Why have you sought refuge in the APGA after making you political carrier in the PDP ?
I decided to join APGA because I believe and I see that APGA is the only party in which the Igbo race has their voice. APGA is the voice of the Igbos. APGA is a party that projects the needs and wants of the Igbo people. APGA is a party that accommodates the younger generation. APGA is a party that gives the youths opportunity to be party of the government as no government can stand without the youths. APGA has proven that youths are needed to sustain the level of development in the state because youths are the engine room of every nation. They are the pillars such that if the party surrounds itself with youths, then there is hope for a bright future for the youths . It is said that when you invest in the youths, you secure the future and when you secure the future , you protect today and when you protect today , you celebrate tomorrow . So APGA under the leadership of Governor Willie Obiano has seen better days.
What about APGA in particular that informed your decision?
Now have you asked yourself what Anambra State would have lost if Governor Willie Obiano did not continue with the projects he inherited from the previous administration? He has saved so much money for the state by continuing and completing the projects. Under 100 days in office Governor Obiano was able to put our security problems in Anambra state under check. He has won the war against kidnapping and chased criminals away from the state. Anambra can now sleep with two eyes closed ; this could not happen prior to this time . Investors are now trooping in into Anambra state to do business because Governor Obiano has created the enabling business environment for business to thrive in the state. APGA is a party that will give you hope as well as the freedom to exercise your opinion as every opinion counts in the party. For the past eight years APGA has ruled Anambra state, there has been stable political and economic growth in the state. Today Anambra has been adjudged an oil-producing state. Our internally generated revenue used to be a peanut but now the present administration has moved it from N100million to billions of Naira . As at last week the state hit 1.3 billion Naira in IGR . So APGA has an assemblage of technocrats, team players , good planners and what have you , that have structured the way to move Anambra state forward so that the state would be an example for other in the country . When I saw all these things and saw where Anambra is headed under the able leadership of Chief Willie Obiano , I felt it is wise for me to join APGA to make my own contributions and I believe that my contributions will also count .
Are you saying PDP is bad? You said, I left PDP ?
I left PDP not because PDP is devilish! No. PDP is a very good party but when the so-called people at Abuja decide and determine what happens at the ward level in Anambra state you can imagine what such situation portends. Many of those people do not return home and do not know what transpires at the ward levels. Look I see PDP as party for “ big men “ . The big men in the party residing in Abuja determines who gets what and how for Anambra PDP. Now tell me, what hope does the younger generation like you and I have in the PDP. So when big men like that sit in their mansions in Abuja with their kids overseas, how can your own contributions be considered. If PDP do not see sense in my nonsense, then APGA is seeing sense in my nonsense ! If PDP do not appreciate me, APGA is already appreciating me ! So APGA has welcomed me home and my contributions make sense. So why will I stay where my presence is not needed? APGA has shown me real love! APGA has shown me appreciation. That is why I left the Peoples Democratic Party and joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance in order to join hands with like-minds to move Anambra state forward. I always say that Nigeria is Anambra state because whenever Anambra state is good , Nigeria is good and whenever there is problem in Anambra state , there is problem in Nigeria ! So Anambra state is like a pillar to the Nigerian nation.
When did it take you to realize that PDP is now party for big men?
Why I said so is that they gave me that opportunity to serve them. I was one of the best legislators in the 5th Assembly. The then Speaker in her valedictory speech recognized me as the lawmaker who had the highest number of attendance. This is because I do not want my people’s interest to be lost in the scheme of things because I was not present to defend and protect their interest in Ihiala 1 state constituency. I also received over 80 awards locally and internationally; I didn’t receive the wards because i am Tokas but because they saw my works and were perplexed! Justice Development and Peace Commission recognised me and you know what JDPC stands for. They are there to monitor and ensure that lawmakers do what they are supposed to do. I must confess that I represented my people very well.
Why did you say PDP is party of big men?
Now to the issue of why I said PDP is a party for the big men. PDP began to loose track because power began to intoxicate some of the big wigs in the party. They began to loose the ideology of PDP as a result of greed and parochial interests. We have structures in every party ranging from ward to the federal level. Now somebody from the federal structure will want to determine what takes place at the state, local government and ward levels respectively. This is what they did and they miss-fired due to selfish interests. That is what killed PDP in Anambra state. If somebody in Abuja will come and determine who becomes a delegate at the local government level, certainly you know that all is not well with the party ! People should be allowed to select and elect whom they want. Until the PDP retraced its steps , the party will not go anywhere in Anambra State !
Are you sounding like this because you did not secure a second chance in the party? Prior to this time PDP used to give everybody chance because opinions were considered then. But it is no more the case now. Your opinion does not count again in the party. It is the Abuja people that their opinions count and if Abuja people does not endorse you, then forget it ! Except you have a godfather in Abuja, that is the only way you can make a headway in the Peoples Democratic Party ! They have lost track of the whole thing and only fools allow power to intoxicate them! PDP allowed crisis in the party to consume it and they lost the presidential seat because of crisis in the party !. But be that as it may I remain the best representative the PDP ever produced in Anambra state . I was the only one that gave PDP life in Anambra state as a house member irrespective of clandestine move made by ex-Governor Peter Obi for me to join APGA then . I said I would be the last man standing as a PDP member in the state house of assembly until my four years elapsed ; then I can take a decision to join whatever political party I want to even though I will not be in a political party where only an Abuja extraction would sit in Abuja and determine what is considered at the state levels .
One may also be inclined to say that you defected to APGA because it is the ruling party at the moment?
Well, like I said before APGA has welcomed me home. APC does not represent Igbo interest. The only party that represents Igbo interest is the All Progressives Grand Alliance and it is the ruling party in the state. Now tell me, how do other parties represent Igbo interests? APGA was founded by the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu . The foundation of APGA is Igbo. APGA represents the Igbo race. It is the only political party where people have freedom of expression and choice. Not PDP ! Not APC ! As long as the southeast is concerned, APGA is the only party that represents their interest.
Why did your people in Ihiala 1 constituency not return you for a second term in office despite your efforts ?
The good people of Ihiala constituency 1 were ever ready to vote for me in the election but the crisis in our party then took away that privilege of clinching the ticket ! You know without the ticket you cannot be voted for. INEC published our names but before long our names were removed. I don’t know the magic they did and they removed the names and put strange names. How can you explain a name that was published by INEC and removed by some people who claimed to be the powers that be ! So the people played their own part. It was not our own making that the whole thing went the way it went. Two factors were responsible. One is the crisis in the PDP and secondly, the zoning factor. These two factors were beyond me !
-Hon. Chito Modestus Ohazuluike Tokas is a former member of the Anambra State House of Assembly who represented Ihiala 1 constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. In this interview with Raymond Ozoji in Awka, he x-rays his membership of the PDP as well as his sojourn in the Anambra State Legislature and why he abandoned PDP thereafter and sought refuge in the All Progressives Grand Alliance. Excerpts: