Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said although the South East is peculiar in several ways, he is convinced that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has all it takes to win election in the zone.
He spoke on Thursday in Owerri at a one day seminar organised for APC candidates in the forth coming general election by the South East APC leadership.
In his capacity as leader of the APC in the South East and Chairman of Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council in the zone, Governor Uzodimma maintained that the South East has peculiar features in the political arrangements, hence “there is the need to apply peculiar approaches to win elections.”
The Governor said he arranged for the meeting to congratulate the APC candidates in South East for wining in the Primaries and to sit down with them to plan how to go about the campaigns for the purpose of achieving results.
He said in politics, it is natural that after every Primary there must be winners and losers and for people to be aggrieved.
He said in the circumstance, “the solution is not to walk away but to be with the party and submit to the supremacy of the party.”
He insists that it is the business of all members of the party to market their candidates to win the election.
Governor Uzodimma advised his members not to be in doubt as to the capacity and popularity of APC in the South East, noting however, that for the APC to do well both at the zone and the National levels, “members must carry others along as they cannot lead or win elections in isolation.”
He assured that the leaders of APC in the South East are determined to put in their best, as “history will always remember one by one’s performance or non performance.”
But he prayed that all the APC leaders will be remembered for their positive performance.
Governor Uzodimma went down memory lane to recall the position of the South East in terms of benefits and development in all past democratic processes, explaining that the zone has never been well treated or listened to the way it is currently, not even when the zone had the Vice President of Nigeria as her son.
He therefore said the South East has every cause to appreciate what President Muhammadu Buhari has done for the zone in his almost eight years as the leader of APC.
He listed them to include but not limited to the second Niger Bridge, the rehabilitation of the Federal Highways in South East, assisting the Governors to realize some critical infrastructure, the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta area of Imo State as well as the on-going reconstruction of 200 bed hospital at Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu by NNPC, among others.
The Governor who is the leader of the Party in the zone said “democracy is for development,” and “APC is already winning and will win in the South East because APC is the only political party that has party structure at the polling units and booth in 774 LGAs of the Country.”
He called his members to be serious with the business of politics and “to drop sentiments and follow the realistic school of thoughts.”
Governor Uzodimma warned members to be wary of the deceit by other geo-political and socio-cultural groups who falsely support Igbo Presidency after they failed to support the South East aspirants at the presidential primaries of the APC.
The Governor said: “Igbos have been a victim of mistaken identity. There is the need for the South East to take their destiny in their own hands because if you don’t say I am, nobody will say you are.”
He assured of the support of South East APC leaders to the candidates and informed that APC in the South East is going to run “a Unified Campaign”.
“In other words it must be total victory for all the candidates at all levels or no victory at all.”
Governor Uzodimma reiterated his earlier call that it is not time for quarrels and reminded the Party members of the need to have forgiving spirit and work as a team.
He encouraged the candidates to go all out for their campaign when it starts as “nobody has the right and audacity to intimidate anybody.”
He however cautioned against those who deceived the Igbos in the past to go to war, pledging to support them but only to abandon them on the way, saying, “they are at it again.”
The Governor thanked the candidates and other Party faithful for coming for the seminar and urged them to start today to go and work for their winnings as the leadership is ready to support them.
In their different remarks, the Senatorial Candidate for Imo West, Senator Osita Izunaso on behalf of his colleagues advised the leadership of the Party to set up Committees to manage the elections and the campaigns in the South East.
He suggested the establishment of Election Planning Committee, Finance Committee and Media and Propaganda Committee as well as Youth and Women Mobilization Committees.
In their different contributions, the former Deputy Governor of Anambra State Nkem Okeke, Hon. Chinedu Ogah, Rt. Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejiocha and former Minister of State Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba called for reenergized APC in the South East.
Nwajiuba emphasized that South East is the fastest growing area of APC in Nigeria and that what the members need is the strategy to win. Onyejiocha emphasized that there must be no compromise as a strategy or compensation for those who did not work for the Party. She warned against sell-outs or sitting on the fence, noting that “APC has done well and will continue to do well.”
In the same vein, the former Deputy Governor of Anambra State said that there are no short cuts to wining elections other than sitting down and strategizing. He said the candidates must start early to talk to the people “because the whole essence is to serve our people and develope South East.”
Earlier in their welcome remarks the Deputy National Chairman South East, Chief Emma Eneukwu said the single objective of the one day seminar is to emphasize the fact that APC must win all the elections in 2023 from President to the State House of Assembly.
He said that the South East has suffered a lot at the National Political Discourse and that they are ready to change the narrative because when the zone wins convincingly a lot of things will come to South East from the National.
Also, the South East Zonal Vice Chairman, Chief Ijeomah Arodiogbu reiterated that the single agenda of the seminar is to let the APC candidates know that they are bound to win and retain power at the centre. He told the candidates not to be intimidated or shy away from telling the people what APC has done for South East in the past seven and half years.
The Imo State Chairman of APC, Dr. Macdonald Ebere in his welcome remarks said they are gathered to know themselves better, map out strategies and discuss how to win the coming election.