From Okey Sampson, Aba
Political associates of former governor and eminent businessman, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu are optimistic that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would win the 2019 elections in Abia State and have, therefore, resolved to work towards achieving it.
The political associates made the resolve at the weekend during a meeting with the former governor at his country home, Igbere, Abia State.
The pioneer chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Chief Tony Ukasanya said with the coming of Kalu into APC, those who made Abia politics thick were back in the same fold.
“OUK made many people in Abia politics and I’m happy those people are now in APC. Going by the calibre of men and women we now have in APC in Abia, what is needed is little work for us to win the state in 2019,” he said.
Senators Chris Adighije and Bob Nwanunu said PDP in Abia was dead and buried, stressing that over the years, the party had been winning elections through massive rigging which they said there would be no room for in 2019.
While condemning the last local government election which they described as a sham, the two senators said by joining the APC, Kalu had put the party in a pole position to win the next election in the state.
A member of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Sam Nkire said it took some of them time to convince Kalu to join the APC because they knew the immense contribution the former governor, whom he described as a political Iroko, would bring to the party.
“Now that we have someone like OUK in our fold, APC has advantage in the state, and we should work hard enough to take Abia from PDP in the next election. APC is in charge in Nigeria, we should not be afraid in Abia, we should work like those who are in charge,” he said.
A former secretary to the state government (SSG), Chief Ralph Egbu, who described Kalu as a man who made heroes in many families in the state, said with the former governor joining APC, the alternative Abians have been waiting for had come.
Egbu said he had no doubt in his mind that APC would take over the state in 2019.
APC South-East zonal women leader, Sally Chinedu; state chairman of APC, Donatus Nwamkpa; Chiefs Ben Kalu, Obioma Acho, Nnamdi Irom Kalu, K.C Ugboaja, Emeka Atuma, Benedict Godson and Princewill Ukaegbu, all spoke glowingly about Kalu and expressed joy that he joined APC.
They were optimistic with the calibre of men and women in Abia APC, the party would produce the next governor in 2019.
The meeting which venue was filled to capacity set up a committee to organise a mega rally in the state to be attended by President Muhammadu Buhari where Kalu and all his political associates would publicly join APC and be formerly received by the state chapter of the party.
Many of Kalu’s political associates, including Chief Emeka Atumah, declared interest to join the APC, which they said would be formalised during the mega rally.
Kalu, while acknowledging the fact that APC would win the state in 2019, however, said politics should no longer be played in the state capital, but at the various political wards.
“I assure you that what we have set out for ourselves today is quite achievable, but we should not concentrate our politics at the state capital; we must move to our various wards and talk to our people so they will give us their votes.”
He urged APC members to eschew politics of bitterness and impunity which he said “is the reason the PDP is in crisis today” and promised to work towards the success of the party.