The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday held its “mega rally” with the party leaders, saying that Abia and the other states of the South-east was ready to become APC controlled state come 2019.
It was hyped since last year that President Muhammadu Buhari would grace the rally but he did not come. Rather the President was represented by his senior special assistant on political matters, Gideon Samali, who did not make any speech.
However, the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other national leaders, including the National Vice-Chairman, South-east, Senator Osita Izunaso and his South-west counterpart, Chief Segun Oni as well as the national auditor, George Moghalu.
There was also strong solidarity from across the borders as Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha and former Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, were on hand to support the APC in Abia.
At the Umuahia township stadium where the rally was held, Oyegun welcomed several defectors to APC including four members of the Abia State House of Assembly.
They include Ikedi Ezekwesili (Umunneochi), Theophilus Ugboajah (Ikwuano), Martins Azubuike (Isiala Ngwa North), and Solomon Okogbue (Bende South).
Oil magnate and former governorship aspirant on PDP platform, Chief Uche Ogah, also formerly declared for the APC.
Oyegun said he had been invited to come to Abia since last year and having finally come to see things for himself he was convinced that Abia is now ready for APC.”
“We have seen; we are satisfied,” he said, adding that he would hold the “APC stars” responsible if the party fails to produce the next governor of Abia come 2019.
The APC national chairman acknowledged that Nigerians are passing through hardships under the present dispensation but encouraged people to keep hope alive as according to him there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“There is no question that there is hardship in the land,” he declared, insisting that President Buhari was not unmindful of what Nigerians are passing through hence he has been working hard to find solution to the problems.
“The bad days are coming to an end; the good days are beginning,” Oyegun assured.
Imo State Governor, Okorocha said the 2019 presents a second chance opportunity for Ndigbo to play the kind of politics that would bring them to the mainstream national politics.
“We played bad politics in 2015. Regional politics will do us no good,” he said, adding that “every Igbo man should join APC.”
Former Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, who is now the leader of the party in the state, vowed that he would put “everything I have to make this state APC,” adding that after scoring less than six per cent votes in 2015 APC was now in good stead to rake in 75 per cent of the votes come 2019.
He said: “Nobody in this state (Abia) can do anything” to stop APC from taking over the state in 2019.
Earlier, the state Chairman, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, said the APC is witnessing fast growth in Abia and “we have determined to make Abia truly God’s own state.”
To capture Abia State government, Nwankpa said that APC would take its campaign to every Abia home without indulging in hate speech.
He also demanded more federal government presence in the as well as “more reasonable” federal appointments for Abia people.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accuse the APC of taking Nigerians for a ride by behaving as if their sufferings and predicament did not matter.
The party described the APC mega rally held in Umuahia as “the height of disdain, insensitivity and insult of the ruling party to the plight and predicaments of Nigerians under their misrule.”