Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The political war between the presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; and the Governor Nyesom Wike-led G-5 Integrity Governors, is yet to be over, as the Governors who were in Umuahia, Abia State capital, Thursday to rally support for the party’s candidates in the state, failed to mention Atiku in their respective remarks.
The G-5 Governors who took turns to address the mammoth crowd of supporters and party faithful at the Umuahia Township Stadium, venue of the rally, pledged their total support for all PDP candidates in the state.
They tactfully avoided Atiku, thus, confirming rumours that their feud would have gone out of control.
In his remarks, Gov. Wike said the Integrity Governors would help to deliver all Abia PDP candidates, in their solidarity for Ikpeazu who is one of them.
Wike carefully did not mention Atiku in his remarks which were interrupted with music and his stylish dances.
“I hope you people listen to Gov Okezie Ikpeazu; he will tell you at the appropriate time what to do,” Wike concluded.
Apparently referring to a prominent PDP member from Gov. Ikpeazu’s Obingwa ward that defected to the opposition party shortly before the primaries, Wike said “Abians should not trust men who don’t keep their words.”
“There was a man from the Governor’s Obingwa who wanted to leave PDP out of provocation. We called him and said what do we do?
He said we should give him money, and we gave him money. But three days after collecting the money, he left PDP. Should we vote for such a man?”
Speaking at the event Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State said the Integrity Governors were committed to rescuing Nigeria from captivity.
He said they would not be intimidated by anti-democratic forces posing threat to democracy in Nigeria.
Ortom insisted that Nigeria must be made to work for everybody in 2023.
Similarly, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, said that the 2023 elections would be like no other since the history of Nigeria.
He urged Abians to stay focused and defend democracy.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in in brief remarks, prayed that God would help PDP win in 2023.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu said that his administration had done well, boasting that the 2023 elections would be a walkover for PDP in the state.
The Governor mocked the opposition, saying that those who failed primaries in PDP defected to the opposition parties and collected their party flags.
He said that PDP had the capacity and paraded the best set of candidates to win the 2023 elections in the state.
“Candidates of other parties are those we rejected in PDP. They were people in PDP wastepaper bin and were inconsequential. Go home and sleep, they are no threats.”
Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, said that PDP would sweep the polls in Abia.
In his remarks, the PDP governorship flag bearer, Professor Uche Ikonne, said he considered himself very lucky to fly the ruling party’s flag, expressing optimism that he would emerge victorious at the polls.
“When I look behind me, I see five warriors, and I am encouraged.”
Speaking earlier, PDP Chairman in the State, Dr Asiforo Okere, said he had no doubts that the ruling party would retain power beyond 2023 in the state considering the impressive scorecard of Gov. Ikpeazu.
Highlight of the rally was the handing over of PDP flag to all 36 PDP candidates contesting for various positions in the state.
The flags were presented to them by the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, South, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.
Some of the candidates were Senator Mao Ohuabunwa for Abia North; Col. Austin Akobundu, Abia Central; and Hon. Chinedum Orji, Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency.
Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, was among dignitaries present at the event.
Gaining entrance into the venue of the event was a herculean task as supporters and fans of various candidates turned out in their numbers chanting solidarity songs for their principals.