Abia South Senate Seat : Test for `Not Too Young To Run Act’
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.
They are 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.
Onyeizu who is coming out under the ‘Not too Young to Run’ Act of President Muhammadu Buhari said that the primaries is a test for the Act in Nigeria as a nation.
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 votes.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
But he would contend with Sir Marc Wabara, who 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 case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, present a major hurdle to his aspiration.
This may be the biggest sore point that other parties could latch on to defeat APC during the general elections.
For some youths in the zone, fielding Wabara will likely be a monumental mistake by APC.
Chief Nyerere Chinenye Anyim, a private businessman, who contested the governorship position in 2015 elections but failed, is likely to leverage his position as a founding member of APC to whip up sentiment.
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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (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.
If Onyeizu picks the ticket come October 2 for the APC Abia senatorial Zone, it would give hope to all other Nigerians who were motivated by the signing to law Not too Young to Run Act by the President.