*As Obiano, state exco lead Umeh’s campaign train
With just days to the scheduled March 5,2016 Anambra Central senatorial zone rerun election, Gov Willie Obiano, leading other top government and party officials have joined the campaign train of Chief Victor Umeh, the surest hope of their All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party at that level of election in the state ever.
This was despite reported frantic efforts by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively to truncate and reschedule the March 5 date to enable them sort things out within their separate folds.
As varied forces within the PDP were said to be working hard to participate in the rerun, another was striving to have the rerun annulled completely as ‘legally’ unnecessary.
But the APC’s candidate during the March 28 poll, Sen Chris Ngige who is now the Minister for Labour and Employment was reported to be considering coming back to the contest to slug it out with Umeh as the “common headache”- PDP, has been sidelined by the Supreme Court ruling against any party with multiple candidates, whenever a rerun is ordered.
Both PDP and APC appear to see the present set up as unduly favoring Umeh and APGA without any serious political fight.
Also on the campaign train were the national chairman, Chief Victor Oye together with other national officers, the party’s hard-fighting popular House of Representatives member representing Njikoka/Anaocha/Dunukofia constituency, Mr Dozie Nwankwo and the members of the state assembly led by the Speaker, Rita Maduagwu.
Others were staff and executive council members of the twenty-one councils of the state led by the chairman.
Political analysts suspect it was for the rerun election in favour of Umeh who is the immediate past national chairman of the party that the executive councils of the councils whose two-year tenure expired on January 14, 2016 got a contentious extension.
It was argued that since Umeh’s era was the golden moments of the party’s history, having led them to so many legal and brow-beating wars with other parties and candidates in the state, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that it was ideal to bend backwards for him to give him all the support in the coming March 5 rerun poll.
Gov Obiano, while addressing the rally at Enugwu-Ukwu/ Abagana at the weekend expressed implicit confidence that Umeh, just like his efforts at the state so far, would not disappoint the people.
He said it would be the greatest victory of all that their efforts in the last two years would be rewarded with a sweeping senatorial victory for Umeh.
Obiano admitted that all the troubles initially putting a cog in the party’s wheel of progress have been cleared peacefully by God and urged the supporters and citizens of the state to troop out on March 5,2016 to vote APGA massively.
Umeh in his speech urged everyone to pick up their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) on March 5 and patiently follow the procedures and cast their ballot for him under APGA.
He noted that he represented the Igbos, the party and the state well and actively during the 2014 National conference and got all the key issues towards a better Nigeria into the resolutions.
That it would be ideal to go to the Senate to get the confab report implemented for a better Nigeria and more peaceful polity.
He admitted having the conviction that the Senate as a body is anxiously awaiting his arrival, so as to put some positive action and pep into the chambers.
He also vowed not to abandon the new National officers of the party. That He would continue to guide and assist them even from the senate.
Dozie Nwankwo told the rally that APGA presence in the National Assembly would surely bring a significant difference in the political equation and achievements of the state.
He urged the people to support the party all the way, especially now I the coming rerun poll.
Oye prayed for Umeh, who he believe has the greatest opportunity to win a landslide is now, to go to the senate with a record victory margin.
So far, he has visited Idemili North, Njikoka, and Dunukofia. It remains Idemili South, Awka North, Awka South and his home council, Anaocha which may be the last to be visited.
As some of the parties shop around for rescheduling of the date, others reportedly plan even more sinister moves, all in an effort to truncate the stark reality of a landslide, more like a referendum poll for Umeh.
Of all other ‘candidates’, he is the only one campaigning.
From Chuks Collins, Awka