Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The victory recorded last weekend by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Anambra State governorship poll reverberated in Abia State yesterday with the state leader of the party, Mr. Alex Otti, vowing to reproduce the feat in 2019.
Otti gave the assurance at a victory rally put together in Umuahia by the Abia State chapter of APGA to celebrate the renewal of the mandate of the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Willie Obiano, who is the only state governor on APGA platform.
The former banker, who received over 400 PDP defectors from Obingwa Local Government Area before addressing the rally, said the outcome of the 2017 governorship poll in Anambra State has rekindled the hope of APGA in Abia State and the South-east in general.
Explaining the significance of Obianoâ€™s victory, Otti said: â€œAPGA has special place in our hearts, as it represents the political launch pad upon which we can chart a new course and turn around our socio-political and economic fortunes if we properly utilise the beautiful opportunity which APGA provides.â€
Specifically the former Diamond bank boss who was APGAâ€™s governorship standard bearer in Abia State in 2015 noted that the people in the state must follow the footsteps of their brethren in Anambra State by using their votersâ€™ cards to take their destiny into their own hands.
â€œTo us in Abia State, it was an emotional victory, just as it was monumental and record breaking.
â€œWe must draw inspiration from this and show greater determination to change the Abia State political narratives for the better.â€
Alluding to the forthcoming 2019 governorship poll in Abia, Otti charged his fellow Abians and all residents of the â€˜Godâ€™s own stateâ€™ â€œnot to wait for our situation to become irredeemable before we look for a solution.
â€œTherefore let every Abia State resident here today realise that to break the jinx of underdevelopment ravaging Abia State. We must show an extraordinary kind of altruism, think outside the box and do something extraordinary for the good of our state and our people.â€
Otti did not leave anybody in doubt that he was ready to take another shot at Government House in Umuahia in 2019
â€œOn my side, I want to assure you that the burning desire to replicate and even surpass the Anambra State leadership example in Abia State is very much alive, hence the need for all of us to remain optimistic, committed and steadfast in our quest to herald Abia State of our dream, as thatâ€™s the only way my lofty leadership vision for Abia can be actualised.â€
The secretary to Anambra State Government (SSG), Professor Solomon Chukwulobelu, who represented Obiano at the rally, told the gathering of APGA faithful in Abia State that the partyâ€™s victory was not for Anambra State alone as it was indeed for the entire Ndigbo.
He said Anambra State people have demonstrated that a people could shake off the shackles of suffering after a time, adding that the state was hitherto bogged down with â€œbad governance of PDPâ€ before APGA took over the administration of the state.