Enugu was one of the states that have remained strong hold of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. And they showed it in the last general election eventually won by the APC. And come the 2019 elections, the people may remain in PDP or any new party that may emerge to challenge the APC led government.
President Muhammadu Buhari
Their reason appear to be solely on grounds of the failure of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to alleviate the problems of the country especially the biting fuel scarcity that has engendered other severe conditions. Residents of Enugu and indigenes of the state have said that they would rather remain with PDP than suffer under APC that has not brought the positive changes they based their campaign on. And whatever damage the PDP did to Nigeria’s economy no longer mattered to them. They maintain that what matters to them is how effective government is in currently handling problems. Ahead of the 2019 general elections therefore, most residents of Enugu State are girding their loins to ensure that President Muhammad Buhari,of the All Progressives Congress, APC, led Government does not return to power. They say that if their votes would only matter, the present government will face change. The intractable hike in Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, price which sold at N220 per liter during and after the Easter celebration is not acceptable to them.
The residents who wore long faces as they spoke to Vanguard at some filing stations in the metropolis said,”a corrupt Peoples Democratic Party,PDP,government did not cause us the hardship we are facing now under APC Government”. They recalled that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had assured the nation of adequate supply of products during the celebration. It never happened and people spent the Easter on queues to buy fuel the same thing that happened to them at Christmas. PMS, otherwise known as Fuel sold at N160 before the Easter celebration in Enugu State against the approved pump price of N86.50K. Saurday Vanguard checks revealed that most residents marked the Easter in a gloomy mood as prices of staple food items sky-rocketed. Mrs. Ebere Agu,a widow with three children told Vanguard that she has never experienced the level of hardship subsisting in the country now,for the past 53 years she was born. According to Mrs. Agu, ”I have never seen a thing like this since I was born. The only thing that is moving in this country is the increasing number of prisoners in our various prisons across the country. The government will have to devote more resources in building prisons as the tough conditions may force some weak minds into crime. Look at all economic indices, they are all flagged red. We will go naked to resist a return of this government”. Another respondent,Uche Ibe, an unemployed undergraduate said that the APC-led government was a fraud that preached welfare of the unemployed only for the party to toss them out of window on assumption office. “APC campaigned on N5,000 stipend for all unemployed graduates to woo the electorates in the days leading to the general elections. They have suddenly realized that it is not feasible to implement. A man knows his friends in times of adversity, certainly,APC, has lost it” the unemployed graduate lamented. The Chairman/founder of the United Progressives Party, UPP, Chief Chewas Okorie who also was the party’s presidential candidate at the last general election told Saturday Vanguard over the phone that,”if the fuel crisis persists,it will spell disaster for the APC in 2019. Although there appears to be parameters by the Federal Government to ease the hardship,if it doesn’t subside within 30 days,that will mean doom for APC. Another respondent, Okey Agbo, an Enugu State indigene but residing in Ebonyi State regretted that the level of hardship induced by the fuel crisis has forced businesses to close shops even as cost of all goods and services has sky-rocketed following the unending situation. In few filling stations where fuel sold at the approved pump price of N86.50K, motorists had to spend days to purchase regulated volumes while black marketers had a field day in connivance with operators to sell at suffocating prices of N500 per liter especially to night crawling motorist who ran out of fuel.
The fuel scarcity is nationwide even as some people Enugu insist the problem could be a factor in the 2019 elections.