From Okey Sampson, Aba
All is now set for the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Odigie Oyegun and other bigwigs of the party to Abia State tomorrow for the party’s rally.
Also on the list of APC chieftains to visit Abia, outside members of the National Executive Council (NEC) are, among others, the chairman of Governors’ Forum and Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, former Senate president, Senator Ken Nnamani, former governor of Old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, serving ministers from the South East, immediate past governors of Enugu State, Chief Sullivan Chime and that of Ebonyi State, Chief Martins Elechi.
APC Publicity Secretary in the state, Ben Godson, who disclosed this in a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Umuahia, at the weekend, described the president’s visit as a landmark which would further boost the party’s preparation towards unseating the PDP-led administration in the state in 2019.
He added that erstwhile members of other political parties, including former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, governorship aspirant of PDP in 2015, Dr. Sampson Uche Ogah, former managing director of defunct Hallmark Bank, Chief Marc Wabara, Chief Emeka Wogu, former minister of Labour and Productivity; senator Bob Nwanunu, General Ogbonnaya Okoro (retd), DIG Azubuko Udah (retd); Chinenye Ike, former House of Representatives member and some members of Abia State House of Assembly, among others, who recently joined APC, would be formally received by the president and party leaders.
On zoning of the governorship, he said: “We are not zoning the governorship slot, it is open.
“We want a credible person to emerge. We need change in the state.
“We need a credible and reliable person who can change the life of Abians and develop the state, it doesn’t matter the part of Abia the person is coming from. APC is desirous of change and ensuring that Abia is developed. We want Abians to feel real governance.”
Speaking on the significance of the mega rally, a member of the BoT of the party, Prince Benjamin Benedict Apugo, said apart from using it to sensitise people of the state on APC’s genuine intention to take over power in Abia State, through the ballot, it would also serve as the first visit of national leadership of the party to the state.
“We should expect that the president, if he comes and the national officers that will be coming, are visiting Abia for the first time, because, even during the last electioneering, they could not come because Chief T.A Orji, who was the governor then never wanted APC, including Buhari, to come into Umuahia, my home town, to campaign. But that will not be again.”
Indications that the president might be in Abia State tomorrow emerged last Saturday when a presidential team, led by an army Major, who was believed to be on a surveillance mission, was sighted at the NEYA, Igbere country home of former governor Kalu.
It was gathered that the team came looking for a suitable helipad where the president’s helicopter would possibly land in the state capital or its environs.