The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State has successfully sealed possible cracks in its ranks as the major governorship aspirants who lost out at the primary election have now rallied round the party’s governorship standard-bearer, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, pledging to work with him for the success of the party in the forthcoming February 14 and 28 polls.
Immediately after the bitterly fought governorship primary there was heightened expectation that the president of Masters Energy Group, Dr. Uche Ogah, former labour and productivity minister, Chief Emeka Wogu, and former deputy governor, Chief Acho Nwakanma would dump PDP to actualise their ambitions in other parties.
However, the appearance of the trio at the party’s governorship campaign rallies has laid to rest the speculations that the outcome of the governorship primary would tear the party into shreds.
It also justified the decision of Governor Theodore Orji to inaugurate the reconciliation committee led by a former PDP national chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, which has paid off as none of the heavyweights is missing from the fold.
Speaking at the commencement campaign of the PDP, Governor Orji reiterated his desire to bequeath sustainable peace and unity for Abia by ensuring equity and justice in the distribution of positions and social amenities. He said it was based on this philosophy that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu successfully emerged as the governorship candidate of PDP from Abia South zone that is yet to occupy the governorship position of the state.
Orji noted that having crossed the first hurdle in the quest for Abia South to produce the next governor of the state, there was need for all hands to be on deck to ensure a clean sweep for the party in all the elections slated for February 14 and 28, 2015.
The governor said his outgoing administration had succeeded in putting Abia on a solid foundation for onward development through the provision of legacy infrastructural projects, massive empowerment programmes and strengthening of democratic institutions, adding that his successor would build on these achievements and make Abia soar higher and higher.
Corroborating Governor Orji’s hopeful expression of better things ahead, the PDP governorship candidate, Dr. Ikpeazu assured that he was poised to consolidate on the gains the state has made under the present administration and also see to it that Abia becomes “the Japan of Africa” in real terms.
He stated that he would put in place necessary policies and programmes that would lead to exponential growth of Abia as a commercial and industrial hub driven by e-commerce, adding that his understanding of the potentials of God’s own state has shown him that Abia is sitting on a gold mine that requires just a little scratching of the soil for the precious stone to be brought out.
Ikpeazu lashed out at those who have made it their business to run the state, saying that such persons were agents of deceit and retrogression and called on Abia people to shun them and cast their ballots for all PDP candidates to keep the state in the mainstream of national politics.
Party stalwarts that took turns to speak at the rally all emphasised the need for unity of purpose in the ruling party to ensure that it maintains its 100 per cent control of Abia.
Those that sounded the battle cry for PDP victory at the polls included Ogbulafor, former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Nwogu, former Deputy Governor Acho Nwakanma, former Senate President Adolph Wabara, Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, the acting Abia PDP chairman/2015 campaign committee, Senator Emma Nwaka, among others.
Highlights of the campaign rally was the presentation of the PDP flags to the senatorial candidates, including Governor Orji for Abia central, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe for Abia South and Mao Ohuabunwa for Abia North and donation of campaign buses to all the candidates with the senatorial candidates receiving two buses each while House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates got a bus each as party’s support to their campaigns.