As the rumour of defection of more Nigerian Governors continues to trend in the media following the defection of the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress, and with the claim by a former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu would be joining the APC soon, newsmen spoke exclusively with the Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu who foreclosed the possibility of his principal dumping the PDP saying that both ”APC and Orji will wait till thy kingdom come.”
How would you respond to the media report that His Excellency, Gov. Ikpeazu is on his way to the APC?
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and, indeed, the leader of the party in Abia State. He won two major elections under the banner of the party and we are currently preparing for council polls in Abia on the 18th of December with the Governor working hard, along with other party members and stakeholders, to ensure victory for all PDP candidates. The rumor of his defecting to any other party must be emanating from a mind that is worried that PDP has remained unbeatable in Abia State and will remain so especially with Governor Ikpeazu at the helm of affairs of the party as its leader. We thank the rumor mongers for the acknowledgement of Governor Ikpeazu’s high performance, his public acceptability and the love of the good people of our state for him regardless of the sponsored attacks against him with malicious lies from the pit of hell as orchestrated by the same rumour mongers.
Recall that before 2019 polls, the same characters went to town with similar rumors while we were busy working for the people of the state and at the end of the day, Governor Ikpeazu ran under PDP and defeated them by a landslide where it matters most, at the polls.
What do you think informed this speculation which emanated from a former Governor, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu?
If you ask me, I will say that our former Governor apparently has soft spot for the Governor and believes that without him the opposition party will never make any headway in the state. Interestingly, he never said Governor Ikpeazu told him he is joining APC or any other party, so he is free to wait for Governor Ikpeazu till thy kingdom come.
In any case, what exactly will attract anyone to the APC that has unleashed unprecedented suffering on the people of this country?
The Governor’s current focus is how to add to the 97 road projects he has already completed in the state, solve the remaining issues with payment of workers in ailing state parastatals and, of course, continue to deliver fully on his mandate to the people of Abia State. He cannot be distracted with old lady tales of someone told someone that someone told him that someone will decamp in 2016 whereas we are in 2020.
Is your Principal at home with the current development in the PDP, particularly with regard to 2023 and the alleged zoning of the presidency to the North?
My Principal is not aware of any zoning of the presidential ticket of PDP to the north or any other zone for that matter. If and when we get to that bridge we will cross it.
Personally, I think PDP should reward Ndigbo of the South East region for theIr steadfast support to the party since 1998 when Late Dr Alex Ekwueme and others founded the party. Any other decision will be unjust, unfair and uncharitable of a party that has zoning and federal character at the heart of its existence.
There are unconfirmed reports that two sitting commissioners are moving to the APC. Is this true?
No sitting Commissioner in Abia State will defect to APC and none is defecting to APC. We are aware of one former Commissioner who has always had one leg in PDP and one leg in APC rejoining, his soulmates in APC. That on its own is not harakiri because in a football team, those players who are surplus to requirement or cannot maintain their wings are free to try other football clubs on free transfer.
The other individual mentioned in social media reports never served as executive council member under Ikpeazu but rather was a commissioner under the Orji Uzor Kalu administration. If he has decided to rejoin his master, that should be okay. Interestingly, we saw the so-called defection pictures where those individuals walked alone to someone’s living room to obtain APC flags and that speaks volume on their political relevance within their wards and the state in general. At the same time, we have thousands of people queuing up to join PDP in Abia State from APC and APGA because they appreciate the leadership style and qualities of Governor Ikpeazu and the progress the state has made on his watch.
Anyone is free to move from one political party to another, but I can assure you that no serving Commissioner in Abia State is moving to any opposition party in the state.
Are there forces working against PDP in Abia and why do you think so?
We are in politics which simply means a struggle for power. It is, therefore, natural for people to work to take over power from the ruling party in the state or at the federal level. The question is, do they have what it takes to actualize that beyond their social media noise? If you observe carefully, you will notice that opposition parties in the state exists only on social media where they easily recruit willing hands, who are mostly non Abians or some Abians who have not been to the state since 2015, to generate fake propaganda materials on a daily basis. They were doing that before 2015 and 2019, yet, we won by a landslide and dealt decisive electoral blows to the same characters that are now defecting from place to place.
In PDP, we work very hard to deliver to our people and run very transparent administration that the people appreciate. They know what we have done, what we are doing and what we plan to do because we engage them regularly. No other state Governor engages the people directly like Governor Ikpeazu does. Our people also know the characters that are congregating in the other party as the same people who almost destroyed the state with their visionless and rudderless leadership including all manner of malfeasance. They also know that Governor Ikpeazu is on a rescue mission and that the state has turned a positive corner on his watch.
Even the Bible acknowledges that as per gathering they will gather but since their gathering is not of God they will fail again and again.
Has His Excellency, Ikpeazu, been approached by Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu or any other APC stakeholder to dump PDP?
No such thing has happened to the best of my knowledge. Yet, we are aware of repeated public pleas by Senator Kalu and other opposition stalwarts for the Governor to join their party and help them get a foothold in the state. Our people do not like APC and what it stands for, and our Governor derives his mandate from the people. As far as he is concerned, there is nothing wrong with public acknowledgement by the opposition that he is a winner and a top performer. Who does not want a winner in his team? Yet, you must know that winners choose teams they wish to play for and Governor Ikpeazu has chosen PDP.