Chief Ali Odefa, the Acting National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Southeast zone will on Saturday at the Okpara Square, Enugu be confirmed the Substantive National Vice Chairman of the PDP in the Southeast.
Odefa who has become a strong force and a rallying point for the PDP in the Southeast was on Tuesday at Lion Building, Government House Enugu adopted as the consensus candidate of the party ahead of its Zonal congress scheduled for Saturday March 6, 2021 at the iconic Okpara Square, Enugu.
At the Zonal Executive Committee (ZEC) meeting hosted by the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the crème de la crème of Igbo political class gathered in their numbers and endorsed Chief Odefa as the PDP consensus candidate for the position of the National Vice Chairman of the party in the Southeast region.
Among those who joined delegates from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States to endorse Chief Odefa include, the Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, former Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general elections, Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor of Ebonyi State and lawmaker representing Ebonyi North in the Senate, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu and the immediate past Govenor of Imo State, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha.
Others include, the National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu, former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Barr. Olisa Metuh, pioneer Woman Leader of the Party and former Minister, Iyom Josephine Anenih, members of the National Assembly and various other party bigwigs.
State chapters of the party were led by their respective state Chairmen, while former office holders of the party as well as members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) members were also on hand to lend their support.
The endorsement of Odefa as the consensus candidate for the highly important office of the National Vice Chairman of the party in the Southeast, according to the party leaders was part of a careful and strategic plan of the party to reclaim lost grounds in the zone.
Chief Odefa is an old horse in party administration and especially well experienced as a member of the PDP. He was the party’s Southeast image maker for eight years till 2015 when he resigned the position to take up the task of serving as the Security Adviser to Ebonyi State Governor, Mr. David Umahi.
His exploits in the party is well noted.
In fact, the leaders of the PDP including former President of the Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON, Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former National Secretary of the party, Chief Ben Obi amongst many others have praised the dexterity of Chief Odefa in administering the party.
For example, just within the three months he was unanimously appointed as the Acting NVC, Southeast of the party, Odefa has galvanized the party in the Southeast that today the party now speaks with one voice.
At his acceptance speech at the Government House, Enugu State where his appointment was ratified in December, 2020, Odefa stated that winning Anambra State for the PDP was a key point in his determined effort to reposition the party to winning ways in that all important State of the Southeast. Today, a little above three months down the line, no one is in doubt that the PDP is poised to win Anambra State.
For the first time in about 16 years, PDP in Anambra State is approaching the governorship election united and very hopeful of victory. As part of his victory Strategy for the PDP, Odefa has at many for a insisted that “this is not a shouting match, while our detractors are busy shouting, we are back on the drawing board, strategizing and by the Grace of God, we shall have victory at the end of the day.”
Indeed, the endorsement of Chief Odefa as the consensus candidate for the strategically important office of the National Vice Chairman of the PDP could not have come at a better time, especially when viewed from the background of the losses incurred by the PDP due to the lack of focus and crass ineptitude of the former leadership of the party in the immediate past four years.
PDP is now charged, ready, willing and focused on winning and advancing the cause of democratic rule in the Southeast, nay Nigeria.
On Saturday, party leaders, stakeholder and faithful will gather at the historic Okpara Square, Enugu to confirm the elevation of Odefa in line with the constitution of the PDP. Yes, bitter sweet nostalgic memories may abound, but like Odefa says, “our eyes are on the ball” and the goals will be scored and victory shall be the PDP’s.
Senior Special Assistant
Media and Publicity to the NVC, PDP, Southeast Zone