The All Progressives Congress, APC, has incurred the wrath of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, for flagging off the gubernatorial campaign of its candidate in the November 16 Anambra polls, Senator Chris Ngige on the same he was rounding up his annual Ofala Festival.
The APC kicked off its campaign yesterday, which was witnessed by a mammoth crowd that defied the rains to converge on the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha – the commercial city was also host to the Ofala festival which was holding a stone throw away at the Palace of the Onistsha monarch.
The monarch, who expressed surprise, said it was very disrespectful for a political party and its governorship candidate, in spite of almost one year notice for the Ofala, to fix its rally the same day and out of annoyance, struck his symbol of tradition three times to express his feelings.
Igwe Achebe, while praying at the Ime Obi as part of activities, marking this year’s Ofala festival said,
“Today, a political party has chosen to launch its campaign for governorship in Onitsha at the same time the Ofala is going on despite the one-year notice we gave to them. If anybody defiles the land, the land shall defile the person,” he stated.
Speaking in the same vein, Anambra State governor, Peter Obi frowned at the time the APC campaign train chose to storm Onitsha, adding that a true Igbo man should not have allowed the tradition of his people to be trampled upon because of sheer interest for one office or another.
Gov. Obi further said for APC to fix its rally on the same day the Obi of Onitsha was marking his Ofala festival, was an insult on the leadership of Ndigbo.
He recalled that his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, had shifted their rally from Tuesday, October 8 to Monday, October 7, so as to avoid a clash with the Ofala festival.
“A dog bears the name given it by its owner and that it behooves on Igbo to stand firmly and insist that their traditional institution must be accorded full respect at all times” the governor said, while pleading with Onitsha youths, who were already spoiling for a showdown with placards, to sheathe their swords.