•Royal fathers endorse gov’s re-election Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in continuation of his administration’s “One community, one project” scheme, has handed over cheques of N5 million each to another batch of 171 autonomous communities. These communities have met the requirements for the release of funds to carry out development projects of their choice….
• TA Orji holding Ikpeazu in bondage, says Kalu
From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia and Christopher Oji
The All Progressives Congress (APC), literally shut Abia State yesterday with a mega rally, which was one of its kind in recent times.
At the grand rally, which took place at the Umuahia Township Stadium, the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, said he saw Abia ready to join APC and support President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his second term aspiration in 2019.
Oyegun said he was satisfied that Abia has repented to become an APC state, in order to run away from the bondage holding the people.
“I want to say we are satisfied with what we have seen here today. These people here, who cast the votes, are the greatest dignitaries and they have asked me to tell Buhari that he must run and win in 2019. I will pass that message to him. You have also told me that Abia is in bondage and that APC should take over, we shall do that,” Oyegun assured.
The party chairman told Abians that the president is always working to rebuild Nigeria, and that very soon, the rail system will start working. “I can assure you that the president is doing that now because any nation that does not operate a rail system cannot go far. Until we have a workable rail system, this nation cannot have a good development,” he said.
He said Buhari is doing well in electricity supply and agriculture, to the extent that the rice which “we ate this year was produced in Nigeria. Bad days are coming to an end, good days are beginning,” Oyegun said.
Speaking on the occasion, leader of the party in the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, said Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is in bondage of Theodore Orji, the former governor and pleaded with him to release Ikpeazu from bondage to enable him work for the people of Abia State.
He said when he was governor, Abia State University was getting subvention as well as Abia State Polytechnic, College of Education, Arochukwu and College of Health Technology, Aba.
“All those things have ceased because Governor Ikpeazu is in bondage of Theodore Orji.”
Kalu promised that when APC takes over the state, “we shall bring back free education which this government has scrapped.”
The former governor said democracy is about the people and not about an individual.
“I will put in everything I have to make sure APC takes over Abia State in 2019. I welcome all members of House of Assembly who have joined APC today. I assure you that nobody will touch you or look for a way to impeach you; if they do, they will see the federal might because the president does not support militancy.”
APC state Chairman, Donatus Nwankpa, said: “The state has suffered a lot of degradation. We want to assure proper performance of a government that will be there for you at all times. We cannot continue to take back seat; we are determined to make Abia State a truly God’s own state, and we shall say no to any form of rigging, but shall not be drawn into any form of hate speeches. We commend the president to have, within one year, taken Nigeria out of recession, but, we are demanding more of federal presence,” Nwankpa said.
The party’s National Vice Chairman, South East, Emmanuel Onyeukwu, said holding the rally was a good omen for APC in the state.
“We are doing it because of the unity that is holding us together. We in the South East decided to give the president support because he will allow the presidency to come to South East in 2023. We are determined to give large number of votes to him in 2019, and it is clear that an Igbo man will become the president in 2023. This is the time for us to ensure that we achieve our heart desire, and we shall take this rally to other states after today,” he said.
Sullivan Chime, former governor of Enugu State said he was in PDP for 16 years, “begging for our roads to be done for us. For eight years as a governor, I was among the delegation that went to Aso Villa for them to build our roads to no avail.
“Today, it is a different story that the roads are being done at the same time. APC government means well, no matter the campaign of calumny being carried about by PDP. I am here to identify with our people in Abia and to tell them that APC is the only party that tells us the truth all the time. PDP’s engine has knocked and APC is now the only moving car. APC is the party Igbo have decided to join. We are returning Nigeria to a comity of nations,” Chime said.
Iheanacho Obioma, who was the chairman of the Organising Committee thanked all who made the rally a success, while stating that it was a proof that the party is on ground “contrary to comments being made by detractors.”
The high point of the rally was the parading of important dignitaries in the party and others who defected from other parties, by the National Organising Secretary, Chief Osita Izunaso, who called out to the podium personalities like Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief B.B. Apugo, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, Dr. C.C. Okwuonu, Chief Martins Azubuike and many others.
Other personalities who attended the rally include, Owelle Rocahas Okorocha, Dr. Uche Ogah, Dr. Mark Nwagbara, D.I.G.Azubuike Udah, former speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly and Stanley Ohajuruka, among others
Meanwhile, presiding Bishop of Happy Family Mission, Bishop Charles Ighele, yesterday charged President Buhari, to shun politics and abort his journey to Abia in the mean time, especially in the wake of the recent killings in Benue State.
Ighele was reacting to media reports that the president and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo, were billed to attend a political rally in Abia State today.