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Guber race: I was endorsed by 52 Abia stakeholders —Ikpeazu

By Agwu Okojogho, Umuahia on 22/04/2015

Views: 3,292

The Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has dismissed fears and impressions in some quarters that he would not perform if he eventually emerges the next governor of Abia State.

Ikpeazu, while interacting with newsmen in Umuahia yesterday, also attributed the peace in Abia after the April 11, 2015 governorship elections in the state was declared inconclusive to the hospitality of the Ukwa/Ngwa people.

Since his emergence as the PDP standard bearer, there had been speculations that Ikpeazu was anointed by Governor Theodore Orji to succeed him, and as such, would be tied to the apron strings of the governor. .

A school of thought in the state is of the view that if Ikpeazu was truly anointed by Orji, he may not be allowed to perform. They allude to the treatment Orji allegedly received in the hands of his predecessor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, and their unending quarrels which is believed to have affected the development of the state in the past eight years.

But in clearing the air, Ikpeazu said he was endorsed by 52 stakeholders from across Abia State.

“Can you show me one example of a governor that is tied by anybody. There is nobody. Without Ahmed BolaTinubu, Governor Fashola would not have emerged. In fact, without Tinubu, the President-elect wouldn’t have had a smooth ride.

“You must seek endorsements if you are running a political race and I am humble enough to say that if I need endorsement, I go for it and seek it. When it was time for me to run for the primaries in my party, I had to seek endorsement from 52 stakeholders in Abia, including the incumbent governor, including Dr Ezeogo Anagha Ezikpe, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Chief Vin Ogbulafor and the rest and I can’t be tied to all these people.

“But those who sought those endorsements and couldn’t get them, turned the table and started shouting that somebody is going to be tied. Nobody is going to tie anybody. Nobody can tie anybody as a governor. If people are looking for people to tie, I am not a good candidate for that.

“I am my own man and from the issues that have been raised  earlier concerning Aba, concerning things I intend to do, it is clear to everybody that I have a clear agenda of what I want to do and where I will go. My narrative is clear to everybody that it is not a story told by somebody for me to tell you. It is something that I took time to conceptualise,” he said.

Ikpeazu, a Biochemist, attributed the seeming tension in Abia to the manner the governorship contest in the state was driven to a wedge even when there was no violence to warrant the cancellations done during the exercise and the final declaration that it was inconclusive.

He also gave an insight into the elephant-sized votes he secured from the Ngwa axis, particularly Obingwa, during the governorship election.

“In Abia, there was no catastrophe anywhere. It was a case of a candidate who chose his running mate from the same federal constituency and ignored the entire Abia Central and Abia South and has no House of Assembly candidate in Obingwa. He abandoned the place and I come from there. My wife is from there, my mother’s and father’s maternal homes are there. What did you expect?

“The trend from 1999, our people have been heavy voters. That is why, consistently we produce the Deputy Governor because people are looking for these votes and yet we left Nigeria to run with the fact that there was problem in Abia. That is what has caused this seeming tension in the air,” he said.

He added: “These Ukwa/Ngwa people spread across nine local governments with a block vote, have not been governor since the creation of this world. There is no former Ukwa/Ngwa governor, both in heaven and hell now as I speak. If you open the door of those two departments, you will not see any Ukwa/Ngwa person there.

“But I want to say also that the peace and stability that we have enjoyed in Abia, 70 per cent of the credit goes to the Ukwa/Ngwa people. We are wonderful hosts. Cities don’t grow from nowhere. If you have an unfriendly environment, nobody will come there to establish business. Our people are so hospitable to the point that we are almost becoming timid.”

•Photo shows Ikpeanzu

Source News Express

Posted 22/04/2015 03:33:22 AM





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