It is with immense pleasure that I welcome everyone here to this important event of my formal registration as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibere Ward 2. This symbolic action formally brings to an end my association with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and signals the commencement of a journey whose ultimate aims are to strengthen and preserve the sacredness of our democratic institutions, bring an end to impunity, liberate Abia from the chains of underdevelopment occasioned by political hegemony, and ultimately ensure that political leadership plays its primary role of service to the people.

If after 21 years of democratic rule in Nigeria we still have a situation where individuals privatize political parties and from the comfort of their rooms foist on the people their personal wishes, then something is wrong and it behoves on well-meaning individuals to rise like lions and put a stop to such undemocratic and clearly self-serving methods. As we work on electoral reforms in the country, we must work towards eliminating loopholes that make it possible for individuals to sit in their homes and have persons who did not participate in the electoral process to be handpicked and suddenly become election winners thus inflicting unbearable pains on people who had religiously followed and participated in the process. That should be unacceptable as it is totally anti-people.

What happened in Ikwuano during the sham that was called Local Government elections is a complete disgrace and the participants if they have any shame should bury their heads in shame. A situation where people who did not participate in the electoral process (from purchase of forms to the screening exercise) and through a party that did not sponsor any candidate were suddenly allocated votes and declared winners is not only laughable, but speaks to the complete disdain that our people are held. This bizarre anti-democratic action can only happen in Abia State, and it is because of actions similar to this that I decided it was time I joined the progressives as we seek to salvage what remains of our democracy.

We must guard this democracy jealously and avoid situations where individuals or families destroy known democratic norms by hijacking electoral processes and distributing impunity with wanton disregard. These are some of the actions that have embroiled the PDP in crises and thus made the party inconducive to any self-respecting democrat. We fought too hard and long for this democracy to allow it to be turned to a pseudo-dictatorship by selfish and greedy individuals.

Let me round off by pointing out that even as a member of the PDP which is the opposition party at the federal level, I continued to attract impactful projects from the APC-controlled Federal Government. Some of these projects have been fully executed (and some are ongoing) by the Federal Government despite the fact that I did not belong to the ruling party at that time. Some of these projects as we all know include the erosion control works at Amachara, Umuopara in Umuahia South Local Government Area and the one at the Okwe-Obuohia road in Ikwuano Local Government Area; the building of a town hall; several water projects; hospitals; classroom blocks; Skills Acquisition Centre at Apumiri Ubakala; rehabilitation of the failed sections of the Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene Federal Road and the ongoing total reconstruction of the road; human capital development trainings and empowerment; facilitating the ongoing process of building a Federal Secretariat in Umuahia; and many more. My commitment to attracting more impactful projects for the good of our people will remain unwavering and even more so now. As always, I will continue to work with the Federal Government and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, for the good of our people. Let me be clear, as I join the ruling party, I will continue with my track record of working hard for my Federal Constituency, Abia State, and to ultimately contribute my quota towards repositioning Ndi Igbo in the affairs of Nigeria.

I thank you all once again for coming and enjoin you to join hands with me as we strengthen our democracy and continue to serve our people well.

God bless us all.

 

Sam Onuigbo, Member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency, Abia State, during the occasion of his formal registration as member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibere Ward 2, at Ngwugwo Ibere Village Square, on December 31,2020.

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