BY UCHE AGUORU
The Abia political environment looks pessimistic and confusing to political watchers and those hoping for a change of fortunes from the old political order that has held the state down and underdeveloped despite receiving colossal amount of funding from the federation account and internally generated revenue.
While Governor Okezie Ikpeazu led PDP government in Abia state is busy exhibiting half-baked achievements to the media with no tangible proof of financial prudence or transparent maximization of the funds that has gotten into the states coffers since 2015, the opposition have not lived up to expectation in taking on the challenge of exposing the ills of the present administration and has not even shown enough political courage to confront the reigning government.
The history of political opposition in Abia state is such that the opposition has not shown real resoluteness in their quest to challenge any government in power except in 2007 election when PDP,s Chief Onyema Ugochukwu challenged PPA,s Chief T.A Orji in a transitional election.
Going by INEC time table, the 2019 primary elections will commence on the 18th of august and end on the 7th of October 2018, the All Progressive Congress a party which was looked upon to provide a fierce opposition given that the party holds power at the center is still snoring away and battling with selfish ambitions of almost the entire leadership of the party and also of non-acceptance of the Chief Chidi Nwankpa led exco by the Chief Emenike camp which has led to an internal wrangling, the public perception of the party in Abia and the entire south east is another factor that will greatly affect the partys performance at the polls. Without sounding sarcastic the south east is yet to fully accept the APC despite being the party at the center while the utterances and actions of some leaders of the party keeps diminishing their acceptance by the day.
There is also the unproven allegation of Chief Chidi Nwankpa the APC party chairman along with some other officers of the party being on the payroll of Governor Ikpeazu thereby compromising the chances and seriousness of the party to launch a focused political campaign against the PDP, these asseveration though not substantiated has made it possible for some serious minded politicians who would have wished to pursue their ambition through the APC to reconsider their stands and revoke their membership upon this realization.
While it has become acculturated for the Abia opposition to grumble and mumble within, on how they are going to take over governance and how badly Abia has been governed, the only credible and focused opposition that has existed in the history of Abia state is that which was provided by APGA through Dr. Alex Otti, while some members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance are of the notion that the present Abia APGA crisis is being sponsored and funded by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu using Chief Chikwe Udensi as an instrument of factionalism and destabilization of the party and creation of internal strife within the party thereby making it impossible for APGA to repeat the feat it recorded through Dr. Otti in the 2015 election.
Dr. Ikpeazu has also played the shrewd real time politick by poaching on APGA and taking away some of their strong political soldiers like Chief Damian Ozurumba, Dr.Reagan Ufomba etc. while some others are still being funded within to decimate the electoral strength of the party come 2019.
But all the political moves being made to reduce the electoral potency of APGA has not yielded as much as expected, though It is not certain if APGA can put up the Political bravery it exhibited in 2015 in the coming elections but more progressive, prominent, acceptable, focused and astute Abia politicians still find their way into APGA.
But all these factors does not still guarantee victory for Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu if the political dynamics and permutations as it stands now is anything to go by.
Watch out for the concluding part of this piece.
Writes from Umuahia