Nigeria Decides 2023: Nasarawa guber: PDP battles to upstage APC Nasarawa
From Abel Leonard, Lafia
Less than a week to the governorship election, the Nasarawa State candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Dr David Emmanuel Ombugadu, in the calculation of many critical observers has become a frontrunner in the race.
His supporters see him as the best candidate to lead the state towards sustainable socio-economic transformation.
Not a few believe that despite the fact that Nasarawa is blessed with abundant human and mineral resources, the current APC administration has failed to provide basic dividends of democracy to the people.
Analysts argue that Ombugadu has a track record of exceptional performance in his two-term tenure as a member of the House of representatives, and has already promised to embark on an industrial revolution in the state, prioritizing agriculture, mining, and security.
In the build up to Saturday’s poll, the Tiv community in the state has endorsed Ombugadu as the best candidate to protect their interests.
A popular chieftain of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Obiya Yahaya-Doma, has also backed the election bid of the PDP candidate.
Many believe that the PDP governorship candidate possesses the pedigree that makes him the best choice for the march 18th, 2023 election.
According to various reports from sources and stakeholders in the state, the political activities that heralded the present APC administration four years ago threw up a government that has failed to provide the basic dividends of democracy to the good people of the state.
In the calculation of many critical observers, the extraneous forces that combined to deliver power to the incumbent Governor Abdullahi Sule have not proved to be well meaning for Nasarawa and its good people, considering the shoddy and lackluster performance in the last four years in office.
It is on this basis that the PDP governorship candidate, David Ombugadu threw his hat in the ring to help salvage the situation before the state finally collapsed.
Speaking while formally accepting his nomination as the PDP Governorship candidate in Nasarawa State, David Ombugadu said the problems which informed his decision to respond to the call of the people of the state in 2019 for their liberation has now taken a new and frightening dimensions.
He decried the complete breakdown of infrastructure, increase in inequality, high rate of unemployment, weak economy, abject poverty, lack of access roads, poor healthcare and educational facilities.
Ombugadu explained further that he was contesting to unseat Governor Abdullahi Sule purely on his records as a two term member of the House of Representatives for Wamba, Nasarawa Eggon and Akwanga federal constituency between 2011 and 2019 where he did exceptionally well in terms of provision of water, health, education, electricity, empowerment and other infrastructural benefits not only to his constituency but across the state.
He said that he is seeking the governorship of the state not for affluence, luxury or comfort, but by an altruistic desire to audaciously dare and defeat the albatross of leadership ignonimy that had suffocated the economic development of the state.
He boasted that he was going to defeat the incumbent governor, before 1pm in the governorship election scheduled for march 18th.
Ombugadu’s optimism to defeat the incumbent governor, according to him “is lack of infrastructure in the state in the past 4 years of the present administration.
“I will embark on an industrial revolution of the state if elected, I will give priority to agriculture and mining, as well as security of lives and property would be given utmost attention to revive the state economy”.
The DG of the PDP campaign in the state, Labaran Maku said; “our reason the PDP is actually the party to beat in 2023 is that the incumbent Governor has not performed; if you look at it, the president visited Nasarawa State after four years in government; what did the president commission? It was two motor parks, one in Lafia and another in Mararaba.
“You know, in 2019, they didn’t win the election, there were a lot of malpractices, if you look at the true records of the election, they came last, so in this dispensation, there is no APC in Nasarawa State.
“If you add APGA results with that of the PDP, you will see that APC came at a far distance. So if you add those results now, it will be more than what it was in 2019. That is why in this election, we are not talking about how we will win, but on what margin”
The PDP Governorship candidate equally received a major boost from the Tiv community in Nasarawa State led by their leader, Thomas Gaar who was a former INEC commissioner. He said endorsing David Ombugadu of the PDP in the forthcoming governorship election was in the best interest of the Tiv people in the state.
Against all odds, he said they are to prove to the world that Tiv people are politically affiliated and could choose to support any political party that would protect their interest in the state, noting that the perception that no Tiv man could be in another party except APC is not true.
“We are being killed, treated like people without origin, displaced at all zones in the state and we think the APC has failed us and we have all agreed together to vote for PDP candidate, David Ombugadu who had promised to carry us along”
The Tiv leader said they studied both candidates critically and discovered that the PDP candidate, David Ombugadu had a performance record, and accomplishment in his previous roles as a former member of the House of representatives and that he is capable of replicating the success if elected as governor.
Also, a Chieftain of the APC in the state Mr Obiya Yahaya-Doma, has backed the election bid of the governorship candidate of PDP in Nasarawa.
Speaking during a press conference in Lafia, Yahaya-Doma announced his support for the opposition PDP governorship candidate against his party’s standard bearer and incumbent governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule.
He, therefore, claimed that voting for PDP was imperative because Governor Sule’s administration has failed people of the state by performing below average and expectations.
According to him, “the competency and blueprint of the PDP candidate to transform the state and set it to the part of development has gingered me to throw my weight behind his election as the next governor of Nasarawa State.”
Boosting the chances of the PDP Governorship candidate against the incumbent Governor Sule of the APC, is the stepping down of the Labour Party Governorship candidate, Joseph Ewuga for the PDP.
Recall that the Labour Party had won the February 25th Presidential election in Nasarawa State but Ewuga Joseph, the governorship candidate of the party in the state in a press conference ahead of the march 18th Guber election in Akwanga local government area of the state, had joined forces with the PDP candidate stating that he believed David Ombugadu is more qualified than him and will do the job better than him if elected.
He explained the need to rebuild Nasarawa State and bring the desired change among the people.
According to Ewuga, he had consulted with his supporters, party leaders and stakeholders across the state before arriving at the decision to join forces with the PDP.
He expressed confidence in Ombugadu’s ability to lead Nasarawa State to greater heights and promised to work tirelessly to ensure his victory in the forthcoming election.
The LP candidate emphasized that his decision was borne out of a desire to put the interest of the people above personal ambition and political considerations, and urged his supporters to follow his lead and join hands with the PDP to bring about the change that Nasarawa State desperately needs.