As the calendar moves closer to October 2, primary election of the All Progressives Congress APC, for Senate seat in Abia South zone, the three frontline contenders are putting finishing touches to their strategies to win the election.
The leading aspirants include Sir Mac Wabara, the former Managing Director of the defunct Hallmark Bank, Chief Nyerere Chinenye Anyim, former governorship candidate of APC in the 2015 poll in Abia State and an internationally acclaimed Petroleum Engineer, Chinedu Onyeizu.
But the question dominating discussions among party members and interested observers alike is who among the three candidates’ stands a better chance to win the ticket and successfully fly the flag of the party in next year’s general election.
From available evidence there is a consensus among the electorate in Abia South on the qualities that the next Senator representing the zone in the red chamber of the national assembly must possess to be able to attract their vote.
The choice of the next Senator for Abia South from the body language of majority of the electorate in the zone would be determined by factors that excludes old fashioned politics considered to be the biggest problem to effective representation at the upper chamber of the national assembly since 1999 and for which the dividends of democracy had eluded the people of the zone.
Given this background and the fact that other registered political parties operating in the state would likely premise their choices of candidates on how to meet the expectations of the voting public, the choice of who flies the flag of APC in next year’s senate election, therefore becomes simpler.
It is a choice that must put into consideration of what the electorate wants and no longer what a few individual consider best for the majority. Looking at the three contenders on individual merit would provide the needed assessment that will guide the voters to make the right choice for the benefit of the party and in fulfillment of the expectations of the masses.
Starting with Sir Marc Wabara, he has been in the political scene for a while even though he had not been successful with his aspirations. He would be depending on his heavy war chest and a track record of being a former bank chief executive but the fact that Hallmark Bank failed under his watch and his romance with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in not too distant past on issues bothering on financial impropriety may be the biggest sore point that other parties could latch on to defeat APC during the general elections. So fielding Wabara will be a monumental mistake by APC!
Chief Nyerere Chinenye Anyim, a private businessman who contested the governorship position in 2015 elections but failed woefully is likely to leverage his position as a founding member of APC to whip up sentiment. The issues at hand far outweigh any sentiment attachments and as such his chances are not bright.
The internationally acclaimed Petroleum Engineer, Chinedu Onyeizu is perhaps the only candidate, among the three that has what it takes to secure victory for APC in the 2019 general elections and also meet the expectations of the greatest majority of the masses in the zone.
At Just 38, Chinedu Onyeizu represents the new breed in the politics of Abia South. Young, fresh and intellectually deep, Onyeizu has, since he came out to dare, never ceased to attract attention and acceptance!
From the day he announced his candidacy about two months ago,Onyeizu’s immediate acceptability and growing popularity amongst the youths and increasing percentage of the old has been tremendous and a huge asset for APC which they should build upon!
His visionary outlook on how to transform the living standard of the masses through pursuit of effective representation continues to set him apart from other contenders whose major motivation is either self or group interest!
Among the masses of Abia South Onyeizu has run a skilled and substantive campaign, one that has offered reasonable, realistic solutions to problems that have for too long festered and multiplied.
His philosophy embraces participatory democracy and he stands for values that will help put the future of the youth and other members of the society on the path of prosperity.
Onyeizu is the better choice because he could be trusted. He is a better choice to represent his party in the general election because he has an enviable solid base that could swing voters support more than any individual across party divide. He is far more likely to put practicality before the narrow partisan interest that attempts to paralyze the progressiveness of democracy in the country.
He also commands a lot of followership among the youth who see him as a role model and a fearless promoter of youth participation in leadership in the country. The youth are the critical mass of the electorate and any party that ignores that endangers its chances
Amidst all Onyeizu has acquired the requisite intellectual preparation and exposures to offer something different, something urgently needed to address issues of deprivation, lack and hopelessness that had chained the masses of Abia South for too long.
In 2006, Chinedu Onyeizu was recognised as the Best Young Engineer in West Africa by PENWELL Petroleum Group – a U.K. based organization during the 2006 Offshore West Africa Conference in Abuja. He developed and presented a GIS model that is capable of detecting and transmitting real time data on vulnerability of the environment to spill in a Niger Delta oilfield.
He has had the privilege of studying at prestigious universities like Harvard University in Boston, Herriot-Watt University in Scotland, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts for postgraduate degrees.
He started his professional career as a Natural Gas Research Associate with the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) in 2004 and joined Chevron Nigeria Limited in 2007 where he worked in various petroleum upstream projects. With a scope of expertise that includes Petroleum Asset development, Strategy Planning, Power and Energy Policy development, and Project Management at senior executive levels, it would be fool hardy for the so called experienced politicians and money bags to dismiss Onyeizu as ‘inexperienced, since the youths and the working class young adults, the critical segment of the voting population, are eager for real change in the politics of this oil producing senatorial district.
The argument today is that amongst the candidates, Onyeizu is, if the hard truth is to be told, the only one that has the real experience to advance the course of Abia South in particular and Abia State in general, as an oil producing community. He is the only one that has the critical knowledge to turn around the fortunes of the zone!
Though the youngest, he has the critical experience that counts. In 2016, while studying for his MBA at MIT, Onyeizu developed and shared a policy and technology based model capable of transforming Nigeria’s petroleum industry. His model promises to position Nigeria as a global hub for crude oil refining and distribution in West Africa and the rest of the world. His work received global recognition and was later published by MIT on the October 2017 edition of MIT Expert blog. He later founded an organisation – Africa Policy Evaluation and Research Associates (AfriPERA) – focused on working with national and regional governments and institutions on developing and reviewing policies on energy, power, agriculture and economy for the development of Africa and other emerging economies.
Abia South APC voters in the forthcoming Senate primary will do well to nominate Onyeizu to fly the party’s flag in next year’s general election.