Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Baring any last-minute change of mind, a leading governorship aspirant of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, Professor Greg Ibe, may be on his way out of the Umbrella party.
This is following his disclosure that he has been under intense pressure to dump the PDP.
Professor Ibe who made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in his Uturu country home, however, did not disclose his next political destination but rumours are rife that he may be considering pursuing his political ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
The industrialist has been at the vanguard of power shift to Abia-North in 2023 particularly his Isuikwuato Division representing the letter “I” in the Abia acronym which is yet to taste power since the creation of the state 31 years ago.
He expressed concern over the alleged plot by some forces in the ruling party to deny Abia-North the opportunity of producing Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s successor in 2023, vowing that the zone will not chicken out in its quest for power.
Professor Ibe, however, said he was consulting with party elders but might be formally making his intention know very soon.
“Well, I’m still waiting for the elders of my party. I’m in touch with them. But I must tell you the truth, the pressure is too much on me. It’s beyond me.
“All my friends are doing everything possible to make sure that we bring sanity to the Abia polity so that people like us can come on board. The businessmen in Aba whom I saved their businesses have got PDP nomination form for me. You will hear tomorrow that that another group has gone to buy another thing for me.
“I will keep on receiving gift items. APC came here to woo me. Kwankwaso’s NNPP also came the other day. The pressure is just much.
“But again, if Abia Charter of Equity which gives us from Isuikwuato Division the moral right to contest for the governorship, is not respected by our elders, they should not expect us to chicken out from the struggle. So, we wait till the next move.”
Ibe regretted that some persons might be jeopardizing the chances of PDP in the 2023 elections in the state if they failed to allow the voice of wisdom to prevail.
On his assessment of the achievements of the Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration, the university don said what mattered most to him was his blueprint to transform the state if given the opportunity.
“We need to move on. I have a totally planned programme that is implementable, that will create activity that will make Abians proud of their state, see and enjoy development in their state.”
Professor Ibe has been one of the major financiers of PDP in the state.