By Chijindu Emeruwa
Southeast elders, under the auspieces of Abia Progressive Elders Forum (APEF), on Sunday, maintained that the immediate past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Sampson Ogah, remained the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Abia state, admonishing the party leadership to resist evil machinations of unscrupulous elements from negating true democratic principles and rules of the governing party in Nigeria.
This comes on the background of the successful conclusion of direct gubernatorial primary election approved and conducted by the All Progressive Congress across the 184 electoral wards of the seventeen Local Government Areas of Abia state on Thursday 26th May, 2022.
Recall that Uche Ogah had scored 141,952 votes to beat his closest rival, Paul Ikonne who scored 27,054.
Other gubernatorial aspirants includes, Chief Ikechi Emenike who polled 9,446, Emeka Atuma with 7,429, Obinna Oriaku with 5,553, Alex Otti scored 2,41, and Daniel Eke who got 1,953 at the keenly contested direct primaries.
This was announced by the Returning Officer of the concluded Abia APC gubernatorial primaries held in Umuahia, the state capital, Barrister Perfect Okorie.
However, on Sunday, while addressing journalists in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, the Chairman of the Abia Progressive Elders Forum (APEF), Mazi Orji Ndukwe, and Secretary General, Chief Marcellinus Nwagbara, flanked by other elders across the 17 LGAs of the state, also maintained that Ogah’s emergence at the concluded primaries was true reflection and popular wish of majority of APC members and frowned at the clandestine move to manipulate and truncate the people’s will at all cost by disgruntled political elements, whom they alleged, had sworn to thwart whatever gains recorded by the APC in its development in the state.
They also asked the leadership of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt any pressure from anti democratic forces into manipulating the outcome of the concluded APC direct governorship primaries held across Abia state by the party leadership which saw emergence of Dr Uche Sampson Ogah, as the Abia Candidate of the progressive party, advising the nation’s electoral umpire to stick to her own laws, and the constitution of the land by not tampering with people’s will, and the popular choice of Ogah by majority of APC members and supporters, and entire Abians, but to adhere strictly to the laws of the land, and true democratic principle.
The elders also recalled that entry of the former minister into the All Progressive Congress, brought the overwhelming and unprecedented acceptability and popularity of the party among the large populaces in Abia state, and also, drew the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, that those who are marauding around the party national Secretriate in Abuja, have been the clogs in the wheels of progress of the Abia chapter of the All Progressive Congress from winning the State Governorship seat since 2015 till date.
According to forum of Abia elders, “as loyal party man, Ogah has been delivering the party at his polling booths and ward, which also, added impetus to the growths of All Progressive Congress by the large population of Abia populaces who have long yearned for effective and responsive leadership in stratas of the state.
The elders’ forum also recalled that it’s on record that the mischievious party members who are junketting and hobnobbing around Abuja, failed to deliver President Buhari and the Abia APC during the 2015 and 2019 elections at their various electoral wards, and further regretted that this same scenario played out during the last Local Government Council areas elections conducted by the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), wherein the political marauders failed to deliver APC at their various polling units in their electoral wards.
The elders commended the Abia gubernatorial standard bearer of the APC, Dr Uche Ogah, for giving the progressive party an acceptable human outlooks, and also, his incomparable massive economic investments through industralisation and other business conglomerates domiciled in Abia state, which they said, have greatly guaranteed human, economic and Infrastructural growths and development.
According to them, “Ogah recorded uncommon strides as federal minister, boosting the revenue generation base through mines and steel development, in current diversification drive of Nigeria’s economy by the federal government. We also aware of social investment Programmes he facilitiated and attracted down to Abia, which have, as well, empowered and developed indigent citizens of Abia state, especially in Small and Medium Scale Business Enterprises (SMEs), to be self-dependent and self-reliant to cater for themselves”.
The forum of Abia elders further lauded the steadfastness, committment and dedication of many leaders and members of the All Progressive Congress in Abia State, urging them not to succumb to the whims and caprices of mischief makers who had gained nothing since sojourn into murky water of Nigeria politics, but to work collectively and harmoniously towards achieving victory for the APC in the upcoming general election in 2023.
They however, admonished all eligible Abia citizens who are eighteen years and above to visit any designated INEC points or units and get registered for Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC), to enable perform their civic obligations in the forthcoming main 2023 election in Abia, and across other states of the Nigeria federation by enthroning purposeful, effective and responsive leadership at all levels of Abia state for good of the citizenry, and the state and nation as a whole.
“PVC is the only weapon and power to vote out non performing political and public office holders and choose credible leaders with vision, purpose, development-oriented blueprints, and the requisite qualifications and needed capacity in turning sufferings of Abia people, into the realization and provision of critical and basic socio-economic and Infrastructural amenities and projects, to entrench and enhance growths and development in every facets of the state”,the Abia elders concluded.