With about a week to the May 21 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primaries, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and other PDP leaders in the state have been advised to be extremely careful with the choice of person who will fly the party’s flag in the 2023 general election.

The advice was given in Enugu today by the president of the Enugu Youth Forum, Comrade Cosmas Udeh, while addressing journalists on the outlook of the forthcoming general election.

“Enugu State can be called the PDP home in the South East because there has not been any major threat to the party’s dominance since the return of democratic rule in 1999”, Udeh said, but quickly acknowledged that “things may change faster than many people may realize”.

He said one of the things which will cause seismic changes in the political arena is the choice of the party’s gubernatorial candidate.

“If our beloved governor makes the unforgivable mistake of yielding to certain clannish interests who are asking him to hand over power to a fellow Nsukka person who is also his first maternal cousin, then the PDP will certainly be kicked out of power”.

The Enugu Youth Forum leader did not mention the name of the PDP aspirant from the Nsukka culture area, but many people feel he was referring to Chief Chijioke Edeoga, a lawyer and former federal legislator who is from Isiuzo Local Government Area in Enugu East senatorial zone.

“This will be a terrible choice”, he said, “because it is a complete negation of the principle of zoning and power rotation in the state which the governor has championed with all his might to our people’s admiration.”

Comrade Udeh added that it would be a “contradiction in terms for the governor to scheme out Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a former Senate Deputy President, from the gubernatorial because his zone has had its share of the gubernatorial seat only to anoint his first cousin from Nsukka as himself as his successor.

“Each governor in our state has been succeeded by someone whom the sitting chief executive handpicked, but to attempt to hand over power from one Nsukka man to another will be impossible for our people to accept”.  

He, therefore, called on Governor Ugwuanyi to disregard the advice of those he described as sycophants to commit political suicide.

Udeh reminded the governor how the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in neighbouring Anambra State was so carried away by its total victory in the 2017 governorship election in the state that it fielded unmarketable candidates in the 2019 general election and “was shell shocked.

“If APGA could be so trounced and humiliated in the national elections in Anambra State, the PDP can easily suffer a similar fate in Enugu State”.

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