Chief Donatus Nwamkpa, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said that President Muhammadu Buhari had addressed critical challenges in the South-East to deserve the zone’s support in 2019.
Nwankpa said this on Monday at a news briefing in Umuahia while reacting to alleged media report that South-east would not vote for Buhari in 2019.
He said that Buhari had addressed issues affecting the zone, including infrastructure deficit and the second Niger Bridge within in his first tenure.
Nwamkpa also said president’s performance in the zone , in his first tenure, surpassed what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did in the zone for 16 years.
“The devastation and deterioration of infrastructure in the South-East started in 1999 and lingered for 16 years.
“Today, the zone has become much better and we cannot be vulnerable elements to be used by somebody in 2019,” he said.
The state chairman warned the people not drag the zone into unnecessary crisis with the presidency.
Nwankpa said that the state of road infrastructure in the South-East, South-South and South-West had improved tremendously with an attendant ease in transportation.
He, therefore, dismissed the alleged media report as baseless and inconsequential.
“South-East has benefitted so much from the APC administration and will reward the party with massive support in 2019. The zone does not belong to PDP.”
Nwankpa said the emergence of former Vice President Abubakar Atiku as PDP flag bearer would not enhance PDP chances in 2019 election.
“Atiku’s emergence will not boost the PDP’s electoral fortunes. There is nothing spectacular about Atiku, he does not have the magic wand to win elections.”
On the choice of former Gov. Peter Obi as Atiku’s running mate, Nwanpka said Obi did not enjoy wide popularity in the zone as presumed.
The party chairman described APC as the fastest growing party in the South-East, saying that it would take over the zone in 2019.
Speaking on the party’s governorship primaries, Nwankpa said that efforts were being made to assuage the feelings of members who were aggrieved with the outcome of the exercise.
He said that the party could not zone the governorship to Abia south, in line with the agitation that the zone should be allowed to complete its second tenure after Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s first tenure.
He said that what was paramount to the party was to elect a candidate that had the capacity to wrestle power from“ the lackluster Ikpeazu-led administration.“
Nwankpa said that the party had presented a candidate with a transformational agenda to liberate Abia and take it to higher height.
“Abia’s problem has gone beyond clannish consideration and administrative governance.”
He appealed to those who were not satisfied with the outcome of the primaries to bury their sentiments so that the party would form a common front, ahead of 2019 general elections.
Nwankpa allayed the fear that APC was banking on federal might to take over Abia in 2019, saying that the party believed in one man, one vote.
“We believe the people’s votes will count. We have no plans to rig the polls but we will not allow any party to rig us out.”