Posted by Agwu Okojogho, Umuahia | 3 April 2015 | 3,145 times
Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has embarked on aggressive mobilisation of the electorate for the April 11 2015 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
Chairman of Abia PDP, Senator Emma Nwaka, who disclosed this to News Express in his office in Umuahia yesterday, maintained that PDP has the best gubernatorial candidate, ruling out a bandwgon effect on the Abia electorate by the result of the March 28 polling.
“You know Nigerians are becoming very sophisticated. Most of the time, you discover that it is not party that they vote as such. They look at the candidates you have presented for election. Here in Abia State, I think we have the best candidate for the gubernatorial seat, that is Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. So there is no doubt in my mind that the Abia electorate will embrace him,” Nwaka said while dismissing fears that emergence of President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of APC would influence voting during the April 11 polls.
He said that the party was not leaving anything to chance in its preparation for the governorship and House of Assembly polls which the party won 100 per cent in 2011.
“The moment we concluded the Presidential/National Assembly elections, I called my team and we went back to work, preparing for April 11. Even though Abians have kept faith with us by voting PDP all the way actually; even though we posted poor result for Mr. President here, I have no doubt in my mind that come April 11, they will also vote PDP, but we want to make sure that we really galvanise the people, tell them the importance of exercising their franchise because that is their real power.
“So, we are appealing to people to come out. As we are talking now, our canvassers are all over the place, trying to see what we can do to change the trend (poor turnout),” he said.
Baring his mind on the outcome of the Presidential/National Assembly polls, Nwaka said that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s emergence left him dumbfounded as he was hopeful that President Goodluck Jonathan would win.
“On the 28th of March, the Presidential election took place. We knew it was going to be a tight one but my first reaction when the results started tumbling in was that of disbelief because we in the PDP had worked extremely very hard and we have a performing President who has done very well on the job. Our expectation was that we will carry the day but things turned out the way they did. I salute the President for his maturity in conceding defeat,” he remarked.
“But my further reaction is that this is one election with two different rules because when you are starting a game, every participant should be aware of the rules and we should be consistent in applying those rules. So, a situation where it will appear that some people took advantage of the second rule that was brought into force when most of us had concluded the assignment here is unacceptable, but I thank God that we have a window in the court to ventilate our grievances and see whether we can get redress,” he added.
Nwake noted that “the card reader was a disaster” as it was responsible for the poor number of votes posted by Abia. About 1.3 million persons were registered in Abia but only about 400,000 accredited in the last election.
“I remember having to go looking for a methylated spirit in my community for people to wipe their hands with before the thing started recognising and I know that so many people walked away following the difficulties they encountered during the accreditation process. I wish that Prof. Attahiru Jega had announced ab initio that manual accreditation should be applied. But now down here, they frustrated us with this card reader thing, you noticed that even Mr. President’s thumb print could not be read by the card reader.
“In fact, the exercise as far as I am concerned, is a disaster. But what can we do? This country, like the President said, is bigger than every person and his ambition is not worth any person losing his life for,” he said.
He enjoined those who lost at the polls to follow due process by going to the tribunals to seek redress rather than heating up the polity by organising protests as was being witnessed in Abia.
•Photo shows Nwaka.
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