Like a bolt from the blues, it hit political watchers that a politician of Jim Nwobodo’s calibre, one of the founding fathers of the once all mighty Peoples Democratic Party, PDP would dump his party for another.
It took many by surprise that the former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, who was like an oracle in PDP would jettison the party at a time it needs fatherly advice and after losing to the opposition party, should dump it and cling to the olive branch of the ruling party.
Whether by surprise or otherwise, it is now clear that Jim Nwobodo popularly call Jim, has left PDP for good and has embraced the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
His entry into APC is received with mixed reactions by politicians in PDP as well as his new party, the APC. While the PDP members will be ruing that they lost a big fish, the APC hierarchy will be happy that he has swelled the rank of top shots in the party in the state. Some people within the APC will not be happy that a man of his calibre joined the party because he might displace them from their juicy positions in the party knowing full well that he is not a man to be kept at the back bench of politics.
A proof that Nwobodo’s entry into APC will upset things for some party members showed shortly after Nwobodo made public his intention to join the APC. A one time spokesman of APC in the South East, Mr. Osita Okechukwu was the first man to kick against Jim joining his party. Okechukwu issued a press statement at which he said that Nwobodo joined APC out of panic to evade the law because of his alleged involvement in the arms deal scandal dubbed, Dasukigate at which he was said to have collected about N100 million. Okechukwu did not see Jim joining the party as a good omen. Okechukwu said Jim joined the party through the window, in short, ‘a fugitive trying to evade justice.’
Apart from Okechukwu, comments sourced on line spoke scathingly that Jim was a turncoat who not only defected to another party but also defected to another church, from Anglican Church to Roman Catholic Church at an old age.
While the vituperations were coming from all fronts, Jim maintained his cool and said he joined the party on principle and allayed fears among his party members that he had not come to destabilise or usurp their positions in the party.
Jim is not alone in the morass, because before he finally dumped PDP, APC hierarchy had been luring him to come and join them. Not too long after the 2015 general elections at which APC failed woefully in the South East, especially, Enugu State, the state chairman of APC, Dr Ben Nwoye told news men that they have been reaching out to prominent politicians in the state like Jim Nwobodo and Prof. Barth Nnaji and others to join the party and swell their ranks. He thinks that by so doing, people will begin to like their party considered in Igbo circle as a party of Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba.
Nwoye said they were flinging their doors wide open for everybody to join especially PDP members pointing out that it was the mass defection of PDP members in other states other than the South East that gave APC victory at the centre and in most of the states outside South East.
From Nwoye’s position, it could be seen that Jim declaring for APC in the early days of January could be as a result of painstaking political manoeuvring by the APC chieftains to win big names to their side in preparation for future elections.
With Jim joining the APC one wonders if it will change anything in the fortunes of APC since it is clear that Enugu State is the stronghold of PDP that has been in power since 1999 and the PDP governors starting from Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani to Sullivan Chime and now Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
If Jim’s entry into APC would bring good name for the party, the marginalisation, which some Igbos feel they are suffering in the hands of APC government led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, is not helping matters.
As things stand now, Enugu State seems impregnable by the opposition parties because the PDP led government under Gov. Ugwuanyi is doing well and Jim, though a political giant joining the APC may not be able to lift the Olympus, the PDP.
Jim Nwobodo is a man who seems to possess a magic wand because of his good name and his sterling style of progressive governance, but like Cissero, will he talk the Enugu people into aligning with APC and change the perception that APC is not an Igbo party. Whether Jim has the totem that can change the psyche of Enugu people is a question only time will answer.

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