Â By Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€” GOVERNOR Theodore Orji of Abia State, hasÂ said he did not leave his former party, Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA,because he wanted a ticket for 2011 elections, saying that a second term ticket in PPA was never a do-or-die affair for him.
According to Governor Orji who was reacting to a report credited to the former Chairman of the party, Mr. Larry Essien to the effect that the governor dumped PPA because he would not get 2011 ticket, “Essien is just a drowning man looking for where to clinch his hands.”
Orji who spoke through his Adviser on Electronic Media, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, explained that he left the party because there was no internal democracy and respect for constituted authority in the party.
A reliable source close to the governor disclosed that besides lack of internal democracy, throat-choking demands for funds from a former political mentor of the governor and his family, was the major reason that prompted the governor to liberate himself.
According to the source, though the governor had managed to cope with the demands to the detriment of the development of the state, the pressure was becoming unbearable for the governor.
Unconfirmed report said that as much as N150 million was being given out for the maintenance of the family every month, besides other funds alleged to be going to them from other sources such as councils authorities, boards like ASUBEB, among other agencies.
According to the sources, â€œdespite all these they worked at cross purposes to undermine the governorâ€™s effort to develop the state and even his effort to improve the security situation of the state.â€
However, reacting to Essienâ€™s allegation, Emezue said that he (Essien) had no moral justification to be talking after he had run down the party.
According to him, “Essien owes the people of Abia State an apology for killing the party they worked hard to sustain for over three years and he ran it down in less than seven months.
â€œEssien does not really deserve our attention. He is a drowning man. If he is serious why did he allow the party to die immediately Governor left the party. Is it not shameful for a former party Chairman that ran down his party and joined another party as an ordinary person and said he is proud of that. Even other leaders of the party had blamed the woes of the party on Essien.”