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Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
With less than a week to the local government election in Abia State, political activities have concentrated in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) as opposition camp rues their participation.
The apparent “weakness” of the opposition in the run up to the council poll has emboldened Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to declare that the ruling party would inflict humiliating defeat on the opposition challengers.
The ruling party formally launched its campaign for the council poll barely 72 hours ago at a ‘mega rally’ in Umuahia during which Ikpeazu presented the party flags to the 17 chairmanship and vices chairmanship candidates running on PDP tickets.
The Abia State Independent Electoral Commission(ABSIEC) has said that seven political parties would participate in the December 18 poll, including the two major opposition parties – the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
While the ruling PDP is upbeat in its preparation, the opposition appear to be unsure of their participation having been expressing reservation over the actions of the electoral umpire including the disqualification of some opposition candidates.
But Ikpeazu told his party faithful that converged on the events centre for the campaign rally that his administration had performed well enough to guarantee PDP success in the forthcoming poll.
He charged the candidates to work harder and make a clean sweep of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the forthcoming poll, adding that the opposition parties were already shivering because of their impending defeat.
All the party leaders from zonal to state levels who spoke at the rally expressed optimism on the readiness of the ruling party to win the council poll comprehensively.
Meanwhile Governor Ikpeazu has continued the campaign for the council poll in a series of tweets in his official tweeter handle, @GovernorIkpeazu, saying that the election was “a popularity contest” for his administration.
Alluding to unprecedented number of young men and women running on the tickets of the ruling party for various positions in the council poll, Ikpeazu said it was a demonstration of their “unwavering faith in our youths”.
According to him, his government had made deliberate efforts to empower Abia youths by giving them political positions at the grassroots in order to prepare future leadership roles at higher levels.