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March 9 guber: PDP still holds ace in Enugu State

IN Enugu State, the outcome of the rescheduled February 23, 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections has further boosted the morale of the candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi ahead of the March 9 gubernatorial poll in the State, while dampening the spirit of other gubernatorial candidates including the main rival, All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ayogu Eze whose party has been ridden with crisis for quite some time.

Prior to the presidential and NASS polls result, a coalition of governorship candidates, except Senator Eze, had collapsed their structures into PDP umbrella in the state, pledging their loyalty to the incumbent.

Also, there were debates in some quarters on how the outcome of forthcoming governorship election will be if the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, is re-elected and some NASS positions go to APC and other political parties in the State.

But, all is now history as the PDP which has been in control of political structures at all levels in the state since the inception of the 4th republic, won all the National Assembly seats, re-affirming that indeed, Enugu is a stronghold of PDP.

However, Governor Ugwaunyi who many have tipped to return to the Lion Building, Government House, Enugu overwhelmingly, seems not to be taking anything for granted as he continued his door-to-door campaign on Tuesday, visiting Obinagu Uwani Akpugo community in Nkanu West Local Government Area to woo voters.

While displaying the PDP Logo (Umbrella), Ugwuanyi thanked the people of the State for their support and peaceful conduct during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

He urged them to come out en masse on March 9 to vote for the candidates of the party, proclaiming that the election will surely end in praise.

Earlier, the Director of Communication, PDP Campaign Organisation, Nana Ogbodo, had noted, “The overwhelming victory recorded by our candidates in the state is yet a bold reaffirmation of the electorates’ strong belief in the PDP’s people-friendly policies. It is particularly heartwarming that such remarkable victory was attained in spite of the apparent voter disillusionment following the postponement of the general election someone week earlier.”

“We hereby urge the good people of our dear state to demonstrate yet an even greater enthusiasm during the crucial March 9 Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, by turning out in large numbers to re-elect our hardworking governor, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, if only to underscore our collective appreciation for his intense commitment and sacrifices which have impacted the lives of the citizenry of this great state in many great ways; and indeed every other candidate of the PDP for the House of Assembly elections.

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“We assure the public that our amiable governor would continue to remain committed to the cherished ideals of democracy, including a truly inclusive government, as well as implementing policies that will continue to usher in immense developments across the state. Enugu State is indeed in the hands of God!”

While the PDP is optimistic of victory at the Mach 9 governorship election, APC, the main opposition political party in the state appears to be in a dilemma as two persons are still fighting for the same slot.

The former Senate Committee Chairman on Works, Ayogu Eze and George Ohara, a legal practitioner, are laying claim to the party’s candidacy for the gubernatorial election.

On February 5, the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja and presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo annulled the primary that produced Eze as APC gubernatorial candidate.

The court which held that Eze was not the rightful candidate that emerged from the party’s October 4 direct primary, held in Enugu, ruled that Ogara, who filed the suit, was the rightful candidate that won the primary.

Although the Court had declared Ogara as the authentic flag bearer of APC, the national leadership of the party insisted that Senator Eze remains their candidate for the poll.

As it is, both Ogara and Eze are campaigning ahead of the governorship election apparently creating further disharmony and confusion in APC flank in the state to the advantage of the PDP.

To many people in Coal City, the APC might have seen the handwriting on the wall, hence they cried foul over the last Saturday’s presidential and NASS elections, alleging that the polls were characterized with irregularities in the State.

The APC State Chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye, in a press conference in Enugu, alleged among others, that some ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) compromised during the polls.

Ironically, many electorates in the state felt disillusioned and angry over the defeat of their preferred presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, expressing worries over the future of democracy in the country.

Some of the aggrieved voters even threatened not to come out to exercise their civic responsibility on March 9, as they said that it was not necessary for them to be part of a process where their votes will not count.

Investigations revealed that what is working for the PDP governor is the introduction of inclusiveness in his government, humility as well as people-oriented policies he had embarked upon which brought the main power bloc, various interest groups and large segment of the people to support his re-election bid irrespective of political inclination.

The re-elections of the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and Dr Chimaroke Nnamani for Enugu-West and Enugu-East Senatorial Zones, respectively, had further brightened the coast for the re-election bid of Governor Ugwuanyj as these political gladiators from the same PDP stable, who have cult following in their zones, will not also want to alter the gubernatorial zonal treaty entered by the founding fathers of the state.

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