We are Ready to Welcome Atiku to Abia State – Megwara

We are Ready to Welcome Atiku to Abia State – Megwara

The Director of Media and Publicity of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign in Abia State, Chief Kingsley Megwara says plans are on course to welcome Atiku Abubakar to the state on February 10. Megwara, who recently spoke with Nduka Nwosu, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State is working hard, sensitising the people of Abia on the qualities of Atiku and his ability to unite Nigerians

Chief Kingsley Megwara is busy doing what he enjoys doing, politicking, this time as the spokesperson of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign in Abia State. The former Diaspora Adviser to former Abia State Governor, Senator Theodore Orji, is glad to say his team is working hard sensitising the people of Abia on who the real PDP Presidential candidate Atiku is, as February 25, 2023, is a matter of days from now. “We are currently educating them, particularly pointing out the high points of Atiku from his days as a Customs Officer to his eight years as Vice President; we are stating in clear terms all that he did under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“The more people get to know these things the more appreciative they are of him. He was immensely helpful to the average Igbo businessman as a Custom Officer. At a time young Igbo traders had issues with Custom Duty payments, Atiku came to the rescue, giving them a lifeline, clearing their goods only to come back later to pay for such goods. These are testimonies from our people. He was a hands-on Vice President whose input is manifest in most of the great achievements attributed to the President Olusegun Administration. as Vice President.”

Megwara insists that Atiku remains the most experienced among the Presidential contestants, some of whom were governors in their last incarnation as heads of government. There is a sharp distinction, he argues, being the governor of a state and being Nigeria’s Vice President for eight years.

According to the Atiku/Okowa spokesman in Abia State, Atiku presided at several Federal Executive Council meetings in the absence of the President, making him to know and understand the problems of this country. That is why, he stresses, many believe, he has the unifying capacity to bring the country together, “bringing together the cohesive forces of brotherhood and sisterhood binding us together as Nigerians. This is what we preach to the people. We call him the unifier; he is the only man among the pack, that can bring healing to the nation, a healing this country needs now.”

According to Megwara, Atiku will surprise a lot of people because of the capacity he possesses, and part of his current assignment is to go out every day and convince the people who this Atiku is. “We do not do that by talking down on the other candidates; I have never done that. The job right now is to educate the people and let them know the facts leading to this election.”

Regarding the membership of the governor of Abia State Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in the G5 Group led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Megwara’s response is one that makes Ikpeazu a self-seeking governor whose adventure has not in any way approximated to a political or economic benefit adding that no one governor supersedes the collective will of the people. “Unlike in the past when party chairmen held the levers of a political party at the state and federal levels, the governors fund the state party structure and control the party. They took away the powers of the state chairmen of their parties, a dangerous development.

“Our governor being in G5 is irrelevant to what we are doing. Okezie Ikpeazu is just one person. The teeming population of PDP members in Abia State is more powerful than Okezie Ikpeazu. We do not know what his motivations are”

What Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is doing, he notes, is not in consultation with Abia leaders such as Chief Adolphus Nwabara, Chief T. A. Orji, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Dr. Eme Okoro, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and several others too numerous to mention. Adds Megwara: “I do not think Ikpeazu’s current adventure agrees with the position of the leaders of our state. That said whatever is motivating the governor, is also not in agreement with the people of Abia State. The collective will of the people supersedes the personal ambition of Ikpeazu.

While reveling on what looks like the newfound love between the people of Abia and the PDP, Megwara is reminded of the looming phenomenon that is Peter Obi in a space considered to be the rose garden of the Labour Party candidate and his Obedient Movement, yet the bubbly Atiku/Okowa Presidential campaign spokesman, remains unfazed. Reason: no matter what, the evidence on ground suggests that Atiku will have a good slice of the bread from the Abia electorate.

He gives honour to whom honour is due, acknowledging Obi as a risen, not a rising star who should be accorded critical respect for the way he is giving Nigerians hope for a new day. Despite all of that, Megwara cannot go down without reminding you we are discussing an Atiku with tremendous experience, with a unification mantra needed now, and with the experience of a commander-in-chief, a man who is investment savvy and with a global connection network waiting to energise the Nigerian economy so weakened by what he calls the bad governance of the All-Progressives Congress (APC).

Says Megwara: “The Peter Obi phenomenon is real. Our brother Peter Obi did well as governor of Anambra State. That is why sane people like me will never make any deteriorating remark about him. Having said that, what we are playing is politics. I am in PDP where I have a compelling interest to defend my party and my Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar. I go out every morning to convince my people that Atiku Abubakar is better prepared than the rest of the candidates.

“Atiku is prepared to serve the country as President and Commander-in-Chief at a time the security situation in this country is in a bad shape. We do not just need a President; we need a Commander-in-Chief. Nigerians will get the kind of leader they have been yearning for and we are extremely excited to tell them about the man Atiku. Federal presence in Abia is little to write home about with dilapidated infrastructure. Federal roads are in bad shape. We will hold closed a closed-door meeting with him to articulate our peculiar problems and present to him for his consideration when he becomes President.

Who will receive Atiku when he arrives Umuahia February 9 and 10 next month considering the fact the state governor is in the G5 while his deputy Ude Oko-Chukwu is on the side of the elders of the party and the Governorship aspirant unlikely to be presented to the people by the President because of ill health? Megwara is asked. His response: “Just four days ago, the South-east chairman of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council, Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji held a meeting with the leaders of the Southeast. It was a strategy meeting weighing our strengths and weaknesses state by state. The likes of, the Deputy Governor of Abia State His Excellency Ude Oko-Chukwu, who is the Chairman of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council in Abia State; and the fact that he is the Chairman of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council in Abia State, tells you where everybody stands. We are a party-oriented people.

“We believe the party is supreme. Once a primary is conducted; once your party picks its candidates-Gubernatorial, Senatorial, House of Reps members, State House of Assembly members, etc. you are bound to work for your party; the alternative is to leave the party. When you disagree with what the party has done, the option is to leave.

“None of them has left the party; they are busy causing a tremendous amount of confusion for the party. We are prepared to stand up for the party; an olive branch has been sent out severally with little or no response from them. The Presidential aspirant has held five closed door meetings with Wike, and nothing came out of it. What else?”

“Abians should expect a federal presence in an Atiku administration. Right now, we do not have a federal secretariat in Abia State. Ikot Ekpene-Umuahia Road remains a death trap over the years. These issues will be addressed. We would present what Abians wanted, not one man negotiating for us. It is not about appointment, not about who becomes the next Minister of Defence. Those are irrelevant to Abians. What is relevant to Abia is the federal presence and infrastructure.”

Is Megwara worried that Professor Uche Ikonne, the PDP Governorship candidate in Abia State Professor Uche Ikonne has ceased to be visible in the campaign trail and party activities? He says yes that the Abia PDP is visibly worried about Professor Ikonne’s absence and inability to do what he should be doing now, campaigning and being accessible to the people; right now, he says, that is not happening adding: “Ikonne emerged the party’s candidate after a keenly contested gubernatorial primary. However, a lot of people have been worried not seeing Ikonne in the campaign trail. For some of us, that is worrisome, and I would think that The PDP Chair in Abia State Dr. Asiforo Okere should respond to this with some measure of depth. I currently speak for the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council in Abia State. Many of our party members are worried. They are beginning to ask questions about the whereabout of their gubernatorial candidate Prof. Uche Ikonne who has not been seen in the last two months.

“My prediction is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is our next President by the grace of God. The current suffering of Nigerians would be arrested by the incoming President Atiku. Workers are suffering; the price of a bag of rice, and the price of gas have skyrocketed; under the PDP a bag of rice sold for N10,000, now it is N40,000. Fuel has gone up from N86 to N350; at least that was what I bought it today. The naira devaluation is several times worse than what it was when APC came to power. You have a debt profile of N77 trillion but how much of what was projected as capital expenditure justifies what was actual? How can any sane person vote for APC?”

Your party has its own issues, and many believe APC and PDP are two sides of the same coin. Do you agree? Megwara is asked. PDP can be viewed as the equivalent of the Democratic Party in any sane and civilised democracy such as the US, he avers but as for APC, Megwara says it could have been equated with the Republican Party in the US in terms of patronage of big business and less concern for the common man. APC, he insists, is right below that, with a riddled corrupt form of governance.

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