Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State has described the emergence of Mr Ifeanyi Odii as its governorship candidate as the greatest nightmare for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State.
The PDP made the claim in a statement issued in Abakaliki on Monday by Osita Kalu, a member of its state Presidential/Governorship Media Committee.
Mr Kalu was reacting to a statement credited to the Chairman of APC in the State, Stanley Emegha, who said Mr Odii’s emergence only succeeded in burying the opposition party in Ebonyi state.
Mr Odii was last week declared as the authentic candidate of the PDP for the 2023 governorship election by the supreme court.
But Mr Emegha in a reaction to the judgement said that voters in the state will vote based on the principle of equity and credibility.
“How can intelligent and ever conscious Ebonyi people allow a man who hails from almost the same local government area with the present Governor, David Nweze Umahi, succeed him in office? The people are wiser now.”
“The judgment of the supreme court has again vindicated His Excellency, the Governor who has continuously stressed the need for Ebonyi people to choose his successor based on the principle of equity and credibility.
“We are deeply grateful because our strategy is perfectly and effectively working to our benefits. Anyichuk’s emergence is an added advantage to APC and Ebonyi people in general.
“It is indeed the turn of Ebonyi North and Rt Hon Francis Nwifuru is the incoming Governor of the people. The Supreme Court’s verdict of September 14th marks the final burial of the PDP in Ebonyi State.,” Mr Emegha said.
But in a swift reaction, Mr Kalu said the statement has exposed Mr Emegha as having a myopic understanding of rudimentary politics.
According to him, the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed Mr Odii as the Ebonyi PDP governorship candidate is now the greatest nightmare of the ruling APC in the state.
“Since the news broke, the leadership of APC in the state have been running from pillar to pole making statements principally aimed at consoling their very few salaried followers.
“One of such statements was by Stanley Okoro Emegha, APC State Chairman, while briefing journalists in Abakaliki Ebonyi State capital city, wherein he said that the emergence of our PDP Governorship Candidate Dr Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii is against equity and credibility.
“He is now crying over the internal affairs of the PDP, which shows his myopic understanding in the rudimentary politics of the state which now yearns for a change of the status quo to a government with human face,” he said.
Mr Kalu further described Mr Emegha’s statement as an act of an utterly confused person who was knocked off-balance by the said Supreme Court judgment.
Mr Kalu said he won’t be surprised if the APC now decides to employ the greatest form of violence and thuggery to scare away voters as they know that their end has finally come upon them.
He argued that zoning doesn’t equate to competence and a people-oriented leadership.
“Zoning also doesn’t connote the enthronement of a mediocre and violence driven candidate, one that will annihilate the people upon grabbing power.
“Zoning is about equity and when the equities are equal, the first in time prevails. All zones in Ebonyi State have had a shot at the number one office, so only an illiterate will be shouting zoning, equity etc.
“It is ultimately the voters who will make their preferred choice on who they want as the next Governor of Ebonyi State and APC is not even within the imaginary scale of their consideration,” he said.
Mr Kalu listed the sins of APC-led government in Ebonyi, which it has inflicted on the state to include poverty on the people with their multi taxation, non-payment of worker’s standard minimum wages, non-payment of retires gratuity and pensions and undemocratic ways of governance.
Others include: “zero recruitment into the State civil service, zero promotion in the state civil service, family driven government without human face and successfully placing Ebonyi as the poorest state in the South-East with over 76% poverty rate.
Mr Kalu noted that these are the real issue that will influence the people during the 2023 election and not zoning adding that unfortunately, the APC and it’s candidate does not even understand any of these issues and thus incapable of addressing any.
“PDP remains the people’s party in Ebonyi State and has been voted for massively by the people since the return of democracy in 1999.
“The affirmation of Dr Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii as the PDP gubernatorial candidate for Ebonyi State is a sign of hope to the ordinary Ebonyi person who has been battered and shattered by the ruling party APC in the state.
“It’s indeed the turn of Ebonyi people to vote for capacity, capability and competence which they have already found in the PDP, Ebonyi State,” he added.