2023: Onyekwere, APC chieftain backs direct primary in Abia


By Leonard Okachie
Isialangwa (Abia), May 2, 2022 An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Abia, Chief Onyekachi Onyekwere, a.k.a “Gaddafi”, has lauded the party’s decision to adopt direct primary to elect candidates for 2023 in Abia.
Onyekwere said this on Monday, when a governorship aspirant on the APC platform, Chief Daniel Eke, visited him in his Eziala Nsulu country home in Isialangwa North Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the national leadership of the party approved direct primary for Abia and other states, where the party is having problems.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abia APC became poliarised into two factions in the aftermath of the ward, local government and state congresses in 2021.
The parallel congresses produced two leaderships with Acho Obioma from the Donatus Nwankpa-led group and Kingsley Ononogbu, who emerged from Ikechi Emenike-led faction.
Although, the national leadership of the party recognised and inaugurated the Ononogbu-led executive, the two factions have continued to operate under separate leaderships and secretariats in Umuahia.
Speaking on the direct primary, Onyekwere expressed happiness that the method would help to ensure that only a popular governorship aspirant emerged.
He also said that with direct primaries, those who allegedly hijacked the party would give way for genuine leaders.
“Let us be calm and focused now that the party has directed that direct primaries will be used in Abia.
“What we need to do is to get to the people at the grassroot.
“Those who are fighting us, God will fight them,” Onyekwere said.
He further said that he encouraged the aspirant, who hails from Abia North, to run for the governorship, considering his sterling qualities.
He described Eke as a man of wisdom, intelligence and with the requisite capacity to change Abia.
“Yes, I have endorsed him for the governorship. He is my candidate.
“I trust him and I believe he is the man we need to change the state,” he said.
NAN reports that Onyekwere, who is well-respected for his political sagacity in Isialangwa, is also known as a political kingmaker in the state.
The meeting was attended by the Council Chairman and Woman Leader of the party, Mr Endy Ogalabu and Mrs Rose Onyendilefu, respectively.
Ogalabu assured the aspirant of the support of the party members in the area and advised him to ensure that the needful is done in his pursuit for the party’s ticket.
He further said: “On the day of the primaries, we shall stand behind our choice.
“Those who thought they hijacked the party would know they have nobody with them and they will quietly fizzle out.
“Thereafter, the candidate that will emerge automatically becomes the leader of APC in the state.”
In a brief remark, the woman leader told Eke that “for coming here to consult us, your victory is assured.
“I am confident that you will change Abia, if given the mandate,” she said.
The aspirant thanked the party leaders for their belief in him and promised not to disappoint them, if elected.
Eke assured them that he would work to achieve the cardinal objective of his manifesto, which includes to “reclaim, restore and modernise” the state.
He promised to promote quality and functional education, tackle youth unemployment through training in technological skills, converting waste to wealth, among other development programmes.
Other party leaders at the meeting included the LG Secretary, Mr Azubuike Nwachukwu, Youth Leader, James Uchenna, and Alfred Chubuike, Chief Aniforo Ole and Dr Samuel Ekpo.
The aspirant was accompanied on the visit by members of his political structure, called Reality Organisation, including its Secretary, Uzoma Emezue, Mr Jimmy Uche and former Speaker of Aba North Legislative Council, Jonah Onwuchekwa.