Just a few days to the February 16 Presidential election, there are indications that the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would likely get a greater vote in Ebonyi state.
This is because a larger number of stakeholders in the state who spoke to DAILY POST have revealed that the reason Atiku would win, is that, he has a running mate from the south-east zone, especially that of Peter Obi, a youth-friendly ex-governor.
For instance, the former Minister of State for Health, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo said, Ebonyi people have a voting pattern since the creation of the state, adding that the people of the state know only PDP and Ebonyi is for PDP, even as he noted that the citizens of the state can never allow the opposition party to take over the state.
“Atiku will win convincingly in Ebonyi and we are showing concern that the electoral body, the INEC, may not be impartial. We are talking about security agencies. These concerns are based on what is coming from APC quarters, they have been boasting that they write the result of the election. You can see that they have not been campaigning. They have nothing to campaign with. They are the Federal government.
“We are very sure that Atiku will win convincingly, together with all our National Assembly contestants. We are looking at 97% victory of Atiku in Ebonyi state. APC is in minority in Ebonyi. APC has not up to 20% membership in Ebonyi. We are convinced of Atiku’s victory. He will get not less than 90 per cent votes of Ebonyi people.
“I have no fear that all our National Assembly contestants will win in the February 16 Presidential election. On the issue of alleged pockets of violence in the next election, it depends on the capacity of the security agencies to control situations. It is their duty to ensure that there is law and order during the election. Security agencies must do well to contain any pockets of violence that may erupt in February 16 presidential election.
“APC cannot intimidate us because they are in the minority in Ebonyi. We cannot succumb to the minority. Ebonyi is a PDP state since the creation of the state in 1996. PDP in Ebonyi is a brand that cannot easily be forgotten by the citizens of the state,” he said.
But members of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State have countered the claim that Atiku will win in the state. Prominent among them is Senator Anthony Agbo , who is the campaign director general of the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi state, Senator Sunny Ogbuorji.
While speaking with DAILY POST, Agbo expressed confidence that President Mohammadu Buhari must win in
Ebonyi, noting that the President has done well to eliminate corruption in Nigeria and deserved to be given a second chance.
Agbo, however, alleged that most projects done by Ebonyi state government led by Chief David Umahi has the support and funding by President Buhari-led administration. He noted that the people of the state will as a result of such gesture vote massively for him in the forthcoming presidential election.
“Traditional rulers in Ebonyi have endorsed President Mohammadu Buhari and this shows that APC will win in Ebonyi. I feel that PDP who has all the resources of government should conduct themselves in an orderly manner instead of resorting to blackmail and intimidation of APC supporters in Ebonyi state,” he stressed.
In a swift reaction, a lawmaker, Mr. Linus Okorie representing Ohaozara/Onicha/ Ivo Federal constituency in the National Assembly who spoke to Daily Post through his media aide said, “Atiku Abubakar would win his APC counterpart, Muhammad Buhari a with a wide margin in the state on Saturday. This is because the present government led by Buhari has failed Nigerians and the people need a change.
“We have done enough campaigns across the 13 council areas and 171 wards of the state ahead of the polls. Good enough, Atiku’s promise of restructuring and nomination of former Anambra Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, as his running mate has naturally endeared him to all true sons and daughters of Ndigbo.
“Already Igbo leaders under the aegis of OHANEZE have endorsed him (Atiku) as candidate of Ndibo. So, Ebonyians are obligated to vote for him.
“The purported endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari by traditional rulers in the state is a laughable and a nullity. And it will be proven on Saturday. I am confident that Atiku Abubakar will emerge victorious on Saturday,” he stated.
However, no one can with certainty predict the outcome of the February 16 Presidential election, but investigations have revealed that, an average Igbo man would like to vote for Atiku Abubakar, especially with his disposition to restructure the country and run an all-inclusive
government, if he wins.