By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Leaders of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are in upbeat mood that President Muhammadu Buhari would post a good performance in Abia State in the 2019 poll as “the ground has been watered well enough for good harvest of votes.”
In the 2015 general election, Buhari performed abysmally and could not even get the minimum 25 per cent of the total votes cast in Abia during the presidential poll. But the governorship flag bearer of APC in Abia, Chief Ikechi Emenike told journalists yesterday that this time around Buhari’s popularity had soared in Abia so much so that he had become the candidate to beat in the 2019 presidential poll.
Emenike, who is very strong ally of Mr. President, had carried out extensive campaigns for him, penetrating the grassroots, telling the people that the South-east stood to benefit more by standing with Buhari and ensuring that their votes would be very conspicuous in his “victory basket”.
It was a hectic campaign tours for Emenike and his team as they made sure they reached all the 17 local governments before the deadline expired for presidential campaigns. Their whistle stop campaigns was capped on Thursday with a rally at the huge lawn in his country home at Okpuala Umukabia in Umuahia local government where thousands of party faithful gathered in solidarity with Mr. President.
At the rally a specially selected 10-man team of mobilisers for each of the 184 electoral wards in Abia were ‘energised’ for the task ahead to ensure that every eligible voter with permanent voter card (PVC) was encouraged to come out and vote on Saturday.
Emenike reminded the party supporters during the campaign visits of the imperative need to vote for Buhari on Saturday, noting that the people of South-east zone could not afford to be on the fringe when they should be in the mainstream of national politics.
Meanwhile the state chapters of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) have all teamed up with APC to ensure a resounding victory for Mr. President having been adopted by the opposition parties.
To seal the cooperation and partnership former state executives and state chairmen led by Lawrence Irokansi were on hand at the rally to pledge their support or President Buhari and vowed to work assiduously for his victory in Abia.
Last minute defectors numbering over 2,000 from different political parties were received into APC with the state party chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe assuring that the interest of the new comers would be adequately protected in the APC family.