By Chinelo Obogo
With less than a week to the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primaries, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and other party leaders in the state have been advised to be careful with the choice of candidate who will fly the party’s flag in the 2023 general election.
The advice was given in Enugu on Monday by the president of the
Enugu Youth Forum, Cosmas Udeh, while addressing journalists on the outlook of the forthcoming general election.
He said one of the issues which would cause seismic changes in the political arena is the choice of the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
The Enugu Youth Forum leader did not mention the name of the PDP aspirant he was refering to, but many people feel he was referring to a former federal legislator who is from Isiuzo Local Government Area in Enugu East senatorial zone.
“Enugu State can be called the PDP home in the South East because there has not been any major threat to the party’s dominance since the return of democratic rule in 1999 but things may change faster than many people may realise.
“If our beloved governor makes the mistake of yielding to certain interests who are asking him to hand over power to a fellow Nsukka person who is also his first maternal cousin, then the PDP will certainly be kicked out of power.
“This will be a terrible choice because it is a complete negation of the principle of zoning and power rotation in the state which the governor has championed to our people’s admiration,” he said.
Udeh added that it would be a “contradiction for the governor to leave out former Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu, from the gubernatorial race because only to support his first cousin from Nsukka as his successor.
“Each governor in our state has been succeeded by someone whom the sitting chief executive handpicked, but to attempt to hand over power from one Nsukka man to another will be impossible for our people to accept,” Udeh said.
He, therefore, called on Governor Ugwuanyi to disregard the advice of those he described as sycophants.
Udeh reminded the governor how the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in neighbouring Anambra State was carried away by its total victory in the 2017 governorship election in the state that it fielded unmarketable candidates in the 2019 general election and “was shell shocked.
“If APGA could be so trounced and humiliated in the national elections in Anambra State, the PDP can easily suffer a similar fate in Enugu State,” he said.