BY ANAYO OKOLI
UMUAHIA—AHEAD of 2015 governorship race in Abia State, Governor Theodore Orji has denied endorsing anybody to succeed him, insisting that the race was opened to qualified and interested aspirants.
Orji spoke when the member representing Aba North and South in the House of Representatives, Chief Uzo Azubuike, whose name has featured prominently as likely successor to him, was honoured by the traditional rulers in Aba.
Governor Orji said he had to make the clarification before people would begin to misinterpret his presence at the reception to honour Azubuike.
His words: “Let me say this for purposes of records, Aba is the centre of rumour. If you go to one beer parlour now and spread one rumour, by the time you get to your house, it is everywhere in Aba.
“What we have come to do is to join Aba people to celebrate Uzor Azubuike. We have not come to endorse anybody for 2015.
“I want you to know that, because when we leave now, the rumour will be that the Governor has come to endorse somebody. What we have come to do was to come and celebrate him, because he has done well.
“When it comes to 2015, I have said it severally, it is not what Ochendo will do alone. It is going to be the people; the stakeholders would sit and decide on the person to take over from me.
“All of us will cooperate and support the person and if it is Uzor’s turn, we will equally support him. Therefore I want it to be on record.
“The essence of our gathering is to join our traditional rulers of Aba North and South to celebrate one of our own, Uzor Azubuike. That is why we are here. Uzor is one of those people in the State that are making things to turn around for good in the State.
“Uzor is making Aba to be heard in Abuja. Now Aba can speak and Aba can talk and Aba need to be heard and we are
“We have been able to deal with kidnapping in Abia State, especially in Aba and that is why the environment is now conducive for everybody to come around and celebrate. It wasn’t like this few years ago, people wouldn’t have come here today, because kidnappers milled around trying to see who to kidnap, but today Aba is calm.
“In doing what we are doing, we have invited the speaker, deputy and other members of the House of Representatives and they have come and we honoured them appropriately.
“I know I can attest to that the fact that all the legislators from Abia in Abuja are doing their best. Today, Uzor’s people have decided to honour him, we also expect that the people of the other legislators would honoured their representatives, so that we come and participate with them.”