The Abia State Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu has said that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, remains the party to beat in the state and would defeat the opposition All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and its counterpart, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2019 general elections.
Oko Chukwu, who stated this in an interview with Vanguard, explained that the PDP is the only party firmly rooted in all the 184 political wards of the state, stressing that with the return of some chieftains of the party who defected to opposition during the 2015 election, the coast is clear for the PDP in 2019. Describing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as a bridge builder who does not practice politics with bitterness, Oko Chukwu enjoined members of the opposition to heed the governor’s call to join hands and build the state.
The deputy governor, who was a former speaker of the State Assembly, said the PDP in Abia remains a big family, even as he described those who defected to the opposition in 2015 as men who took ‘decision in the heat of anger’ and made mistakes’.
He said, “We don’t have opposition capable of dislodging the PDP in Abia state. I don’t want to mention names but which of the parties can stand the PDP? Abia is a PDP state; there is no other party here. In Abia, opposition parties only exist to make up the number. Some people who are making noise in other parties are members of the PDP who left as a result of the fallout of the 2015 party primaries.”
He went further to say:
“They took their decision at the heat of anger and men who take such decisions are bound to always make mistakes. Despite the fall out of the primaries, PDP is still one big family with its structures intact and firmly rooted across the 17 local government areas of the state. The issue of questioning the chances of the PDP in the 2019 general elections is just asking questions for asking sake. PDP’s chances are bright as always. You can see that some of our members who left for the opposition are now retracing their steps back to the party. In 2011, we returned 100%; Presidency, governorship, 3 senatorial, 8 House of Representatives and 24 State House of Assembly seats. In 2019, PDP is set to repeat the feat. In 2015, we lost some ground, but you can see that some of our members who left for the opposition are now retracing their steps back to the party.”