ByÂ Tony Nwankwo
LAGOSâ€”The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it is ready to retake Abia State, which it lost to the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in 2007.
Speaking in Lagos, preparatory to the partyâ€™sÂ rally in Umuahia, Abia Central,Â this weekend, Lagos lawyer and party stalwart, Mr. Chinwengozi Obike, said the party was now vibrant and ready to take back the mantle of leadership in Abia State.
He said other rallies have been planned for the other senatorial districts of Abia North and Abia South, all meant to sensitize PDP members in the state on the need to reclaim the state in 2011.
According to Obike, â€œanomalies had crept up in Abia State PDP and we need to remind our people that in 1999, the PDP delivered the state under the governorship of Chief OrjiÂ Kalu, a feat that was repeated in 2003.Â But then, something happened, the man who flew the PDP flag, Orji Kalu set up a parallel organisation,Â called the Reality Organisation and he used the apparatus of the PDP at his disposal as Governor, to feed this organisation, making it even stronger than the party in the state.
â€œIn that guise, as far as patronage of contracts, welfare and other benefits were concerned, onlyÂ members of the Reality Organisation benefitted, while others were shut out.Â So, while the PDP became weaker and weaker, the Reality Organisation became stronger and stronger,â€ he said.
â€œThe PDP should be stronger than any member and party faithful should not be made to suffer because some individuals sought to control power.Â As it is, we need to come together, lay down our differences as a political party, put forward our material resources, because you cannot say you are a party man who desires the progress and growth ofÂ the party, only coming forward to support the party financially when you wish to run for office. It is a joint fight.Â It is the soul of the state and the future of our children that is at stake,â€ he said.
He advised party faithful to weighÂ the benefits they get from their government and whether it was worthÂ playing into the hands of the enemy, who want the party to be weak.