Assistant Director, Media Abia PDP Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kingsley Emereuwa, in this interview speaks among others on why Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Candidate, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu will emerge tops in Saturday’s polls
By Clifford Ndujihe
WHAT are the chances of the PDP flag bearer, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in the election considering the level of disenchantment that trailed his emergence?
There is nothing to look at as far as the governor ship election in Abia State is concerned. Okezie Ikpeazu is the next governor of Abia State. His victory in the contest is already fait accompli. On the issue of how he picked the ticket, it is on record that Abia PDP had the freest party primaries in December which none of those who lost challenged.
A further demonstration of how transparent the exercise was, is the support he is getting from those who contested with him who have queued behind him. How do you reconcile that with what happened in the other mushroom parties?
Politics has a pattern which makes it run on certain instruments. Such instruments are oiled to sustain base. A man cannot quit his job in July and want to govern a state he knows little or nothing about in a the next few weeks. This is not an estate.
On why he is confident confident of Ikpeazu’s victory at the polls
It is because we are talking about Abia where I have lived all my life and I know the 184 political wards in the 17 local councils. We are talking about a state that has just recovered from the stranglehold of a rapacious enclave. We are talking about a state that has witnessed honesty in service and in governance even when it is not appropriate or politically expedient to say the truth. The governor has never lied to Abia people. Not for one day did he deceive the people. Here is one governor that owns up to anything that goes wrong under his watch without playing politics with the people of the state and that has given him the courage to be a better leader.
During the era of kidnapping, Governor Theodore Orji never passed the blame like Governor Amaechi was doing. And because he owned up, he was able to surmount that challenge.
Today, Abia is a model in security. Look at the issue of salary arrears of two months which the opposition hyped was in neighbourhood of eight months and thought it could fetch it sympathy, the government admitted owing and promised to clear it which it has done and everybody is on the same page. That is where we draw this confidence you observed.
The facelift in the health sector, judiciary, education, hospitality civil service, etc are the reasons behind the confidence we exude. More so, of all the so-called opposition candidates, Ikpeazu is the only one the common man in Abia will see his face and recognise. I want to challenge you to name any serious Abia son or daughter you have seen with Alex Otti? Politics is about people and a game of numbers. He does not have it and will never have it because his ambition was built on false foundation, lies and deceit. And the people are no fools.
On comments that contrary to his views the governor has not done much
It would have been foolhardy for even the governor to expect total acceptance from the traditional critics. Those frustrated loafers who peddle that information have failed to sustain or prove it. When we talk about the achievements of the governor, we are not referring to things that cannot not be proved or ascertained. The landmark projects in the judiciary, primary and secondary schools, the e-library, International conference centre, the health sector revolution, the malls are there for all to see. Orji is the only governor in Nigeria today still commissioning projects at the twilight of his administration. Have you heard anyone of them fault the legacy projects of the present administration? Wait till tomorrow when you will see this same loafers use today as reference points.
On the chances of other PDP candidates
The PDP will sweep the polls in Abia considering the goodwill the people enjoy from the governor. The honour to him will be translated into electoral victory for his party. He set record in 2011 as the first to return 100 percent to his party. The party has no problem in the tree senatorial zones.
What is your take on the reports of recent violence at a town hall meeting between the PDP and APGA?
There was never a face-off between the PDP and APGA or any party as the case may be. That was the creation of some elements in APGA who are desirous of creating false impression of a contest between them and the PDP.
The truth is that any day the PDP and APGA members in the state will physically descend to the arena will mark the requiem of APGA. But we will ensure that it will not get to that point so that the peace which the present administration has laboured to build in the state will not be rubbished. The event you mentioned was the latest in the spate of violence being unleashed on the peace-loving people of Abia by one of the factional APGA governorship candidates.
Their victims were hapless villagers who were going about their normal business. Take the case of citizen Frank Dickson who was said to be on his way to buy food and was caught in the melee. As we talk now, the young man is still lying at the emergency unit of the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia with his legs shattered. This is as a result of shots he received from armed men being paraded the factional APGA candidate. So there was never a case of PDP engaging APGA in any physical duel.