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Nchekwube Anthony Dunga: A Worthy Lesson In Political Loyalty

By Emeka Ral

Though I may not be totally correct, I would be rehashing the near-obvious should I describe Nigerian politicians as the worse set of persons to be trusted. Well, some may contend that our men in black and black are an inch more so. To many, trusting the Nigerian political class is like believing that Lucifer will accept Christ as his Lord and personal savior.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has since its formation in 2002 stamped its presence in Nigeria’s political map as a party that has come to stay. Though the party has had its fair share of leadership challenges common amongst Nigerian political groups, it has over the years shown rare dexterity in remaining a key player in our political space. This uncommon stamina is better appreciated when one considers that unlike other major parties which were recognized in 1998, APGA was recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2002, with its co-competitors firmly rooted in the system.

As was observed earlier, the party has not been immune to the cataclysmic turmoils which characterize party politics in Nigeria – leadership tussles, unending litigations, political prostitutions amongst leading figures, etc. Looking around, not many of the founding members of APGA may be found in its membership list. In fact, more recently, the defection of Mr. Peter Obi, a foremost leader and pillar of the party had and continues to have disconcerting effects on it, with many within its ranks maintaining their unflinching loyalty to “Okwute”.

Amidst these moments of ebbs and flows, however, one young man has remained consistently loyal to the ideals of APGA since its formation. Joining the party in 2002 at the age 22, Mr. Nchekwube Anthony Dunga has maintained abiding loyalty to the party for which he has time and time again made immense sacrifices. Mr. Dunga’s sense of commitment to the APGA project is reminiscent of the unwavering attachment of comrades in the struggle for decolonization. Dunga’s steadfast loyalty is even more remarkable when one observes that such characters are alien to Nigerians, especially the political class.

Today, Nigeria is not only vexed by a total absence of leaders who believe in any worthy cause, but also by the fact that the youth generation expected to herald a difference appears rather worse. We have a generation of youths whose voices have gone hoarse courtesy of their clamour for generational shift in politics and leadership of our country.

Ironically, these same youth lack the requisite patience for organized party politics. All they yearn for is physical comfort and spiritual calm. On the other hand, however, here is a Dunga who has for over sixteen years is actively unyielding in his involvement in the politics of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.

As APGA prepares for its state congresses scheduled for 23rd April, the likes of Dunga who have exhibited unbending commitment to the party should be considered for strategic positions to move the party forward. More than any other time, APGA today faces serious challenge, hence extreme care in the selection of its leadership is paramount.

Amongst the plenitude of challenges before it is the urgent need to remobilize aggrieved members for the onerous task ahead. Lest I forget, the party in spite of the raging cacophony amongst its members, continues to enjoy popular appeal. To ensure that this mass goodwill is not frittered away, its leadership must swing into action, assuaging some who feel genuinely hurt and weeding off fifth columnists.

The South East geopolitical zone and parts of the South South should be its for the taking, if the right things are done, which should launch it into the centre proper. Unfortunately, the party continues to fish in the Anambra waters alone. The forthcoming congresses present yet another golden opportunity to extend its reach. This opportunity must not be wasted.

Good enough, I hear that Mr. Nchekwube Anthony Dunga is one of the candidates for the chairmanship of the party in Anambra state. More than anything, this aspiration should be encouraged by all well-meaning ndi APGA for a good number of reasons.

Given his long years in the fold and his financially unquantifiable sacrifices, Dunga is very much likely to provide such proactive leadership necessary for moving the party forward. Considering his youthfulness, Dunga is sure to be forward thinking and this is necessary at this moment. Also important is that Anambra state is very crucial for the party and must be kept in safe hands.

Aside Mr. Dunga, however, there is a yearning need for delegates to seek out other candidates possessing such qualities as Dunga and place them in strategic positions within the party.

The avalanche of malaise we experience as a nation can be explained by the absence of loyalty to any cause on the part of our leaders. Ironically, and surprisingly too, Mr. Nchekwube Anthony Dunga of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has shown dogged commitment to his party. He is indeed a lesson in loyalty and should be encouraged.

Emeka Ral

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