• There’s no such plan, says gov’s aide
• Ekweremadu, Enugu West pray for Buhari
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
Some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, including Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, former national chairman of the party, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor and others, may soon join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Daily Sun has learnt.
Sources revealed that associates of the governor and other PDP chieftains interested in defecting from the PDP have made overtures to APC chieftains in the state on possibility of joining the party.
It was gathered that these associates met with APC bigwigs last week, expressing their intention to join the party, ahead of 2019 general election.
Another meeting on this is said to have been schedule for tomorrow or Thursday, Daily Sun gathered.
“Since the fortunes of APC is going high, we have been receiving intermediaries of those who want to join. I can confirm to you that big names in the state have contacted us, expressing their desire to join APC. The talks are still on. When they are concluded, you will hear more about it,” a competent source in Abia APC revealed.
Publicity Secretary of APC, Chief Ben Godson, neither confirmed nor denied the report when contacted on the development.
He told Daily Sun that the party was like a church where nobody would be driven away if they indicate their interest to come and worship.
According to him, those mentioned were free to join the party. “I can tell you that for now, I don’t know about that, since my chairman does not know about it,” he said.
A source close to Ogbulafor, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that such move may not be ruled out. According to him, “it is already known among a few people and there is a reason for that. You may understand such reasons when events start unfolding,” he said.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ikpeazu, Mr. Enyinnaya Apolos, emphatically said there was nothing like that when contacted.
“I have told you before that there is nothing like that. My principal is not joining another party,” he said.
The ranks of Abia State APC has been swelling with the defection of notable politicians to the party.
Those who had joined the party, in the last couple of years, are former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu; ex-speaker of the state House of Assembly, Stanley Ohajuruka; former secretary to the state government, Chief Ralph Egbo; ex-MD of Hallmark Bank, Marc Wabara.
Others are former chief of staff to former governor, Theodore Orji, Chief Mascot Uzor Kalu, Senator Nkechi Nworgu, ex-chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire; Senator Bob Nwanunu; Senator Chris Adighije and many others.
Meanwhile, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu led constituents of Enugu West senatorial district to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari’s quick recovery.
Said Ekweremadu: “We must always remember that the president of the country is in London for medical treatment. We must pause at every opportunity to remember him in our prayers. This is not about PDP or the All Progressives Congress (APC) or any other party for that matter. He is the president of every Nigerian, irrespective of political divide, ethnicity, and religion. Besides, we are all human and prone to illness.
“It is, therefore, not only our prayer that God in His infinite mercy and grace will heal and bring him back at the earliest possible time to continue to lead this great country, but we also pray for divine vision, wisdom and protection for him at all times. This is the least we owe him as a nation.”
He also proposed a motion, which was unanimously adopted by the gathering, endorsing Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for a second term in office come 2019.
At the weekend, 8,000 people switched camps from some political parties, including the Labour Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu.
In Enugu West, over 5, 000 from the PDP, Labour Party, among others moved to the APC while in Igbo Etiti Local Council, 3, 000 APC members crossed over to the PDP.
The defectors were members of Aku Youth Movement, drawn from the six political wards of the community, out of the 20 wards in Igbo-Etiti. They staged a road-show before declaring for the APC.
Addressing new members, former speaker of Enugu House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh urged them to go on membership drive to bring in more members into the party, saying the era of political hooliganism in the state was gone as Enugu now thrives on politics of knowledge.
Odoh pointed out that his former political party, the PDP, had “problem of impunity and leadership,” and urged the youths to take advantage of the population of their town, the intellectual capacity as the only town in the state which parades over 40 academic professors, in various fields of life, to gain political relevance.