One can best describe as festive the atmosphere in Omoba and Okpuala Ngwa in Isiala Ngwa North and Isiala Ngwa South local government areas of Abia State respectively, venues for the declaration of the immediate past Accountant General of Abia State, Sir Gabriel Onyendilefu, to run for House of Representatives for the Isiala Ngwa North/ Isiala Ngwa South Federal Constituency ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The events, which took place at the PDP secretariats of Isiala Ngwa North and Isialangwa South respectively, saw large numbers of party stakeholders and faithful in attendance who defied rain to grace the occasions.
•Sir Onyendilefu while declaring his aspiration
At Omoba, in Isialangwa north and venue for the first phase of the event, it was a beehive of activities as the crowd generated a good market for traders around the area as well as various cultural troupes performing at different locations.
PDP stakeholders, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard, attributed the large turn out to the humble disposition of Onyendilefu.
One of them, Chief George Ahunanya, noted that the aspirant is known for his humility and straight forwardness in all his private and official dealings.
He pointed out that one of the challenges the former Accountant General had while in office was his adherence to rules and due process in government business.
“We have no better choice than this man (pointing at Onyendilefu’s handbill which he held) because he is honest, hard-working and generous. Above all, he is a man who sticks to his words”, Ahunanya stated.
While addressing the crowd, Onyendilefu noted that he chose to run for the House of Representatives for the Isialangwa North/ Isialangwa South Federal Constituency because of the need to attract more federal presence to the area.
The aspirant pointed out that as a retired civil servant who rose to the rank of Accountant General, he had generated enormous experience in governance which he would deploy as a legislator for the well-being of the people.
“It is not about me, it is about us. If it were about me, I would be relaxed with my pension as a retired civil servant but when I look around, I see that the job we started is yet to be completed. We need to place this constituency in a vantage position such that it will be a magnet to attract the federal presence required for both infrastructural and human development”, he stated.
The PDP thanked Onyendilefu for his contributions to the success of the party in the area and promised that there will be a level-playing ground for all aspirants.
The team, which left Omoba at exactly 12noon, arrived Okpualangwa ,venue of the second phase of the event where they where they were also received by a mammoth crowd, around 2pm.
At Okpualangwa ,it was like a festival as party faithful were on ground to cheer their own.
In his speech, Onyendilefu reminded the PDP that it was important to always consider the popularity index of aspirants to fly the party’s flag in the main election, an attribute he believes he has.
Others who spoke at the event, including the Chairman of the PDP in the council, assured the aspirant of his support.
But in separate interviews, some stakeholders of the party in the area believed that Onyendilefu is the man to beat in the 2019 election.
Said Chief Jude Nwakanma, “Onyendilefu has helped so many people in this constituency and has contributed so much to community development programs. I don’t see anybody who can match him for now. If our party, PDP, is thinking of winning election in this constituency come 2019, it must consider giving the ticket to Onyendilefu”.
Dr Bright Apugo Orji, a staunch member of the PDP and a medical practitioner in the area, noted that experience is on the side of Onyendilefu having risen through the ranks in the civil service.