The 2023 governorship ambition of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is causing some serious unease in Abia State. Already, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is on fire for allegedly endorsing the senator as his successor.
But, the obviously shaken governor is denying ever endorsing the senator or any other aspirant for the 2023 Abia governorship election.
Ikpeazu is maintaining that he is presently occupied with ensuring that some critical road projects are dealt with, especially in Aba within this dry season window and would not want to be distracted by any 2023 political talks.
The clarification came after amidst speculation in the state on Christmas day that the Governor had endorsed the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who hails from the same Senatorial Zone and Local Government Area with him.
Abaribe declared his intentions to run for the governorship position in Abia during a visit to Ikpeazu’s residence on the 24th of December 2021.
Reacting, Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka said that some of the reports about his boss endorsing anyone are factually incorrect.
He explained that some of the reports carry certain misleading insinuations and needless innuendos and because of that, a proper clarification has not only become politically expedient but inevitable.
Ememanka continued that on 24th December 2021, Ikpeazu received Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe in his Country Home at Umuobiakwa, Obingwa Local Government Area on a scheduled Christmas visit.
According to Ememanka, Abaribe’s visit on that particular date has become an annual ritual and is for all intents and purposes, a display of brotherhood and love.
The governor’s spokesman also said that Abaribe is not only an elder brother to the governor but a highly respected Nigerian political leader and that it was in the course of the visit that the Senator informed the governor of his intention to “throw his hat into the ring” when the contest for the 2023 Gubernatorial Elections in the State starts.
Ememanka said that Abaribe was accompanied by some political leaders from Obingwa local government area on the visit and Ikpeazu welcomed him, thanked him for the Christmas visit and made remarks on the issue of his gubernatorial ambition.
He said that the Ikpeazu made the following remarks, “that he believes strongly that power comes from God and that the issues around power are too important and critical that God cannot leave it entirely in the hands of men. It was this philosophy that defined his own emergence as Governor in 2015.
“That he is not thinking about the politics of 2023 now because doing so will be tantamount to a technical abridgement of his own tenure and is capable of distracting him from the serious issues of governance in the State currently. In particular, the Governor stated that he is presently occupied with ensuring that some critical road projects are dealt with, especially in Aba within this dry season window.
“Some of these projects, for which contractors have been fully mobilized, include the recovery and completion of Faulks Road, Port Harcourt Road, Ngwa Road, Uratta, Obohia, Ohanku, Omuma, Eziukwu-Cemetery Road, Aba Owerri Road, ABSUTH – Udeagbala Road and the Osisioma Interchange, amongst others.
“That in view of the above, it will be inexpedient for him to associate himself with the aspirations of any person at this time, a move that could send wrong signals to the rest of the state and introduce some level of confusion in the politics of our dear state.
“Finally, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is a democrat who understands and respects the rights of every citizen to his political aspirations.
“He also firmly believes that when the time is right, the usual interplay of political forces on the one hand and a divine agenda on the other will put all issues around who succeeds him to rest.”