By- Uchechukwu Ugboaja
Startling developments emanating from Abia State following the aftermath of the Democracy Day Celebrations indicate that this could this be the beginning of the end of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State despite being recognised as one of the major strongholds of the embattled former ruling party.
Paparazzi correspondent on ground at Umuahia, reveals that activities and events within the state have consistently unveiled that the party may be set for a dead end under the leadership of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
According to our investigative reporter who was in Abia State to witness the Democracy Day Celebration, the state capital Umuahia was supposed to host several dignitaries from various walks of life especially past and previous leaders and governors of the state but they reportedly shunned their host.
In fact the most notable absentee amongst them was the immediate past governor of the state, Sen. T.A Orji who was obviously in Umuahia – as his entourage was spotted driving past the government house at about 1pm – but declined to attend the governors dinner event.
Paparazzi can also report authoritatively that the absence of other key individuals in the PDP from Abia State such as the likes of Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe, Sen. Adolphus Wagbara, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor and some prominent Legislators from the state were conspicuously absent from the dinner as the event was mainly graced mostly by state Commissioners and permanent Secretaries who went on a tour of some state projects in various local government areas during the day. Some of these projects include rehabilitation of some major roads in Ohafia, Umuahia and Aba metropolis.
It should be noted that the Governor and his predecessor Sen. T.A Orji have had a cordial relationship until this point, with speculations continue hitting the political airwave about Gov. Ikpeazu’s alleged romance with members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Ikpeazu’s body language continues to trouble PDP party stalwarts especially as the only governor of the APC from the south east, Gov. Rochas Okorocha had stated at different fora that Nigerians should expect one or two governors from the south east to decamp to the ruling party before 2019 polls. Recall that the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was recently in Abia State on a state visit as part of his tour to the south east and had stated that a state like Abia will greatly require the massive investment of the federal government for it to actualise its industrial potential to the maximum in the shortest possible time.
Could these elements have been what propelled the governor’s recent visits to the Aso Rock Villa to meet with Ag. President Osinbajo?
If this developments are anything to go by, then it appears that there would be more than enough trouble for PDP loyalists such as the former governor Sen. T.A Orji and others as they may be left out in the cold by a governor in whose control they rested the hope of the party. It is alleged that the constant and persistent trips of the governor to Abuja may not be unconnected to his rumoured decamping. It would seem pressure is mounting on the Ikpeazu to join the political moving train of the APC who have vowed not to leave any stone unturned ahead of the 2019 general elections as the south east becomes the focal point of global attention over the rising agitation of the Biafra state, increasing insecurity and other social ills largely traced to the marginalisation and socio-economic exclusion of the people.
Security was notably heightened in Abia State ahead of the sit at home order issued by members of IPOB and MOSSOB, as the police and military were seen at different locations of the state ensuring that there was no breakdown of law and order. Military helicopters and armoured personnel carriers were deployed to ensure that there was free movement across the state for those who wished to go about their legitimate businesses.
Frantic efforts were made by our correspondent to reach the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ikpeazu, Mr. Eyinnaya Appolos to confirm this shocking development but it all proved abortive as he simply claimed that the Governor needed to rush down to Abuja for crucial meetings.