As Senator Abaribe Defects to APGA

Senator Abaribe

By Ndudirm Godspower

It is common knowledge in the game of sports, especially football that any coach worth his onion does not toy with his super squad. But the reverse is the case in Abia State where recent political events have placed the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a precarious state. The party is enmeshed in a deep crisis and may be singing its Nunc Dimittis in a few days ahead.

Recall that since the inception of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, the party has been holding sway, save for the interregnum enjoyed by the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Currently, PDP in Abia is enmeshed in deep crisis and has imploded geometrically, leaving in its trail harvest of defections and a battered rank, which to extend its reign in Abia is highly in doubt.

Prior to the party primaries in the state, major aspirants strongly opposed the purported emergence of the delegates list citing irregularities. The basis of the argument was that there were no delegates elections in the state which produced any list, and such any claims upholding that were not only shambolic but a charade, and equally a mere effort in absolute futility.

The protest was taken a step further as major gubernatorial contenders such as the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and the Deputy Governor, Ude Oko Chukwu, among others, took their protest to Wadata, the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja.

Unfortunately, both leaderships of the party at the state and national levels could not cause proper interventions and nip the crisis in the bud until the crisis blossomed and is gearing at the consuming party in Abia. The ugly developments surrounding PDP in Abia State have forced both political pundits and watchers alike to describe it as a keg of gun powder awaiting imminent detonation.

Indeed, the party is embattled on several fronts and there is a strong argument that Abia PDP may suffer a similar fate to APC in Zamfara where a Supreme Court judgement sacked candidates in the favour of the opposition party.

Before now, Senator Abaribe, who almost everybody in the state refers to as a “master strategist and big political weight” has described Abia 2023 general elections as “pregnant and replete with great expectations.” Indeed, true to Abaribe’s description, Abia is pregnant regards to the forthcoming elections.

In the course of all these confusions, a high-powered delegation of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state paid a courtesy visit to Senator Abaribe. Like the beautiful pride that is chased by numerous suitors, the mission was to woo Abaribe into APGA to contest for the Abia South Senatorial election under the party.

Last Friday, Abaribe conceded to the appeal and was returned unopposed to fly the party’s flag in the senatorial contest for Abia South. Now, the die is cast. Abaribe is locked in a battle of the titans with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who is also vying for the same position under the umbrella of PDP.

The development is agitating the minds of many and the question now is “who will emerge victorious at the end of the day between Abaribe and Ikpeazu.”

Despite Ikpeazu’s position as the sitting governor, calculations are highly favouring Senator Abaribe. As a political analyst aptly captures it, “the contest will spring up surprises. Abaribe is a solid force and is deeply rooted in both state and national politics. There should be no atom of surprise that the pendulum will spring in favour of Abaribe at the end of the day.”

Another political pundit who described PDP losing Abaribe to APGA as catastrophic captured the situation thus “Abaribe enjoys what could be described as cult followership and through his selfless services, has endeared himself to many hearts. You do not require the service of a fortune teller to know who will carry the day.”

The most worrisome aspect of the whole episode is that PDP in Abia has imploded beyond remedy and may not gather itself together again for the great task ahead. A further argument is that majority of those who claim to be in the party are there physically and not spiritually.

Besides, the major characters that made the party tick have left in strong protest. This, analysts argue, is a strong bad omen for the party.

Like a pundit captures it, “PDP is in for a very big trouble and the question that requires urgent resolution is’ will 2023 mark the end of PDP’s reign in Abia. Only time will tell!”

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