The member representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Bede Eke has advised the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Imo State chapter to field a new face as its candidate for the governorship election in November 2023.
Eke said it is time the opposition political party produced the ‘chief occupant’ of Imo State Government House otherwise known as ‘Douglas House’ in Owerri, the state capital.
Eke gave the advice on Tuesday at a meeting with ward chairmen of the party in Imo East Senatorial District.
The meeting was convened at the instance of the National Secretary of PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
Eke said ” I align myself to the statement credited to the Imo PDP Chairman, Engr Charles Ugwu at the party’s National Headquarters, Abuja recently during a stakeholders meeting convened at the instance of the NWC Chairman, Senator Iyorcha Ayu strictly for Imo PDP leaders where Ugwu described Hon Emeka Ihedioha as the face of Imo PDP.
” Yes, I agree that Ihedioha is the face of Imo PDP in the past eight years and that is why the party has remained in opposition. Ihedioha emerged as governorship candidate for the party consecutively in 2015 and 2019, yet, the party has been unable to occupy the seat of power in the state.
“Recall in 2015, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC defeated Ihedioha of the PDP.
“Also, in 2019, same Ihedioha who was declared governor in error according to ruling of the apex court on grounds that he did not meet the required votes to be declared elected was displaced by Senator Hope Uzodinma who came from a distant fourth position to clinch the governorship seat.
“This same face of Imo PDP for two consecutive periods had contested for governor on the platform of PDP and have been unable to garner popular votes across the three geopolitical zones in the state, hence the need for a fresh option.
“Imo PDP as an opposition party in the state is long overdue to return to Douglas House come 2023 and for us to achieve this, we must take this courageous move by fielding a new face as the standard bearer for the party in next year’s gubernatorial election.
“We need to repackage our party, PDP ahead of the November 2023 election by changing the face of our governorship candidate and this should be our best option to return to Douglas House.
Eke added; “We are stakeholders in the party. It’s an abberation and anti democratic for one man to sit at his comfort zone and issue directives to our ward chairmen not to attend meetings on invitation by the National Secretary of the party.
“The party is for all of us and not a private enterprise of an individual. I must commend our ward chairmen for damning the consequences by attending this meeting not minding the threat calls by some leaders. You are our generals at the grassroots and I want to assure you that nobody can remove you as chairmen of your wards.
Also speaking, the former National Woman Leader of the party, Ambassador Kema Chikwe thanked the ward chairmen for attending the meeting.
She appealed to them to ensure victory for all candidates of the party in the general elections next year.
The ex Aviation Minister disclosed that she is supporting Senator Samuel Anyanwu’s governorship aspiration for many reasons.
The meeting which held at the Egbu residence of Chief Tony Ihenacho had in attendance top chieftains of the party as well as former members of the Imo state House of Assembly, leaders of the party’s Elders Committee led by Sir Ambrose Ejiogu, leadership of the Divine Mandate Movement, a political structure of the National Secretary of PDP led by Evang Myke Ikoku amongst others.