies that negate your business you start crying.
“So you must make room to know what politics is all about and you must try to influence those that are making policies that concern what you are doing.
“One policy can kill your business if you are not interested. It is high time they came out. I am not saying that all of them should contest elections, but you can influence political activities.
“We must now look at where we are, we are in Lagos State, let us look at the party that is controlling government in the state, it is APC. If we are even looking at a party that can give Ibos chance at the presidency, it is the APC.
“The PDP has done it before for former president Goodluck Jonathan, but he is not an Ibo man he is a minority from the South South. We are looking forward that this great party, APC can offer Ibos an opportunity for the presidency after our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu might have gone there and spend eight years.
“If you look at it, the South West is more prepared for the presidency in 2023 and we are believing that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has a better chance,” he said.
Idimogu added that they were are still waiting for Tinubu to declare his intention and that they are preparing the ground for him and were willing to support him.
He stressed that by the time Tinubu is through with his two term tenure, he would look at how he could support the South East.
According to him, the people of the South East should know that positions are not just given, they must struggle for it, and that they were not struggling enough.
“Also, South East should know that they must work in tandem with other tribes, they must collaborate and that is the only way they can get it. Either they work with the South West or the North.
“The leaders of the Yorubas in this state would continue to control the state. The Ibos should fall in line with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC in Lagos State and it shall be better for all of us. Once you support the party, you will get something,” while promising that 70% of the Ibos in Lagos State would vote for the APC in 2023,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman of Council of Ezes in Lagos State, Eze (Dr) Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu, said that Idimogu is ready to mobilise the Ibos in the state for the APC.
Nwahuckwu, who said that he was crowned by the late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan of Lagos in 1999, emphasized that Hon. Jude Idimogu would correct the past anomalies amongst the Ibos in the state.
“The Governor of Lagos State did us proud by recognising Hon. Idimogu as the Apex Leader of Ndigbos in APC in Lagos State and the issue of mobilising the Ibos in the state would not be the same again.
“The issue of the indigenes suspecting the Ibos would no longer be there because the man is a grassroots mobiliser, a canvasser.
“He has been going around marketing APC to Ndigbos all over the state and we are solidly behind him. All the Igbo community leaders are behind him and we are proud of that,” he said.
Recalled that in the last few months, there had been issues surrounding who is the authentic Lagos APC Igbo Apex Leader between Hon. Jude Idimogwu and the Special Adviser to Gov. Sanwo-Olu on Drainage Services, Mr Joe Igbokwe, before the governor finally made it to rest as he authenticates and confirms Hon. Jude Idimogwu as the Lagos APC Igbo Apex Leader.
Sanwo-Olu in a meeting few days ago with members of the House of Assembly, openly directed his Chief Of Staff (COS), Mr Tayo Ayinde, to henceforth relates with Idimogwu when it comes to dealing with Igbos in the state.