Chidike Ukauwa, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia, said President Muhammadu Buhari deserved a second term, in spite of misgivings by some Nigerians over the performance of the administration.
Mr Chidike Ukauwa said this during an interaction with members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia council on Friday.
He said that Buhari’s administration had acquitted itself in the effort to enhance the nation’s socio-economic development.
He cited the various economic interventions by the Federal Government to states, including the bailout fund, as part of the administration’s initiatives to stabilise the economy.
“It was during this administration that states were given bailout fund to enable them pay salaries. This is the first time in the history of Nigeria.
“Buhari has also initiated programmes and projects that have positive impact on the people.
“He is the Messiah of Nigeria today and looking at his performance, he deserves a second term,” said Ukauwa, who claims to be the president’s die-hard supporter.
Mr Ukauwa, who was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the party, announced his withdrawal from the race.
He said that he decided to step down for Uche Ogah, one of the frontline governorship aspirants, who he described as his master.
He said, “I want to say that I am not withdrawing because I have been settled by Ogah.
“No, I have not been settled, he has not given me any dime,” he said, while debunking the rumour that he was settled.
“Ogah is my master and I do not want to fight him,” Ukauwa said.
He described the aspirant as credible and imbued with the leadership qualities to liberate Abia from bondage.
“Abia needs a credible candidate that would help to salvage the state from many years of slavery, misrule, exploitation and underdevelopment.”
He said that present and past leaders in the state did little or nothing to transform the state.
Mr Ukauwa regretted that 27 years after the creation of Abia, Umuahia, the state capital, still looked like a glorified village.
He urged the Presidency, state and national leadership of APC to ensure the conduct of free and credible primaries in Abia.
“I urge other chieftains of our party to join me to ensure the emergence of a credible candidate,” adding that any attempt to manipulate the process would be unacceptable to members.
“There would be no imposition in Abia APC and I want the world and Abians in particular to know that there is no zoning in APC.
“Let all the aspirants be allowed to contest the primaries, whether direct or indirect,” he said.
Mr Ukauwa however faulted the APC leadership over the high cost of the party’s Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms.
He said: “The cost of the forms contradicts the administration’s acclaimed fight against corruption.
“It was a conspiracy against the Nigerian youth and has defeated the objective of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Law.”