Few months after meeting with the representative of Abia North Senatorial District and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, has joined the All Progressives Congress.
The ex-Army Chief formally declared for the APC and registered with the party in the ongoing registration and revalidation on Tuesday.
General Ihejirika, who served at the helm of the service from 2010-2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan, made his declaration to join the APC at his Isuikwuato country home in Abia North Senatorial District.
The former COAS made his declaration and subsequently registered at Ezere Ward 2.
His registration was conducted by the APC Ward Chairman, Iheanyi Chukwu, in the presence of stalwarts of the party, including Kalu; State Secretary of the party, Perfect Okorie; Deputy State Woman Leader of the party, Lady Franca Osuwa; Chairman, Abia APC Registration panel, Ambassador Bala Mohammed Mairiga; Chief Ameobi Ogah; Dr. Lilian Obenwa; Abia North APC Zonal Chairman, Chief Chris Ajah; Member, Abia State House of Assembly, representing Isuikwuato Constituency, Hon. Emeka Okorofor; and party faithful.
Recall that in November last year, Kalu, the APC leader in Abia State, urged Ihejirika to join the party.
Kalu made the move when he paid a private visit to the former COAS in his Isuikwuato country home.
According to reports, Kalu’s earlier visit to the residence of Ihejirika and other prominent Abians was to further push the efforts of the party in the state and at the national level to woo prominent Abians and indeed Southerners into the party.
In his remarks, Senator Kalu applauded the decision the former COAS to join the party.
He emphasised that Ihejirika’s decision was as a result of the internal democracy in APC.
In his words: “General Ihejirika’s decision to join us today in the APC is no doubt a great one and I must commend him for taking the bold step after over a year of convincing him to join to the party.
“He should be assured that his membership of our party will be a very fruitful one.
“I am loyal to the party.
“This is why I have always subjected myself to the party’s decision making process.
“My appreciation also goes to the Chairman, Abia APC Registration panel, Ambassador Bala Mohammed Mairiga, and his team for joining me to grace this exercise.
“The chairman can see for himself that the APC in Abia is deeply rooted.
“In the last few days, he has accompanied me to some decamping ceremonies of people from other parties into our party.
“On behalf of our National Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, I welcome you to our great party.”
Disclosing his reasons for joining the party, General Ihejirika said his coming into politics by joining the APC is to contribute to the progress of the party in the state and at the national level.
The former COAS said further that having served in the Army for almost 38 years, he has gathered sufficient experience to contribute to the democracy of the nation and the fortunes of the party.
In his words:”I am delighted by the presence of the leader of the party in our state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to honour this event.
“Having served almost 38 years in the military, I am convinced that it will be a waste of experience for me to remain outside government activities.
“Thus is because I have a lot to offer and assure you all that I will operate an open door policy.
“I will also learn fast.”
Ihejirika said his first goal is to unite the party.
He said: “My first goal is to unite the party.
“Unity is very important because if we are united we can achieve all our goals for the state and the nation at large.”
Recall that similar advances by Senator Kalu had yielded results as it saw the Founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and United Peoples Party, Chekwas Okorie; former governorship candidate of the APGA in 2015 and 2019, Dr. Alex Otti; former governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Emeka Atuma; former Commissioner for Finance in Abia State, Obinna Oriaku, joining the party in the state.