Member representing the Owerri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Francis Ezenwa Onyewuchi has said that despite the All Progressives Congress (APC) forming the government in Imo State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is still in control of the state politics.
Onyewuchi who made this claim in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun at the coronation of Eze Emma Ejiogu at Orogwe, Owerri-West Local Government Area said that PDP was still dominant at the National Assembly just as it has five members at the State House of Assembly.
He, therefore, assured that Chief Athan Achonu representing Okigwe Senatorial District whose election was annulled by the Appeal Court would win again in the re-run which is yet to be fixed.
The lawmaker was also optimistic that the PDP candidates in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states whose elections were cancelled would emerge victorious in the re-run elections.
He also spoke on other issues. Excerpts:
Honourable, may we know why you are here today?
I am here to share in the joy of the coronation of His Royal Highness, Eze Emma Ejiogu, to lend my support to him and to tell his community that we are standing behind His Highness.
Recently, we saw the creation of three more autonomous communities out of Owerri Municipal, how would you react to the dividing of Owerri Municipal into smaller autonomous communities?
Well, it is an action that has been taken by the governor already. I don’t know if in the traditional setting it is acceptable, but I think it is an issue that should be handled with utmost care because it is a very sensitive issue and there is a lot of divisions among the people right now, but at the appropriate time the matter will be sorted out.
Some of your colleagues in the National Assembly have been asked by the court to go for fresh elections, do you think that your party, the PDP can win the re-run that is coming up early next year?
We know we have such cases in Rivers State, one in Imo State, but I don’t have any doubt in my mind that Senator Athan Achonu will be returned to the Senate because PDP is a party that is popular with the people in the state, and it is a party that has been accepted by our people. So, I don’t see any party that is alien to the people winning any election here in Imo State. The same thing will happen in Rivers State. I want to assure you that the PDP will carry the day in Rivers State and I also want to assure you that PDP will also have a re-sounding victory in Akwa Ibom State because these are clearly PDP states but we have seen the machination of the present day government led by the APC, but I want to assure you that they will fail because power belongs to God and the people. The people have chosen their representatives and no amount of intimidation can prevent the people from making their choice.
But the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha said that change has finally come to Imo and that the PDP has been swept away and that in 2019 the APC will make a clean sweep of the national and state Assembly seats.
Well, I know for sure that it is not only Imo State but the whole of the South East is PDP and that Ndigbo have embraced the party is clear because when you look at the result of the presidential and National Assembly elections, the result speaks volume and tells you the level of acceptability of the party and I don’t have any doubt in my mind that the people will return back the PDP candidates in all those places where a re-run election will hold.
After the gubernatorial primaries the PDP in the state was seriously fractured. But do you think that the reconciliation committee set-up by the party can bring back some of the members that have left the party in anger?
What happened during the primaries are normal things in politics because such issues must arise. But you can be assured that that PDP is putting its House in order and just like all political parties they have their own issues. APC has their own issues as well. So, there are bound to be issues in the PDP because it is run by human beings but the point is that sometimes you disagree to agree for the general good. So, what is important is that these issues are being resolved for the party to be stronger and that is what is being done well.
But Imo State now appears to be one party state?
You cannot say that Imo has become a one party state when you have all the senators of Imo extraction in the Senate as PDP members and eight out of 10 members of the House of Representatives are members of the PDP and even in the state House of Assembly we have five PDP members. So, we have a clear majority and the PDP is completely in charge of the politics of the state. So, if we go back to the poll you will see that and I can assure that you will not find a true leader of the PDP defecting to any other political party and that shows you that PDP is truly alive and strong in spite of not being in control of the state government since 2011.