The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has expressed the confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance in office would make the people of the state to vote for the party in the 2019 general election.
Considered a stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the APC did not win any election in the state during the 2015 general elections.
However, the Chairman of the APC in Enugu, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said the party was poised to take control of the state from the PDP in 2019.
Nwoye said the APC in Enugu was satisfied with Buhari’s choice of Dr. Geoffrey Onyeama as a minister to represent the state in the federal cabinet.
Addressing journalists at the party’s secretariat in Enugu, Nwoye stressed that by 2019, the people of Enugu State would be yearning to have their state among the ‘change states’.
He said such a yearning would be influenced by Buhari’s excellent performance as President as well as the achievements of other APC governors across the country.
Dismissing the view that the PDP has no opposition in Enugu, Nwoye said, “We are poised to take over the government (of Enugu State) come 2019.
He said, “Anyone who thinks that the opposition is not in existence in Enugu is making a mistake. What will grow the APC in Enugu State is not money, it is the performance of President Buhari.
“When people look at the centre, and also assess the performance of the progressive governors, when they see that security challenges are being addressed, that corruption is being fought, these things will make those who yearn for change to say that Enugu State should also become a change state.”
Following the nomination of Onyeama as the minister-designate from Enugu, there were reports that some members of the APC in the state were unhappy with the development.
It was learnt that most of the party members in Enugu wanted Buhari to appoint a grass-roots politician, who they believe would help to grow the profile of the APC in the PDP-dominated state.
Onyeama is largely unknown in Enugu politics, and has lived most of his life abroad, particularly in Switzerland, where he worked with the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
But the Enugu APC chairman insisted that the state chapter of the party welcomed Onyeama’s appointment.
Nwoye noted that Onyeama’s selection showed that Buhari wanted as ministers, people who would move the country forward.
He added, “We are very pleased with the choice of Dr. Geoffrey Onyeama. It shows the depth of Mr. President’s determination to bring change to this country. It shows that the APC government is a serious-minded one.
“The appointment of Onyeama was not political; it was not based on political awareness or political disposition. The politicians that are not happy with the appointment are not APC people – we are 100 per cent behind Mr. President and his choice of Onyeama as the minister from Enugu State.”
The APC chairman also said the state chapter of the party had compiled the list of members for appointment into boards of federal parastatals and establishments, in line with the directive of the party’s national leadership.
Responding to questions on the performance of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, so far, the APC chairman said there was nothing to assess.
“There is nothing on the ground to assess him (Ugwuanyi) on, other than he is seen as a good man – but also, former President Goodluck Jonathan was a good man. That is all I can assess.”