Reactions have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of Sen. Hope Uzodinma, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Imo Governorship Candidate for the 2019 election.
Lawmakers and party chieftains, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews described the endorsement as a welcome development.
The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole had at a rally to flag-off campaign of the Imo governorship candidate on Friday in Owerri, disclosed Buhari’s support for Uzodinma’s candidature.
Sen. Abdullahi Gumel (APC-Jigawa), who was at the rally, said the endorsement was an indication that the president was responsive to the people’s yearning.
He said the support had further boosted the party’s popularity and support in the state, adding that “APC has been made stronger with Mr President’s support”.
“The mammoth crowd that turned out for the rally was an indication that Imo people are APC people,” gumel said.
A former lawmaker, Sen. Ayogu Eze, said nothing could be as assuring as having the president’s support for a candidate.
He urged those who could not make it in the primaries to take it in good fate and join hands with Uzodinma to restore the mandate of the people.
“Politics is a contestation. Everybody wants to be the one but the one that has the grace of God and favour on him always comes up.
“So, the rest will have no option than to come round whoever has emerged,” he said.
On the turnout for the rally, the former lawmaker said: “It was a very huge ceremony that has sent clear signal that the South East is shifted from any other political alignment to the national movement which is the APC.
“You saw the crowd and the effort to frustrate the flag-off. It was a success all the same.
“There was a clear message from our people and that is what you are seeing all over the South East Zone.
“There is a movement, a paradigm shift and there is a realignment and there is no pulling back the force,” he said.
An APC Chieftain in Imo, Mr Longers Anyanwu, said the president’s action on the Imo governorship primaries was an indication that he was a democrat.
Anyanwu, a former Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Imo, said “Buhari does not meddle in the internal political process of our party.
“He is a man with the father figure and ready to embrace anybody that emerges as a result of popular wish.
“This is the climax of a struggle to correct the ills suffered by the people of the state.
“All these while it seems that the party is unpopular because of the unpopular leadership.
“Today the National Working Committee and the entire leadership of the APC has proved that Imo is important to them and Imo people have shown solidarity and love,” he said.
He commended the choice of Uzodinma, saying he was a grassroots politician.
He said that Imo people had been desirous of a man like Uzodinma who have the interest of the people at heart. (NAN)