Senate Minority Leader and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has warned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Abia State Chapter that they cannot stop him from contesting and winning Abia State Governor in 2023.
News Echo reports that Abia PDP announced that the governorship position in the state has been zoned to Abia Central and Abia North Districts, a decision which completely ruled out Abaribe who hails from Abia South District.
Reacting, Abaribe described the party’s decision as a huge joke, warning that such decisions are undemocratic, a joke, unacceptable and capable of ruining the chances of PDP come 2023.
In his words, “All that they’ve just tried to do is to stop Enyinnaya Abaribe and say that Abia South Senatorial Zone will not be part of what they’re doing and I’ve said to everyone who cares to know is that what they did is unconstitutional, against our party rules and against the goodwill of the people of Abia State and it’s a joke.”
He said that the announcements by the PDP in Abia will never deter him from moving on with his governorship ambition as his people are in the field, he is in the field and he is still going around doing his consultation from one Local Government to another and talking to Abia People, telling them that it is in their hands to change the direction of the state has been moving.
Abaribe said that Abia people cannot let a few people sit somewhere and now bring people to lead them anymore and urged his supporters to ignore the purported zoning, stressing that he is still in the race and is not against any form of zoning, but will rather prefer zoning that takes consideration of capacity, capability and competency of the aspirants.
“I’m not against zoning. I agree with zoning but I’m only saying that rather than do geographical zoning which has not led us anywhere, rather than do clockwise and anti-clockwise zoning so that you go and get somebody who’s not prepared for office, you should zone for competence, zone for integrity, capability and capacity.
“Since all parts of Abia has done the geographical zoning that has brought us to this sorry path where nobody is very happy with Abia at the moment, it’s time to zone with capacity and I’m the person with that capacity. So, I don’t have any problem with that.”
Abaribe said it is unfortunate that while technology has improved, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) grow into the electronic transmission of votes, some political leaders in Abia still believe they can handpick who will be Governor in the state.
He warned Abia PDP that at every point that the party has tried imposition against the will of the people, all it usually gets is a loss to the opposition. He called on the leadership of Abia PDP to realize that the interest of PDP today both national and state level is to win elections.
“You have to bring people who are ready to serve. People who are prepared not another reluctant person to force on Abians. What they did is a joke, how do you zone to two Senatorial Zone? It doesn’t happen.
“There was no caucus meeting, no consultation anywhere about all these. The time for all these types of things has passed. We’re now on the brink of a big change in Nigeria.
“This type of thing they did in Abia now had happened in many other states and it made PDP lose those states. Happened in Benue, when the current Governor who later defected to PDP was frozen out.
“It happened in Niger, Plateau all about imposition. It happened in Bayelsa and we lost. It was by the grace of God that someone had a problem with his papers and we got that state back.”
“You cannot go to a serious election with people who cannot win. We’re sounding a note of warning to PDP in the state, do not toy with the fortune of PDP in Abia.
“They must realize that there are machines now for election. We saw it in Anambra State, Edo State and others recent. Nobody can rig an election and go somewhere to write results again. It’ll never happen again.”
He said that comes 2023, what a party that wants to win will bring out not just a credible candidate but a popular candidate that can take every part of the state.
Abaribe warned that nobody can boast to say they will wait again and something behind, adding that there are changes everywhere that will never permit that kind of thing.
“Nobody can do anything behind because time had made changes everywhere. Nobody is the Lord and Master to choose for us. If anybody like the way Abia is today and the person is comfortable with it, he or she has the right to continue to vote for people who are going to be part of that same type of status quo.
“If you don’t like it, if you want Abia to be like other states where our people are now running to stay, then you have to make a different choice. There’s something all Abia People should know. It’s beyond the competence of PDP in Abia, Obingwa and Ohafia to make such a decision. They’re merely doing some over-reach.
“I’m telling you that the National party has the authority to sell and screen governorships candidates. It has nothing to do with the people in the state.
“Whatever they’re doing in the state, LGA and wards have nothing to do with the rights of anybody that’s recognized by the PDP that has bought his forms, canvassed for votes not to appear in the field and seek to be elected.”
He however described the purported zoning as a distraction one gets whenever he is running for an election which he only needs to push aside and continue going his way.
“I’ll continue with my move and let everybody come out and taste themselves. The only screening is the one that’ll be done by the national party.
“People should ignore these people. Nobody should be worried. I’m the best man for the job. Nobody can push me behind. I’m the sword of war of the entire Igboland and I’m not going back on this.”