A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State Joe Igbokwe has buttressed his earlier outbursts that President Muhammadu Buhari ignored him and others who had been loyal to the party for a “charlatan.”
Reacting to the defection of former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode to the APC, and his Thursday’s meeting with Buhari on his verified Facebook Page on Friday, Igbokwe had decried in a series of posts how Buhari and the APC had not appreciated him and others who were loyal to the party, but were “bringing charlatans, enemies, and dolts into the party at the drop a hat.”
He said realising his support for his government, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had honoured him in Aso Rock, Abuja, while Buhari had failed to do so for him and other loyal members of the ruling party.
Igbokwe began venting his anger on Friday with a post where he said: “Despite all my push for APC, Abuja has not given me a phone call talk-less (sic) of inviting me for a coffee with c in c (Commander-in-Chief), but here is a political charlatan and prostitute being given a red carpet in the seat of power, Abuja.”
A few hours later, he added a bombshell: “I pray that your loyalty will not be tested at a time like this the way mine is being tested at the moment.”
He did not stop there. Minutes later, he made another post which read: “And they threw it on our faces as if we are nothing. “If you guys don’t see it as an insult, I do.”
Igbokwe, a senior special adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage and Water Resources, was not done yet. He put up another tantrum: “In APC, we must learn consequence management. It takes discipline to build a nation, and it takes indiscipline and impunity to crush and destroy a nation. actions carry consequences!!!”
He also explained in another outburst how the states publicity secretaries of the party were not financially empowered to do their jobs.
He was the Lagos State publicity secretary for the party. He also doubled as the chairman of the Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries.
He said his contemporaries looked up to him at the time, and he was always supporting them.
He said since he left the post of the chairman, the group had not had any meetings and “nobody remembers them.”
Igbokwe said with his support, the Lagos State Government organised seminars for the publicity secretaries twice, adding that there were many stalwarts and other supporters of the APC whom the party had abandoned.
“Yet APC will be going round bringing charlatans, enemies, and dolts into the party at the drop a hat. APC should look inwards and do the needful. A labourer deserves his pay. Reward hard work, and the people will do more,” he said.
He challenged the party’s headquarters to remember its members whom he said had been abandoned, despite using their energies and resources, including being insulted by Nigerians because of their steadfast love for the party.
Igbokwe exported the reaction of Precious Chikwendu, estranged wife of Fani-Kayode from Instagram, to his page. He explained how Chikwendu taunted her former husband, stating that “a thief is never ashamed, but his kinsmen are ashamed on his behalf.”
Waking from his bed Saturday morning, the Lagos politician continued to express his anger.
He quoted the renowned literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe, as saying: “A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to redeem them from starving. They all have food in their own houses.
“When we gather together in the moonlight village ground, it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.
“Therefore, let continue with the team spirit and enjoy the power of togetherness. Let us smile not because we do not have problems but because we are stronger than the problems…”
He then spoke about how his principal, a former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the APC Bola Tinubu, saying that he always recognised and appreciated talents. If any of those talents felt aggrieved, Tinubu would appeal to them and win them back to himself, he said.
Narrating how former President Olusegun Obasanjo rewarded him, he said the appreciation of loyalty was not about giving money but caring and loving people who worked for others.
He said when the former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria Akin Osuntokun served under Obasanjo, he brought some of the party’s loyalists to Abuja to see Obasanjo.
Igbokwe said there were about six persons in his team that visited the former president.
“OBJ (as Obasanjo is fondly called) gave us grapes and tea, appreciated and thanked us and told us that a lot still needed to be done. Akin paid for our tickets, and we left. Appreciation is better than money sometimes. This is the point I am making. Oga Joe Igbokwe has never been a poor man, and he is not a poor man by any standard.”
Meanwhile, the APC, which has harvested many chieftains of the PDP, is planning to retain the presidency, which it won from the PDP in 2015.
Boasting of having the majority of governors, National Assembly members, and other elective offices nationwide, it is not clear what will become of the APC if grievances of people like Igbokwe continue in the party before the next general election.