By Chijindu Emeruwa, Abia.
Critical stakeholders of Abia origin in the Southeast zone, under the auspices of Nzuko Abia Elders, on Thursday, advocated for a consensus option as the party leadership prepares for the upcoming primaries and main general elections in 2023.
The Abia elders drawn from the religious, traditional, political, public, and private business world, and Indigenous groups at home and the diaspora, posited that only consensus arrangement can ensure the success of the party at all levels in the state and harped on the urgent importance for the party leadership to adopt the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah as consensus flag-bearer to sustain the faith reposed on the party, and the overwhelming acceptability of APC among the majority of the populaces in Abia state.
They hinged their position on the unfolding political developments and intrigues by political gladiators of different political parties jostling for various elective offices in the state, and further asked other aspirants contesting the gubernatorial tickets of the APC and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming primaries of the parties, to withdraw from the race and rally round Ogah, whom they maintained, possessed the wherewithal and large fellowship to win elections for the progressive party.
In a communique signed by the leader of the Nzuko Abia Elders, Mazi Obinna Anyaso(JP), at the end of their enlarged meeting held at the conference hall of Abia Hotels Umuahia, on Wednesday, also maintained that the sterling and uncommon leadership styles of the Nigerian Minister of State for Mines, endeared the people, to the governing APC in the country, and further reiterated that Ogah, who is yet to officially declare his bid to run for the 2023 governorship seat of Abia State on the platform of the party following several appeals, has large vote banks in all parts of the state.
The communique was made available to newsmen in Umuahia, the state capital on Thursday.
According to the Elders, “we advocate for consensus to save Abia from imminent collapse in governance and the Abia people must get it right at this moment. It is a well-known fact that the outing in the last 2019 gubernatorial election was orchestrated by disgruntled party members who claimed they have the good interests of Abians and their parties at heart, before the day of that 2019 governorship election, worked against the masses’ choice, in collaboration with agents of destabilization and destruction, sponsored by the ruling party and government in our state. The Abia populaces know them and their evil machinations, and shall on no account allow them to thwart their will and wish. Abians shall resist them in this current period of electioneering activities.
“And we assure you that such undemocratic activities and practices will be resisted and will not be allowed to stand or rear their heads. We, the Abia elders, believe in politics of free and fair electoral process, politics of development, politics of inclusion, and politics devoid of bitterness and rancor. And it is on record today, both the living and the dead can attest, that the unprecedented acceptability being enjoyed by the APC, and which made Abia people keep faith with the party till today, is because of the incomparable and outstanding strides recorded then in the private sector by Ogah where he invested over 100 billion nairas to foster the needed economic and Infrastructural developments.
“This singular gesture had brought industrialization of the Abia state and also provided a greater number of jobs to unemployed indigent Abia youths, men and women. Not only in Abia, within the entire southeast, and Nigeria, as a developed nation. Every nick and tom, every nooks and cranny of Abia state accepted APC, as a result of visible, peoples-oriented, life-touching, and life-changing industrialization he brought down to his home state by Dr. Ogah.
Continuing, they stated, “we have gone through, and we encourage others to go through the profiles, antecedents and track records of the individuals jostling for the seat of Governor of Abia state, you will observe that many who are successful in their private doings, could not even facilitate or attract tangible social and Infrastructural amenity for the benefits of the people, they have now turned to emergence philanthropist; installing streets and others, in their inordinate ambitions for political power.
“Why are most of the aspirants turning to emergency philanthropists for sake of political power? Because, they have no plan and well-defined templates on which they will rely, in bringing good governance to the ordinary masses in the state”.
The Elders further maintained that the position was devoid of individual interests and financial inducements as being seen in other states, carried out by disgruntled and unscrupulous politicians in their desperate quest for power over sincere minds.
The Nzuko Abia Elders also reaffirmed their unshaken confidence in the national leadership of the party chaired by the National Chairman and former Governor of Nassarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu in the conduct of credible and acceptable primaries across all states of the Nigeria federation, and reiterated their earlier stance to other gubernatorial aspirants in PDP, APGA, etc, to rally round Ogah and adopt him as also their parties flagbearer in the coming elections in Abia state to ensure his emergence and be able to provide responsive leadership and good governance and take the state to greater and higher pedestals.
“We, the Abia elders across the seventeen local government areas of the state will always give our maximum support to parties that have genuine interests for Abia, and that will be demonstrated in the upcoming general elections in 2023”.
The Elders of Abia extraction also used the medium to call on the good and eligible Abia citizens and residents, who have not yet obtained their permanent voter’s cards, to visit designated registration points or units provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and registration and Revalidate, as the card remains the only weapon to foster the needed dividends of democracy to their doorsteps, and also foster genuine socio-economic and Infrastructural growths and development in all strata of Abia state.