Count Me Out: Governor Ikpeazu denies plans to join APC

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The governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has denied any purported plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and join the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Rumour has it that Governor Ikpeazu has been harbouring plans to switch parties midway into the second tenure of his administration.

Proponents of the defection rumour had issued a statement titled “Truce Reached Between Kalu and Ikpeazu as APC Sets Date for Defection“‘

The statement reads:

“The long awaited defection of the governor of Abia state , Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has been finalized as the governor and the leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abia , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has found a common ground for unity in the party .

A member of the Caretaker Committee and Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee chaired by the Governor of Yobe State, Governor Mai Mala Buni on Tuesday told our reporter that Ikpeazu’s delayed defection is as a result of the disagreements between him and the Senate Chief Whip who also doubles as the Chairman of the APC caucus in Abia .

Following the peaceful truce reached between Kalu and Ikpeazu , the source confirmed that the governor has suggested his declaration to hold after that of the Zamfara state governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle , adding that the party leadership will soon announce the date.

The several months speculation of defections of Umahi, Ayade , Matawalle and Ikpeazu to the APC has seen Umahi and Ayade officially join the APC, setting the stage ready for Matawalle and Ikpeazu

Recall that a serving commissioner in Ikpeazu’s government shortly after Ayade’s defection weeks ago revealed that Gov. Ikpeazu has concluded plans to join his former party men to the APC.

The commissioner noted that Ikpeazu’s reason for defection is connected with his ill treatment by the de facto governor of the state.

It was also reported that the dissolution of the Zamfara State executive council on Tuesday is part of Governor Bello Matawalle’s preparations for defecting to the APC

Mr Matawalle will formally declare for the APC on June 12, as part of the ceremony to mark Democracy Day.

A source said the governor dissolved his cabinet because some members, including the deputy governor, Mahdi Aliyu, are reluctant to make the journey to the ruling party with him.

For a while, it has been rumoured that the governor has been harbouring plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), even though some leaders of the APC in the state do not want him in the party.

On Tuesday, he sacked the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Bala Bello, the 23 commissioners, his Chief of Staff, Bala Mande, and the Deputy Chief of Staff, Bashir Maru.”

Reacting to the statemen, however, a source close to Governor Ikpeazu described it as “tissues of distracting lies conjured to divert attention”.

In a short message sent to ElombahNews, he said:

“By the way, ElombahNews, why are they so fixated on Ikpeazu joining their drowning party?

“I thought the instruction to their media operatives is to demarket his (Governor Ikpeazu’s) achievements?

“When did they agree with the simple fact of his high performance?

“Anyway, tell them the Governor is busy delivering his campaign promises to the people of the state and will not join their drowning party.

“Abians are comfortable with the Governor remaining in PDP and he is not contemplating leaving the party.”