The Christmas Eve declaration of Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe for the Abia 2023 governorship, has been met with bitter condemnation.
On Friday, December 24, 2021, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu received Abaribe in his Country Home at Umuobiakwa, Obingwa LGA on a scheduled Christmas visit where the latter declared his intention to vie for the governorship of Abia State in 2023.
Abia citizens have been united in questioning why Abaribe, who hails from Obingwa, Governor’s Ikpeazu’s LGA, should aspire to replace him in 2023.
An Umuahia-based legal practitioner, Emmanuel Mba, queried the rationale behind the Senator’s ambition “when he is aware that there is an existing document whose content of equity helped to produce Ikpeazu as governor in 2015”.
In his reaction, a pro-democracy advocate, Dr Charles Chinekezie, maintained that inasmuch as the Senator is constitutionally allowed to contest for any position of his choice, the issue of equity, fairness and justice which have emotionally played up recently in Abia democratic landscape has already disqualified the Senator, adding “that alone has booted him out of the race”.
He said, “It is his inalienable right to contest for any position he wants, be it Senate, Governor, Vice President, President. But then, that word equity should not be discarded in the altar of selfish ambition. It is unthinkable in Nigeria for a governor to be succeeded by a politician from his local government let alone someone from his clan.
“I know Abaribe; he wants to capitalize on the newly acquired popularity and support he’s getting from Igbo youths in the Southeast over the Biafran question to launch himself into any position of his choice. I’ll tell you this for free, left to Igbo youths; they’ll make Abaribe governor in 2023.”
“But then he should consider other interests, not his alone. There’s a document called Abia Charter of Equity framed by the founding fathers of Abia State. Such document should not be discarded on the altar of someone’s personal ambition,” he added.
However, in a statement titled “2023: Ikpeazu Will Not Be Distracted” the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sir Onyebuchi Omemanka, dissociated the governor from the aspiration of the Senate Minority Leader, saying that supporting any candidate at this time will amount to sending wrong signals to the rest of the state and introducing some level of confusion in the politics of our dear state.
Omemanka affirmed that Ikpeazu as a democrat who understands and respects the rights of every citizen to his political aspirations, “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.”