- The APC seems to be attracting political heavyweights into its fold in the southeast in recent times
- Opposition parties APGA and the PDP have suffered losses in the past few weeks as many troop into the APC
- There are, however, insinuations that the mass defections into the APC may not necessarily translate into votes
According to the report, the party is getting stronger by the day with the mass defections of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chieftains into the APC.
Dr. Nkem Okeke, the deputy governor of Anambra state on Wednesday, October 13, defected from APGA to the APC.
On Wednesday, August 4, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Senator Joy Emordi, defected from the party to the APC.
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A former minister of Aviation and senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Stella Oduah, on Thursday, August 26 dumped the PDP for the APC.
Following the defections in the state, APC chairman in Anambra state, Chief Basil Ejidike said the party now has a registered membership of 500,000.
The recent defections show that APC has greatly improved its fortune in the zone since the conclusion of the 2015 general election.
In the southeast, which rejected APC during the 2015 general election and voted massively for the PDP, attention has suddenly shifted to the ruling party.
So far, the party is in control of two states out of the five states in the zone. In many states of the southeast, it has been a mass harvest of politicians who have dumped their political parties over one reason or the other to pitch tent with the APC.
Many top politicians including former governors under whose guide the APC lost elections in the region have suddenly embraced the party.
For instance, the composition of the party in the zone in six years showed that in Enugu state, top politicians including former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former Governors Jim Nwobodo and Sullivan Chime and former Military administrator, Group Capt. Joe Orji (rtd) have joined the APC.
In Anambra state, those who have joined the ruling party include the incumbent deputy governor, Okeke; Senators Andy Uba, Emordi and Oduah as well as former governorship candidate of the PDP, Chike Obidigbo and some members of the state House of Assembly.
In Ebonyi, the defection of Governor Dave Umahi automatically made the state an APC controlled state, with a majority of members of the state House of Assembly, commissioners, appointees joining the ruling party.
Others are Senator Chris Nwankwo and all local government chairmen who served under former Governor Martin Elechi; former Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu; former House of Representatives member, Peter Ede, former PDP youth leader, Chinedu Ogar among others.
In Abia state, former minister of labour, Emeka Nwogu and former Senator Nkechi Nworgu are among the bigwigs, who have joined the APC since the conclusion of the 2015 general elections.
Notwithstanding the defections of prominent southeast politicians to APC, the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state would be a litmus test for the ruling party in the region.
How the party will overcome grassroots support for APGA and PDP in the November 6 elections is yet to be seen.
Reacting to the defections, a political commentator in the southeast, Chibundu Akachukwu, told Legit.ng that the movement of top chieftains of the PDP and APGA to the APC may not necessarily translate into votes.
According to Akachukwu, many of the politicians moving to the APC may find it difficult convincing their supporters to move to the party with them.
“Let's face the facts, the APC is not popular party in the southeast. While the party may parade heavy politicalweights in its fold, I doubt it will translate into votes in the Anambra governorship election or the 2023 general elections.”
Governor Okowa says PDP will win Anambra governorship election
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has said that the PDP would win the November 6 governorship election in Anambra as it did in Edo in 2020.
The governor made the comment when he received the party's candidate, Valentine Ozigbo and some defectors from APGA in Anambra led by the youth leader in the state, Magnus Eziokwu, in Asaba on Tuesday, October 12.
He said that PDP stood a chance to win Anambra going by the preparations so far made by the party, adding that Ozigbo was better than all other candidates in the election.
PDP chieftain confident of party's victory
Similarly, the coordinator of Ozigbo Youth Vanguard, Chuks Benson Anaje, has stated that Ozigbo will win the Anambra election with a landslide victory.
The campaign coordinator assured the people that Ozigbo would make a difference if elected governor next month.
He urged voters in the state to elect the PDP candidate to serve them by voting for him massively on Saturday, November 6.