Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has denied endorsing Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe as his successor in 2023.
Abaribe, representing Abia South Senatorial district has been quoted in some online medium to be contesting for the 2023 governorship election in Abia.
The Senator, according to online media alleged that the incumbent governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has endorsed him.
Reacting to the statement credited to Abaribe, Governor Ikpeazu through his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka, disassociated itself from the purported endorsement.
In a statement released on Monday, 27th December, 2021 – Ikpeazu said there was no such thing as endorsing Senator Abaribe. The statement added that, although, the Senator had visited Ikpeazu but no endorsement was made during the visit.
The statement read;
“Our attention has been drawn to certain reports in both the traditional and social media on the declaration of interest in the 2023 gubernatorial elections in Abia State by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. Some of these reports are factually incorrect while some others carry certain misleading insinuations and needless innuendos.
“In view of the above, a proper clarification has not only become politically expedient but inevitable.
“On 24th December 2021, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu received Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe in his Country Home at Umuobiakwa, Obingwa LGA on a scheduled Christmas visit. This visit, which has become an annual ritual by the Senator, is for all intents and purposes, a display of brotherhood and love. Senator Abaribe is not only an elder brother to the Governor but a highly respected Nigerian political leader.
“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. The Senator was accompanied by some political leaders from Obingwa LGA on the visit.
“Governor Ikpeazu welcomed the Senator and thanked him for the Christmas visit. On the issue of his gubernatorial ambition, the Governor made the following remarks –
1. 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.
2. 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, Onuma, Eziukwu-Cemetery Road, Aba Owerri Road, ABSUTH – Udeagbala Road and the Osisioma Interchange, amongst others.
3. 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.