Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said he has no plans to have his deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, impeached.
Ikpeazu who made the denial in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, said he had enjoyed a very warm relationship with his deputy, and had no intention or reason to push for his removal.
The statement made available to Ikengaonline explained that “while the natural expectation of Governor Ikpeazu at this time was that his Deputy would have stood by him in steadying the ship of state as we head towards a political transition period, instead of being distracted by his personal political ambitions, the Governor, however, as a true democrat, believes that such ambition is not enough to warrant any plans to impeach the Deputy Governor.”
Ikpeazu urged members of the public to disregard the rumour.
Below is a full text of the statement: “Our attention has been drawn to the rumours gaining ground that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is behind some plan to impeach the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon Ude Oko Chukwu.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no substance in such rumour as Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has no such plans and has never discussed any such issue with anyone.
“Governor Ikpeazu’s credential as an Apostle of Peace and Stability are beyond disputation. He holds the distinction of being the only Governor in the history of Abia State who has spent almost 7 years in office with the same Deputy Governor. Governor Ikpeazu intends to keep that credential intact. The records of the fate of past Deputy Governors in the State are in the public domain.
“While the natural expectation of Governor Ikpeazu at this time was that his Deputy would have stood by him in steadying the ship of state as we head towards a political transition period, instead of being distracted by his personal political ambitions, the Governor, however, as a true democrat, believes that such ambition is not enough to warrant any plans to impeach the Deputy Governor. This is why the Deputy Governor continues to be actively involved in the business of governance. He remains the Chairman of the State Committee on Internally Generated Revenue, in addition to managing several other areas of government business.
“Governor Ikpeazu’s disposition towards his Deputy has reflected in the great relationship he shares with the people of Nkporo in Ohafia Local Government Area, the home of the Deputy Governor.
This relationship has manifested in the construction of the all important but long abandoned Abiriba – Nkporo Road, the brand new Cottage Hospital at Nkporo and some other projects that have transformed the infrastructural landscape of the Community as well as the welfare of the people.
“The issues that occupy the mind of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at this time are to continue to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of Abia State, tie up ongoing projects and guide our people to a smooth transition by next year.”