– A ‘big fish’ has joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)
– In his first attempt at participating in partisan politics, Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) has joined the APC
– The former army chief says he is now ready to contribute his own quota to nation-building through the country’s ruling party
Nigeria’s former chief of army staff Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) on Tuesday, February 16 officially defected to the country’s governing party – All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ihejirika was Nigeria’s army chief between 2010 to 2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He has been rumoured to be preparing to join partisan politics in his home state of Abia for over a year.
The Nation reports that Ihejirika, 65, announced his decision to join the APC at his Isuikwuato country home in Abia-North senatorial district.
His joining the party has ended speculation that he wants to join the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and has as well, heightened the speculation that he might be running for the governorship seat in the state in 2023.
Disclosing his reasons for joining the APC, Ihejirika said that he’s coming into politics by joining the APC is to contribute to the progress of the party at the state and national level.
He added that having served in the army for almost 38 years, he has gathered sufficient experience to contribute to the democracy of the nation and the fortunes of the party.
“Having served almost 38 years in the military, I am convinced that it will be a waste of experience for me to remain outside government activities.
“This is because I have a lot to offer and assure you all that I will operate an open-door policy, I will also learn fast.”
Recall that the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, recently declared that access should be given to members of the PDP, willing to join the APC in the ongoing membership registration exercise of the ruling party.
Omo-Agege made the comment on Tuesday, February 2 in his country home in Orogun, Ughelli North local government area of Delta state.
According to him, the essence of the exercise is to rejuvenate the party in preparation for future elections hence the need to get more members into the APC fold.
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state had stated that the APC will soon become the largest political party in Africa.
The Kogi state governor also said developed nations will come learning the ropes of progressive politics from the party soon.
Bello made the comment when he spoke at the inauguration of the mobilisation committee for the party’s membership registration/revalidation exercise on Tuesday, January 12.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at [email protected]