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Ugochukwu declares support for Orji

*Drops guber ambition

By Anayo Okoli

Umuahia— Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Abia Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  governorship candidate in the April 2007 election, has said he would not contest the 2011 election in reverence to Governor Theodore Orji.

Ugochukwu made the announcement yesterday while addressing newsmen after a stakeholders meeting at his Umule country home in Umuahia North Local Government Area.

Briefing the stakeholders from the 17 council areas on  political developments in Abia State, Ugochukwu  said he had decided to work with Governor Theodore Orji for the overall interest of the state.

He expressed satisfaction with the level of support, commitment and loyalty of the party faithful during his struggle to regain the 2007 governorship mandate at the tribunal.

“I am pleased with your commitment, loyalty and principle. Your followership had been wonderful in the difficult three and half years struggle to reclaim the 2007 governorship mandate,” he remarked.

He said the journey had not been easy as he had looked on to God for the governorship position.

“After the retrial at the Court of Appeal in Owerri, I discovered that it isn’t the will of God that I will govern Abia State.

“The judgment of the court in Owerri is appealable to the Supreme Court but since it is not God’s will for me to become governor, I accept the verdict happily,” he said.
He denied knowledge of recent PDP national executive committee visit to the state to woo Governor Theodore Orji to the party, saying those who planned the visit decided to sideline him.

Ugochukwu said he was, however, encouraged by the reaction of the governor during the visit when he said there was a notable stakeholder who was not in the delegation.

“Whether I am aware or not, what happened was God’s plan for the state. What can we human beings do other than to accept his will for mankind,” he said.

He denied reports that he was offered N3 billion by the governor to support him, saying “I want to confirm to you that it’s false and that nobody has given me one naira.

Ugochukwu, a former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, declared:  “Anybody saying so is rather sick in mind.

“If I was given N3 billion, how much did they give Prince Vincent Ogbulafor and Chief Ojo Maduekwe, initiators of the plan to bring  Orji back to the PDP.

“We did what we did in the overall interest of the state and to avert unconditional surrender.

“Negotiated settlement is better than total surrender. We entered into the negotiation to salvage the situation,’’ he said.

Ugochukwu said he was not going to leave the party for anybody, but would work with the governor and help him to make things go the right way.


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