Paul Chukwuma: APC’s Renewed Hope to Take Anambra From APGA 


By Obi Chukwuemeka

Some observers describe Anambra state as the gateway to the southeast. This description doesn’t only refer to the physical gateway, but, rather metaphorical. Beyond the Niger Bridge entrance, Anambra is seen as the conscience of the South East, and some suggest that once an Igbocentric idea permeates into Anambra, it becomes easier to diffuse to the rest of Igboland

Coincidentally, Anambra became the first state on formation, where the All Progressive Congress( APC) held its first gubernatorial election. That election was to decide the fate of Ndigbo in the newly formed political party that would go on to become the ruling party in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the APC lost in Anambra State and so began the gradual decline of Ndigbo in national politics and, also the discontent between Ndigbo and the APC as a result of the vile propaganda against the party in 2013.

The Anambra Chapter of the party would throw everything at it four years later to reconnect Ndigbo to the centre, buoyed by the fact that they were the ruling party at the centre. Despite all the best endeavours, the party came second, losing to a resurgent APGA who riled the populace against the APC by repeating the vile propaganda learnt in 2013

Political analysts had their projections pointing to the APC winning the 2021 gubernatorial election as the party drew its greatest attraction in 2021, attracting quality aspirants that raised the hope of the party faithful. The loss of the 2021 election was too much to handle for party loyalists who had waited too long for the APC to leave the opposition in Anambra State.

Since the end of the 2021 elections, the APC in Anambra has been in tatters, fatigued members who have suffered so many years of election losses were desolated and inconsolable. Members fled, and the falcon could no longer hear the falconer. Things were about to fall apart

Paul Chukwuma, the former National Auditor of the APC, prides himself as a one-party man.

“Politics is ideological. It is about ideas. I have always been a member of one of the legacy parties that merged to become the APC despite the party being in the opposition for over a decade. ” he fondly recounts with nostalgia whenever he is asked about his driving passion for politics

Paul has always been with the Anambra APC in all its battles – a member of the strategy team in 2013 and 2017 – and became a gubernatorial aspirant of the party. On assumption as the national auditor of the APC in 2018, he was reported to have provided monthly subvention to the SWC of the party and rejigged the media arm of the chapter in a strategic approach to energise the party in Anambra.

In 2021, he led the battle for the party in a frenzied attempt to place the APC’s flag at Agu Awka. The disillusion brought about by that loss shocked the party and Paul, who led that effort.

” I am leaving politics to focus on my business,” he was reported to have said after the gubernatorial election loss of the party in 2021”.

But as the Igbo people say, Okenye anaghi a no n’ulo Ewu amuo n’ogbuli. Paul Chukwuma’s soul belonged to the APC. No matter how he would have wanted to face his business, the APC was his blood, and as a founding member, he knew that the onus to rescue the party had been bestowed on him by providence. He took up that challenge to weather the storm and confront the headwind for the belegeaured members of the APC in Anambra. Agadi nwanyi adighi aka nka n’egwu o ma-agba-

As the party began to tatter and sought leadership. Paul arrived. In December 2023, Paul unleashed a ballet of empowerment on party members at all cadres. Ifeoma from Ukpor Ward 2, who attended the empowerment programme, described it as the biggest in the party’s history.

” I have never seen this kind of empowerment in my life. I thought the party was dead. Then suddenly, it held this kind of empowerment. My friends in the ruling party in Anambra are jealous. They are complaining that their party, despite being the ruling party, has never done this kind of empowerment. ”

Paul didn’t stop there, in April 2024, he met with all the leaders of the party at all levels- Chairmen, Secretaries, Youth Leaders and Women leaders at all cadres of the party in a strategic bid to resuscitate the party.

Sunday Okechukwu, Secretary from Abacha ward in Anambra Central, expressed his happiness with the various initiatives to rejig the party.

” I have been in this party since its formation, and no one in the history of the party has ever called the ward secretaries for a meeting. Paul Chukwuma is the first to do this, and I am excited about the future of the party. I now believe I am useful in the party and I will now double my work rate for the party”

The party is not the only place Paul is investing. In March 2024, Paul paid for the SSCE fees of 1000 students from Anambra alongside 500 other UTME applicants whose fees were paid for by the Paul Chukwuma Foundation.

His alma mater was not left out. In February, he donated N100m worth of digitalised school block to his alma mater, the Juniorate Seminary, Ihiala.

It is still early days, but those knowledgeable about the politics of Anambra State say Paul Chukwuma might be the APC’s best chance in a decade in its perpetual bid to win the Anambra gubernatorial election in 2025.

Obi Chukwuemeka writes from Anambra

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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