BY NDUBUISI UWAEZU
Thousands of supporters of Dr Alex Otti, former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State, marched the streets of Umuahia, state capital, on Tuesday as they headed to the secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to formally declare their membership.
Otti had about three weeks ago formally declared his membership of APC, having resigned from APGA, owing to what he attributed to loss of confidence in the party leadership and factionalism of the party.
The crowd of adult men and women which conducted itself orderly sang a corrupted version of the APGA anthem – “APGA, a party of con people” instead of “a party of blessed people” – and waved their newly-embraced symbol, the broom.
As the crowd gathered at the APC secretariat, the former APGA state Chairman, Hon. Nkem Okoro, who led other members of the state executive of APGA, disclosed that their decision to dump APGA and join APC was reached after wide consultations.
He made it clear that the decision to join APC became more expedient following the well-applauded decision of the former leader of APGA in Abia, Dr Otti, to move over to the APC with thousands of former APGA members and supporters.
The former APGA state Chairman expressed confidence that the joy and openness with which the Hon. Donatus Nwamkpa led Abia APC had received them into the APC fold was a manifestation of their desire and determination to build and take the APC to an enviable height, and assured him of the readiness of the new entrants to give him maximum support to succeed.
Hon. Nwamkpa while receiving the new members who dumped their former party clothes, flags and symbols assured them of a level playing ground and made it clear that they stood to enjoy the same rights and privileges as old members, insisting that APGA was originally part of the formation of the APC.
He enjoined older members to cooperate with the new entrants at all levels, especially where it concerns the obtaining of the APC membership cards.
He further reminded the new converts on the need for them to be guided by the constitution of the party, assuring that the APC was poised to ending bad governance in Abia, come 2023.
As a mark of solidarity, the South East leaders of APC led by the South East Zonal Chairman, Chief Emma Enukwu, led other zonal officers, including the Secretary, the Organizing Secretary and other high-ranking officers from different states of the South East, including the Ebonyi State party chairman to the event.
Chief Enukwu expressed joy over the new developments in APC in Abia, the coming of Otti and his supporters, describing it as a huge success. He expressed optimism that the present synergy would yield the desired result in 2023, with the election of an APC governor in Abia.
In appreciation of the developments in Abia, the South East leader of the party and former governor of old Abia State (Abia and Ebonyi), Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made a cash donation of undisclosed sum to the party in Abia, through Enukwu.
Onu, who is also Minister of Science and Technology, encouraged the members to intensify efforts aimed at strengthening the party, with a view to ending bad governance in Abia.