Two weeks to the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State, the incumbent party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has suffered a major blow as close to 4,000 party faithful in two local government areas dumped the party on Saturday for one of the major opposition parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The decampees included 1,775 members from the Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area, which is the country home of former Governor Peter Obi, and 2,000 in Ebenebe, Awka-South Local Government Area.
Former APGA chairman of Anaocha Local Government Area, Mr. Ifeanyi Orji, led the team of decampees at a campaign rally by the PDP governorship candidate, Mr. Oseloka Obaze and his running-mate, Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe at St. Peter’s Anglican Church playground, Agulu, while a former Leader of the Awka-North Local Government Legislative Council, Hon. Sam Obi led the APGA members in that local government to cross over to PDP at St. Thomas Anglican Church playground, Ebenebe.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at Agulu, Obaze said that he joined the race to save the state from the clutches of bad governance the current administration had plunged it into.
He said: “I was the Secretary to the State Government under the present administration, but I had to quit when I noticed that the administration had deviated from the development initiatives of the immediate past administration of Mr. Peter Obi, which was the continuity we preached during his campaign.”
At the rally in Ebenebe, Obaze asked the people: “Is there any project the present government (of Governor Willie Obiano) has completed in your area in the past more than three years?” The question elicited a thunderous “Nooooo!” from the crowd.
At Ebenebe, Obaze challenged the people to show how the incumbent government had affected their lives and the project executed in their community.
He maintained that any government that could not benefit the people in the first tenure does not deserve a second term.
His words: “You know that I was SSG in the past administration and we awarded contract for the construction of the road leading into this town from Amansea. Work on that road had remained where the contractor stopped when Mr. Peter Obi handed over.
“Has the present government done any other work on that road? Has the government given any bus to any school in this local government? Has it built any hospital? Is there any project the government has completed in any community here?”
In their separate addresses, Orji and Obi stated that they and their followers were compelled to abandon APGA for PDP because they were fed up with the way development had nose-dived in their areas under the incumbent administration in the state.
Orji said: “I used to be a proud member of APGA because of the quantum of development the party was doing in every sector of the state. The state used to take the first position in both NECO (National Examination Council) and WASC (West African School Certificate) examinations nationwide. But the situation has changed to the extent that the state is currently relegated to the seventh position.”
On his part, Obi said: “We have decided to join Obaze in PDP because we know your contributions in the success stories of APGA government when Chief Peter Obi, Okwute Ndigbo was our Governor. You were SSG then, so we have the trust that you will work like Peter Obi.”