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GENERAL JOHN W. T GBOR: A CATALYST FOR APGA'S IMMINENT EXPANSION 

Notwithstanding the fact that the strongest political base of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA is Anambra state, nay the Southeast region of Nigeria, it is a truism that the party is the third most powerful political party in the country today. This is butressed by the fact that apart from effectively controlling Anambra state where it seamlessly won in all the 179 communities and the entire 21 local government areas of the state in the November 18, 2017 gubernatorial election, APGA is also enthroned the present government of the Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Senator Victor Umeh, who doubtlessly is one of the most outspoken and courageous members the 8th National Assembly is an uncompromising APGA faithful. The party has about eleven members in the House of Representatives and some State Houses of Assembly cutting across Anambra, Abia, Imo, Bayelsa and Taraba. In addition to these states, APGA also has very strong presence in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Zamfara, where its presidential candidate, Genera John Gbor, former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, former National secretary of the party, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi come from. 


As a matter of fact Maku and Shinkafi are the governorship candidates of APGA in Nasarawa and Zamfara states respectively. The two gentlemen stand very good chance to clinch the governorship seats of their states in the 2019 polls. This is because apart from their popularity with the masses, APC, the ruling party in Zamfara, due to intractable internal crisis has no gubernatorial flag bearer. Consequently, Zamfara voters have decided to vote enmass for Shinkafi, the APGA candidate. Similarly, Nasarawa voters who are still seething with anger over the rigging of the votes they cast in 2015 for Labaran Maku, are this time around eagerly waiting to re-enact what they did four years ago in the 2019 polls. However, unlike in 2019, Nasarawa people have vowed to protect their votes against the antics of poll riggers. Moreover, most electorate in the Middle Belt and Southeast regions are enamoured with the good governance and impressive delivery of democracy dividends by APGA governments in Anambra state in the past twelve years and nine months. They want such superlative performance to be replicated in their climes.

Due to its firm belief in the principles of justice, equity, fairness and good conscience, APGA is currently fielding a presidential standard bearer of Tiv extraction from the North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria. One year after the party was formed and registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, it chose late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu as its presidential candidate in the 2003 general elections. Dim Ojukwu also flew the party's presidential flag in the 2007 general polls. 

However, in the 2011 and 2015 general elections APGA decided not to field presidential standard bearers and opted to throw its weight behind former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In the two general elections, PDP betrayed APGA by rigging the latter out of its deserved victories in the National Assembly polls, particularly in Anambra state, which is its home base.

It is apparently for this reason that APGA has resolved to present its own  presidential candidate in the 2019 polls. Significantly, the party has this time around picked its standard bearer from North Central Nigeria and the lot has fallen on retired Major General John Gbor, a doctorate degree holder from Tiv land in Benue state. The choice of Dr. Gbor has effectively given a lie to the erroneous impression that APGA is a regional party of the Igbo ethnic nationality. Indeed, APGA is a national party with verifiable presence in more than two-third of Nigeria's thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.  As a matter of fact, this is one of the primary reasons why the party was registered by INEC in 2002.

Although the party's relevance was enhanced by the leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Dim Ojukwu, APGA is actually a reminder to many Nigerians of defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizens, NCNC and Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP, of the country's First and Second Republics respectively. Both parties were led by the country's foremost nationalist and first president, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe alias "Zik of Africa". 

According to the presidential candidate of APGA, General Gbor, his party is a rejuvenation of the defunct NCNC and NPP which remind Nigerians of the political activities and exploits of Dr. Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay, Olu Akinfosile, Solomon Lar, Paul Unongo and Adeniran Ogunsanya among others.

Due to the maladministration of the PDP and APC in Nigeria the past nineteen years and seven months many thoughtful citizens would consider APGA as a credible alternative in the 2019 general elections. Surely, APGA is poised to record very impressive performance in many parts of the country in that coming general polls.

Vision Gbor/Chukwueke 2019 Team

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