The endorsement of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP by major political stakeholders in the state spilled over to the streets last weekend with the masses entering the fray
By Austin Ogwuda
The Enugu Coal City came to a standstill last weekend when over 100 support groups took to the streets to demonstrate their support for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The unprecedented road show saw youths, men and women marching through major streets singing and dancing in solidarity with the PDP governorship candidate whose campaign posters and handbills were distributed to the residents.
The road show was organized by the Renaissance Group, one of the campaign groups canvassing support for the success of Ugwuanyi in the February 14, 2015 election.
Multitude of supporters
It was a carnival of sort as the multitude of supporters dressed in different attire and accompanied by live bands, marched from Okpara Square through major streets like Bissala Road, Ogui Road, O’Connor Street and Presidential Road before returning to the Campaign Office along Abakaliki Road.
The supporters expressed the hope that despite “minor” opposition to Ugwuanyi’s candidature he remains the candidate to beat and would triumph in the end, urging the people of the state to throw their weight behind him.
It will be recalled that the Senate Committee Chairman on Works, Senator Ayogu Eze and billionaire business man and chairman of Peace Mass Transit Limited, Evangelist Samuel Onyishi both of whom are laying claim to the same governorship ticket are in court challenging the election of Ugwuanyi during the December 8, primaries of the PDP in Enugu State.
However, the PDP national leadership submitted the name of Ugwuanyi and that of his running mate, Mrs. Cecilia Ezilo, to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at Abuja last week confirming the member of the House of Representative as the PDP governorship candidate.
Addressing journalists after the rally, the state coordinator of Renaissance Group (RG), the coordinating body of other support groups, Mr. Obiora Onyia, stated that the rally was to make a loud statement that Ugwuanyi was the candidate to beat in the election.
“We want to introduce Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the PDP candidate for 2015 governorship to the people of Enugu State and Nigeria. He is a consensus candidate, we want to show them that he is the right man for this position because we have known him generally, its not about the election or anything, we have known him one-on-one. All the people you see here came out voluntarily. So everybody is happy with him.
“He is a giver, he supports the poor, this place we are now, we call it Home-to-Home, he has been running this place to support the homeless, the displaced, the deaf and dumb. He has been doing this all these years for people and RG came in contact with him and discovered that he is the kind of that can actually turn Enugu state around and consolidate on existing foundations laid by Governor Sullivan Chime,” he said.
Also, a prominent female politician in the state and participant in the rally, Mrs. Chinwe Ugwu stated that in terms of popularity nothing would prevent Ugwuanyi from winning the election, stressing that the overwhelming support being given to the governorship candidate did not come as a surprise.
“Ugwuanyi rose up to MD of Premier Broker, he is an Insurer and he has his Masters Degree and he has been in the National Assembly for 12 years, ranking officer and then chairman Marine Transport. If there is any experience, I think what he gathered in those places, as far as I’m concerned the experience and exposure he has cannot be beaten by any other candidate, because he has been in government since 1999.”
Others who spoke about the gubernatorial ambition of Ugwuanyi said that his candidacy was divine explaining that the way and manner he was accepted by majority of the people and PDP stakeholders in the state gave the impression that God has really destined that the politician from Orba, in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu North Senatorial District should lead the state to another glorious level after the current regime of Governor Sullivan Chime.
They pledged to put in all their efforts to ensure the realization of the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) 2015 project, which campaign they have voluntarily championed since Governor Chime and PDP Stakeholders from all the three senatorial districts of Enugu State unanimously endorsed him as the consensus governorship candidate of the state.
The PDP Stakeholders from Enugu North, East and West senatorial districts, the academia, professionals, teachers, students, workers, members of various trade unions including Taxi drivers, Okada riders and civil society groups among other groups, have variously endorsed Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s governorship bid and have at different times held rallies to mobilise support for his ambition.