Abia State coordinator of Buhari/Osinbajo Mandate group (BOMG), Mr. Onyedi Okwulehie, speaks on President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election, saying that Buhari’s integrity and good intentions for the country was his selling point during the election.
What is your take on the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly elections?
Let me start by commending the leadership and members of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) for a successful outing during the historic poll. As the scion of the late Chief Sam Okwulehie political family of Abia State, the outcome of the election shows that Buhari’s acceptance cuts across all the regions.
But he did not win the South –East, what have you to say on that?
No, but the APC did well in the South East despite the fact that a faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo rebuffed the APC presidential candidate for their selfish reasons. Let me seize this opportunity to thank the APC in the South East and Abia State in particular for believing in the vision of Mr. President to take Nigeria to the next level of development. I want to also commend the Board Chairman and Director-General of BOMG, Dr. Sani A. Abdallah and the Secretary cum administrative Director, Pastor Sam Ugochukwu for doing a good job.
In spite of the propaganda mounted by the opposition PDP to blackmail the ruling party and deceive the electorate, Nigerians made their choice. So it is gratifying that the Nigerian people spoke with one voice irrespective of tribe or religion to return President Buhari for another term in office.
We are emboldened by the approval and commendations from the international community of the electoral process, which they described as credible. Since the announcement and declaration of Buhari as winner, world leaders have continued to send their congratulatory messages, and prominent on the long list is the USA, Britain, China, Russia, South Africa among others, that it is a validation of the election against the backdrop of opposition claims.
We hear that some APC leaders in Abia State compromised during the February 23 elections. How true is that?
On that, I want to appeal to the party’s hierarchy to investigate the activities of some chieftains of the APC in the state, who allegedly connived with the PDP government to suppress APC votes in their various Local Government Areas. Having said that, this Saturday’s governorship election is a referendum on maladministration in the state, I therefore call on our party leaders to put in place concrete measures to checkmate the PDP rigging machine, as past experience has shown that the party usually use the back door to climb to power in the state against the wish of the electorate. The votes for Buhari in Abia State were in excess of the 40 percent mark, but for the obvious betrayal by some party leaders.
I want to call on APC leaders to unite and work together to deliver the governorship candidate and other candidates of the party in the interest of the suffering masses, I particularly appealing to our party chieftains of Ukwa-Ngwa origin to be good party men and women. I’m calling on APC leaders to consider the plight of the suffering masses in Abia and forge a common front to take back our state and reposition it on the path of greatness.
Hardship does not discriminate; neither does it recognise ethnic tribe or party affiliations. The hardship the PDP government visited on the people of Abia is unbearable and calls for concern. We are talking of a government that is insensitive, that does not pay workers salaries and pensions running into several months, in spite of the bailout funds and Paris Club refund. There is also the monthly federation allocation, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and other intervention funds available to the state, yet there is nothing to show for it.
It is a shame that Abia State is now a laughing stock among its peers to the point that the state government could not start and complete a flyover after four years in office, whereas Ebonyi State with no oil revenue has built and commissioned three number standard flyovers in record time. So, this election is about the future of Abia.