Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has restated his total support for full financial autonomy for Local Government Areas in the country.
The former Leader, ECOWAS Parliament, who made the call while addressing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP stakeholders from the Arochukwu Local Government Council, lamented the precarious state of LGAs across the country due to inadequate funds.
He argued that if LGAs were allowed to manage their allocations from Abuja without unnecessary tampering by the states, more developments would have been recorded in council areas.
On the future of the party in the area, Ohuabunwa regretted that Arochukwu, a stronghold of PDP, suddenly fell into the hands of the opposition party due to sabotage and backstabbing by some blacklegs in the party.
He, however, said he had put the past behind him and urged everyone to be committed to the rebuilding of the party.
The former Leader, House of Representatives, vowed to stop at nothing in ensuring that PDP recaptures Arochukwu which has been the party’s enclave.
He said that stakeholders and all the people would be involved in the selection of candidates for any elective position, insisting that the era of anointing of candidates is over.
He said that any aspirant without the support of the masses would not be given the party’s ticket as that would affect the fortunes of the party at the main election.
Ohuabunwa said that the House of Representatives seat should be rotated between Arochukwu and Ohafia LGAs, insisting that it will be the turn of Ohafia LGA to produce the occupant in 2023.
He said that rotation of the seat would promote equity and peace and eliminate politics of bitterness in the constituency.
Senator Ohuabunwa lent his weight behind the clamour for power shift to Abia-North in 2023, saying that “we believe there is already a wheel going round, and it should continue for peace, justice and equity.”
Ohuabunwa who said he had a knack for the parliament vowed that nothing would stop his return bid to the red chamber in 2023 to advance the cause of Abia-North.
He tasked the stakeholders on unity, stressing that if they would all remain united as a family, no party will be able to dislodge PDP in Arochukwu LGA and the entire Abia-North.
Senator Ohuabunwa also restated his support for full financial autonomy for LGAs in the country to fast-track development in the third tier of Government.
Meanwhile, PDP stakeholders in the Council have agreed to unite as one people and work together for the actualisation of the return bid of Senator Mao Ohuabunwa to the senate in 2023.
The stakeholders who blamed the loss of Senator Ohuabunwa to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in 2019 on sabotage by some black legs, vowed to avoid a repeat of the “2019 mistake.”
The stakeholders comprising all PDP Counselors, Council and Ward Executive members as well as Zonal Executive members and other chieftains of the party, vowed to work together to deliver the LGA to PDP at all levels of the 2023 elections.
Addressing the stakeholders, PDP Chairman in the Council, Chief Sunday Okemiri, regretted that factionalisation had been the undoing of the party, and appealed to the gladiators to sheath their swords for the sake of peace.
Okemiri who noted that although somebody might have facilitated his emergence, he was not for anybody but for the survival and advancement of the party.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairmen of Wards, Ozom Peters of Aro Ward 2, vowed that any gladiator “that refuses to embrace peace will receive Oshiomhole treatment”.
“We the ward Chairmen in Arochukwu LGA have decided to de-register any stakeholder that refuses to embrace peace so that Arochukwu PDP can recover its lost grounds,” Peters threatened.
Speaking on behalf of the Counselors, Hon. George Onwumere representing Ward 3 said the Counselors had resolved to detach themselves from the control of any gladiator but work together for the good of the entire Council.
He blamed the leadership tussle rocking the Arochukwu Legislative arm on imposition of principal officers by certain stakeholders, but added that the Counselors had resolved to put their differences behind.
Speaking on behalf of the major stakeholders, former Commissioner for Joint Projects, Mr JJ Okoro, assured Ohuabunwa of the full support of Arochukwu stakeholders, saying “the mistake of 2019 will not be repeated.”
He, however, urged him to continue his consultations with stakeholders in other LGAs in Abia-North, “but as for Arochukwu LGA, go and sleep and leave the job for us.”
In a remark, PDP Vice Chairman, Abia-North, Elder Amah Abraham, said the greatest challenge he faced after his election was how to unite the various factions in Arochukwu PDP.
He, however, expressed delight at the resolve of the stakeholders to embrace peace, and urged all to place the party’s interest above personal interests.