How Abia PDP's Expanded Stalkholders Meeting Reaffirms Strength, Silences Those Who Claimed To Have Collapsed The Party (Photos) | #NwokeukwuMascot


...Abia PDP's Extraordinary Comeback and the Shock to Naysayers by Jude Chijioke Ndukwe | #NwokeukwuMascot

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Comebacks are usually very sweet and savoury to the protagonists but leave the opponents shocked, melancholic, and disoriented. I remember sometime in October 2012, Arsenal FC played against Reading FC at the Madejski stadium in the fourth round of the English League Cup. Before anyone could say Jack Robinson, Reading had scored 4 goals against Arsenal in the first half. Theo Walcott managed to put one back for Arsenal as the half ended 4-1. Then came the second half, Arsenal fought like wounded lions and equalised the goals for the second half to end 4-4.

The game stretched into extra time. Arsenal scored three more goals while Reading could only score one to bring the match to an end at 7-5 in favour of Arsenal.

That comeback by Arsenal remains one of the most extraordinary in football history, and while Arsenal savoured their victory as they qualified for the next round, anti-Arsenal pundits, commentators, observers and analysts were left riled, reeling out what should have been and what should not have been in the match. They did their best to downplay the significance of the comeback but Araenal already moved on as eventual deserved winners.

The above story fits perfectly into the Abia PDP stakeholders meeting that held recently at Umuahia. Following the gale of defections that hit the party lately, those who had been seeking the total obliteration of the party in the state in the hope that Abia would be run by the current government without any check from any opposition party went about town celebrating their imagined 'death of PDP' in the state being the only party that is providing the state with consistent  concrete, objective and constructive opposition.

However, such peddlers of 'PDP is dead in Abia' falsehood suddenly entered a severe pensive mood when they saw not just the crowd but also the quality of people that attended the PDP stakeholders meeting on Thursday, 23rd May, 2024. The Ogurube Layout new office of the PDP was packed to the rafters far beyond what the multi-decked office could contain and the overflow was filled with people right from the building through the street to the adjoining Secretariat Road. There was hardly any space left to park cars even as neighbouring estates and buildings generously flung open their gates to accommodate more cars belonging to party members. The excitement to see that the PDP was not only alive but also well and strong contrary to the wishes of naysayers must have motivated such kind gesture from the neighbours. Even they were shocked at the number of people that besieged their street for the meeting.

As the people waited for the meeting to commence, the slogan of the party, 'P-D-P...Power to the people' intermitently rent the air. The shout of the slogan by one leader and member or the other as they emerged was always eliciting loud and earth-shaking response from the people. Everyone could see the excitement on their faces an indication that the belief that the PDP remains the strongest and best political party to run the affairs of the state despite some of the mishaps of the last general elections was still very strong.

I think what pained naysayers the most was the grand reception which the immediate past Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu received as he arrived the venue. His entry elicited instantaneous joyous reactions from the crowd as he made his way into the building with pomp and splendour. Supporters were desperately angling to welcome him and have a handshake with him. That image must have ruffled his critics who thought that their relentless campaign of calumny must by now have so diminished the party leader and ex-governor that nobody might want to be associated with him.

However, with the benefit of hindsight, a majority of Abians have come to the realisation that Ikpeazu was only a victim of his own gentleness which his critics, a college of the aggrieved, took advantage of to malign him.

Shocked by his undiminished yet towering popularity, and seeing that their efforts to bring him to opprobrium have failed, the same critics resorted to micro-analysing what Ikpeazu said or did not say at the meeting. He is so attractive and charming that they just can't get off his back. He remains the most talked about politician in Abia State  till date despite having left office a year ago. He's so alluring that even those who are supposed to face governance are focused on him; they have unintentionally made him their own albatross.

Photos: PDP Extended caucus and stalkholders meetings in Ogurube layout, Umuahia.

As leader after leader spoke, including foremost elderstatesman, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, CON, Rt Hon. Allwell Asiforo, Chief Okey Ahiwe, Sen. Austin Akobundu, Hon Uko Nkole, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, among others, it became clearer than ever that rather than weakened, PDP in Abia State is growing even stronger to the consternation of political undertakers.

The presence of other leaders like Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, Rt Hon Chikwendu Kalu, Hon Okey Igwe, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Hon Mandela Obasi, Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu (Bawas), Hon Chukwudi Apugo, among others, and the numerous other party stakeholders that attended the meeting, is a testament to the fact that PDP in Abia is alive and well, and can only grow stronger.

Like Arsenal who came from 4 - 0 down to eventually win that match by 7 goals to 5, PDP's comeback go loud gaan ni..


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