By Florence Edwards
The race for the 2023 general elections is obviously yet to start but the realignment of the political gladiators across the country promises to be the toughest election in history, especially in Abia state, where the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP is widely believed to be performing abysmally for the past 20 years.
One of the leading opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is said to be gradually putting strategies in place in her avowed quest to wrestle power at all levels from the ruling PDP in Abia State.
Recall that few months back, Chief Chidi Ajaegbu, a renowned accountant, the former President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Abia Central Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), during the 2019 elections dumped the party, few weeks later, another respected Elder statesman and Dr. Alex Otti, APGA Gubernatorial Candidate Campaign Director General, Dr. Max Nduaguibe also left APGA.
Today, Friday 3rd January 2020, another bigwig and APGA Candidate for Isiala Ngwa Federal Constituency, Bishop Emeka Nwankpa has also dumped APGA in a colourful ceremony, witnessed by a mammoth crowd at Okpuala Ngwa.
While the other two kept mute on their next political destination, Bishop Emeka Nwankpa has a clear cut destination as he returned to the All Progressives Congress, APC – call it a reintegration into his natural political family.
The Umukalu Ntigha, Isiala Ngwa North born philanthropist, arguably has the largest empowerment structure in Abia state and beyond for the past 14 years, which is a major boost for the APC in Abia state generally and has empowered so many people in the past 14 years.
He is a pioneer member of the All Nigerian People’s party, ANPP, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and later the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra state where he resides.
However on getting back to Abia State, his home state, he met a fictionalised party and was lured into APGA, just few months into the 2019 elections. His presence added more bite and glamour to APGA in Abia state as he later secured the ticket to run for election under the platform of the party.
Rumours has it that Bishop Emeka Nwankpa won the votes of the people but lost the elections in an alleged manipulation of the voting processes.
No wonder his ” Home Coming ” into APC has sent shivers down the spines of the ruling PDP in the state.
There is this rumour making the rounds that APGA biggest masquerade has also concluded plans to formally join APC IN few months from now.
However, Bishop Nwankpa is not going alone. The ORACLE OF GOD as he is popularly called has harvested both APGA and PDP members across the state, numbering over a staggering 10000 people.
Addressing the APC Executives, APC Leaders, Executive Members of his foundation and the other decamped members at Okpuala, Isiala Ngwa North LGA Headquarters on Friday 3rd January, 2020, Ambassador Emeka Nwankpa said he is back home and urged other party leaders across the 184 wards of Abia state to drop their early political ambition and come together to build the party to make it more formidable.
In their separate speeches, the Isiala Ngwa North Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Hon. Endy Ogalabu, Barri. Menyechi Onuoha; the state Legal Adviser, Hon. Joshua Mentor Onyekwere; Hon. Chimezie Godwin Iroegbu, Mrs. Ngozi Egege; and Mr. Martins Orji all expressed happiness that Bishop Nwankpa is back to his family, adding that this will boost the party, not only in Isiala Ngwa North but in Abia in general, describing him as a force and bridge builder whose impact is being felt already, while assuring that all the new members shall be accommodated without discrimination.
In his response, Mr Chisom Egbe, who spoke on behalf of the decamped members, thanked Bishop Nwankpa for his humility, vision and leadership qualities, adding that he is a great asset to humanity, which is the reason they joined him to APC and promised to work in synergy with the party to liberate Abians from long time political slavery and infrastructural decay.
The highlight of the occasion was handing over of the symbol of the party “The Broom” to Bishop Nwankpa by the LGA party Chairman of APC, Hon. Endy Ogalabu.
Bishop Nwankpa had also given 11 big gasoline generators, one each to the ward Chairmen, and all the LGA Chairman. Bags of rice was also given to them, including a huge cash donation to the party faithful.