A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Abia, Charles Ogbonna, says the zoning of the 2023 governorship slot to two senatorial districts portends doom for the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the party strangely zoned the slot to both Abia Central and North Senatorial Districts, simultaneously.
Ogbonna said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia that the zoning arrangement would reverse the party’s political fortunes in the state.
He said: “The zoning of the governorship by PDP has raised some undesirable dust in the state for some time now.
“Today, PDP has become a house of commotion, where things are not working well.
“The way things are going today, they will destroy the party. My fear is the consequence of such actions.
“Calculating the voting pattern of Abia electorate, it means that the unexpected is going to happen.”
“The consequence will be for people to join the opposition.
“In a situation, where somebody does what he likes, then the people will engage in protest votes during the elections.”
He said that prominent members of PDP in the state, including the former Senate President, Sen. Adolphus Wabara, former NDDC Chairman, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, and former Secretary to the State Government, Dr Eme Okoro, had separately spoken in favour of power shift to Abia north.
Ogbonna, who claimed to have joined PDP in 1998, said, “the party belongs to all of us and I have greater stake than most of those behind the controversial zoning.”
He threatened that the intention behind the PDP zoning pattern to facilitate the emergence of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s kinsman from the Ngwa axis of Abia central would be sabotaged.
He cautioned those supporting the emergence of another Ngwa man to succeed Ikpeazu to remember the true result of the 2015 governorship election and voting pattern across the various sections of the state.
The PDP chieftain, therefore, advised other political parties, especially the All Progressives Congress and All Progressives Grand Alliance, to ensure they nominated their candidates from Abia north.
He recalled that the governorship position in the state had rotated in sequence, beginning from Abia north in 1999 with former Gov. Orji Kalu.
“After Abia north, power shifted to Abia Central with Sen. Theodore Orji, and later, it went to Abia South Senatorial District.
“Power has rotated on the basis of senatorial districts in Abia as in other states and all the districts have enjoyed good relationship,” he said.
He said that following the sequence, a meeting of the defunct Bende bloc “insisted that power must shift to Abia north, where it began in 1999”.
Ogbonna, a former Commissioner under Ikpeazu, said that Abia people were not happy with the present administration because of the appalling state of infrastructure.
He said that the state lacks basic infrastructure and social amenities, arguing that Umuahia, the capital city, “looks like a glorified village”.
He expressed worry that Ebonyi, which was carved out of Abia in 1991, “has overtaken Abia”, given its massive infrastructure development.
According to him, those politicians paying solidarity visits to Ikpeazu are political jobbers, sycophants and praise-singers.
“They are simply hungry and looking for patronage because there is no single project going on in Abia to warrant such visits,” he said.
Ogbonna, who reportedly poured libation in his house, while praying that power would never go back to the Ngwa bloc, said the action was in line with his belief and conviction.
“I am a traditionalist and I believe in pouring libation. I believe in my ancestors and it has been working for me.
“I believe that the small, small gods do errands for the big God.
“Libation is a way of asking god to do something for me. It is left for it to do it or not.
“This was not the first time I had poured libation. Libation is a way of life. It does not mean I do not go to Church,” he said.
He further reacted to the backlash that greeted the action, saying: “I did it when Okezie was contesting election to become governor in 2015, nobody protested and he won.
“I also poured libation when the suit challenging his election got to the Supreme Court, yet nobody protested and he won,” Ogbonna said.