By Andrew Ani
March 2023 is still one year away; but one can already feel that the governorship race in Enugu state will be different from all previous ones.
The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is at its lowest ebb since 1999 when it captured the state like a trophy.
On the streets today, you could hear the hushed voices of the masses lamenting the government’s malfeasances. From massive corruption, visionlessness and sheer incompetence to nepotism, pomposity and self-centered elitism, the ruling party is tarred beyond redemption, in the masses’ minds.
The recent Local Government elections in the state was a strong signal that PDP is on its way down. And possibly, out. That leading members of the party, including serving and past senators, commissioners and honourables, were caught on video physically distributing money and supervising election rigging at their wards in order for the party to secure its so-called victory at the polls was the height of ridicule the masses have yet subjected the party and its power drunk lords to.
In the past, Enugu PDP top men would sit down in their homes and instruct the people on what to do. Today, the people are waking up to the fact that Ndi Enugu are nobody’s slaves; the pride of Igbo land can never be perpetually enslaved by gluttonous taskmasters. One day, something has to give. The lion is sure going to wake up from its sleep one day soon! That one day is around the corner. It looks like it will come in March 2023.
Of all the opposition parties in the state, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) looks to be the best positioned to benefit from PDP’s rejection by Ndi Enugu.
Again, judging by the Local Government elections, the people have shown APGA clearly that if it is ready, they are ready. The genuine votes from the people for APGA that the partial and compromised Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (which, by the way, has long been known to be an appendage of PDP in the state) could not throw away, despite all efforts to muscle out opposition, were a clear testimony to the love of the people for the APGA party in the state.
APGA might have been rigged out of that election, but the people showed their hands and intention. If indeed the dawn foretells the morning, APGA appears to be onto something grand in 2023.
But, the party must gird its loins, open its eyes and guard its house with great wisdom and might. Indeed, APGA’s trap is about to catch an antelope; but, the party must not go to sleep.
New defectors from PDP are joining the APGA train with a view to contesting for party tickets for coming elections. The Enugu APGA’s sun is rising, no doubt. But, caution and wisdom are what the party leadership need in good measure. The party has travelled a road similar to this before. In 2015 (after the end of the second term of His Excellency, Governor Sullivan Chime) and in 2019 (when the current governor just finished his 1st term), APGA was a darling of the people who wanted a new deal and a fresh beginning.
But what happened?
PDP read the handwriting on the wall and characteristically infiltrated, compromised and weakened the party. APGA primaries were hijacked by the PDP moles and the party tickets went to people who eventually found it a thing of joy to sell out.
Sure, APGA has travelled this road before.
Some of these latter day PDP defectors have been, one way or another, strategic pillars in the schemes of the party defecating on the people for most of these past 23 years. They have been part of the gluttonous party that has puked on the people after gobbling the resources meant to improve the state. They have benefitted greatly from the malfeasances of the ruling party and their current material fortunes can be largely traced to the sinful exploitation of state powers since 1999 to date.
So, to anyone who is not politically naïve, the current wave of defection of tainted PDP actors to APGA is to be seen for what it really is. They could not have chosen to come at this point in time with the objective of making the APGA house rosier, stronger and livelier. Rather, their mission, as in past such defections, is to smear the APGA flag with the feaces on their hands and the remnants of the puke drooling from their mouths. Like we have seen in the past election cycles, defection by PDP closet strategists to APGA when critical elections are near always has one objective: to compromise and weaken APGA by taking its election tickets and offering next to nothing competition to the ruling party on election day.
This strategy has been used by PDP in the past to perpetrate its cycle of misrule and same is being perfected now. Mazi Ndubuisi Elechi Onyia, the entire APGA State Exco and all well-meaning lovers of APGA in Enugu State cannot afford to fall into this trap once again!
Why is it that every time APGA fills its cup with palm wine for Ndi Enugu to taste and appreciate its difference, PDP will always unleash flies to perch on the drink and make it unfit for consumption? Why? APGA, Shine your eyes o!!
Andrew Ani is the Publicity Secretary of The Patriots for Restoration of Integrity to Enugu State (PRIEST) Group
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