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WHY I LEFT PDP-SENATOR ANNIE OKONKWO

By NBF News

Why I dumped PDP
First, let me start by saying that a political party is the vehicle that takes one to his or her political destination. Unfortunately, PDP in my state has been beclouded by crisis since 2003. If you recall, it is in Anambra State that an elected governor in 2007 was removed within 14 days. It is in the state that a governor was abducted and somebody came forward to testify before a court that he rigged election that brought the governor to power.

He openly accepted that he helped the governor to rig election, and eventually, the governor was removed by the court. So, these crisis reached its peak recently just few weeks to the primaries, and I found out that the vehicle cannot be repaired anymore hence there are over 150 cases in different courts in Nigeria, as those of us who enjoy the support of our people especially at the grassroots decided to look for another vehicle. It will be wrong to remain in a vehicle that cannot be repaired. We have to get into a moving one to actualize our dream and that is what my constituency did. That is why they got me another vehicle that can return me to the Senate and that vehicle is Accord Party (AP).

Failure to pick second term ticket under PDP
No! It is not true. I don't want to discuss what happened in the party's primary. We discovered that people who were not contesting election sat down in Abuja and the Villa and decided whose name should be sent to INEC, and which one should not be sent and that caused more problems within the party. The ideal thing to do is whoever wishes to contest election should go to his or her state, but because they are not popular at home, they chose to manipulate the process.

However, President Goodluck Jonathan has tried to resolve the Anambra PDP crisis, but these Abuja politicians, did not want peace because they always have their way through crisis. I will say the reason I left PDP for AP is because the courts have come up with one judgment or other and I said to myself that if I rely on court judgments, I may not actualize my dream even though I have confidence in the judiciary. But the best I can do, is to go to a political party that is crisis-free and my people supported me. A situation whereby five candidates emerged in a political party to contest for a seat. Even somebody that have forged results is still parading himself as a candidate and the party has not asked why such person is claiming he won primary. However, I think I have taken the right decision to contest on the platform of Accord Party and all the people of Anambra Central are behind me. They are in support of my decision and I am happy about it.

Popularity of AP
The people of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone are concerned about Sen. Okonkwo not party. As it is today, Nigerians are going to vote for personality, not party, because gone are those days when political parties were the deciding factors of election victory. Nigerians are politically- enlightened and my joining Accord Party has popularized the party, not only in Anambra Central, but Anambra State in general. In my constituency, my people know no other candidate but Senator Okonkwo. Afterall, they asked me to move to Accord Party. Also, Accord Party is the first in the ballot paper. So, it will be very easy for them to know and vote for me.

Preparation and agenda
I will consolidate on what I have, and I am doing projects such as erosion control, a cause I started immediately I got to the Senate, and I have not relented, even though I hear some people say it is only erosion I talk about in the hallowed chamber. I think those people are ignorant of my activities in the Senate, because as I talk with you now, the Federal Government has approved N11 billion to tackle erosion in the South-East in addition to World Bank's $500,000.

Remember, I am pursuing and championing the cause for the creation of additional one state in the South-East to equal that of other geo-political zones that have six states respectively. It is estimated that over (3) trillion is what the zone lost for shortage of one state within four years. Dredging of the River Niger is another cause I am pursuing, as the contract has been awarded but work is yet to start. Enugu Airport has been upgraded to international standard. It is as a result of the efforts of those of us from the zone in the National Assembly. The state of roads in the zone you will agree with me is bad, and it is one of the challenges we face. Therefore, there is need for continuity, and that is why my people felt I should return to the Senate.

Opposition candidates
No. I am not scared of any candidate, because I am popular and have touched the lives of my people positively. The first question you ask is: Has any of these people you mentioned above won election before? They have not won an election before. Of course, Ngige stole the people's mandate and the court removed him. Prof. Akunyili has not run an election before.

So, how can they be a threat to my victory? Remember, I am and remain the only elected Senator from Anambra State that never had problem or been taken to court for electoral offence. Therefore, they are not my equals and that is the reason I moved to Accord Party to prove that in Anambra Central, I hold the ace and of course to me, my opponents are as good as dead on arrival.