I didn't join APC to escape probe — Ex-COAS, Gen Ihejirika

Lists qualities next Abia gov must have

By Steve Oko

Former Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.), has denied that he joined the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, possibly to escape being investigated over his stewardship as COAS.

The retired General who made the denial at a media chat in his Ovim Isuikwuato country home, explained that he rather decided to go into partisan politics to have the platform to contribute his quota towards good governance in the country.

General Ihejirika who said he had no skeleton in his cupboard further explained that contrary to insinuations by blackmailers, he joined partisan politics to help move Nigeria forward politically drawing from his wealth of experience in the military.

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His words:” When I registered with APC I stated that two major reasons I was going into politics were: To be able to contribute my quota as former COAS in taming the tide of disunity at the national level.

“I also joined politics to make myself available to serve my people in Abia”.

Asked if he had governoship ambition in 2023 as being rumoured in certain quarters, the former Army Chief neither denied nor confirmed the speculation but said there were levels of interactions by political parties before presenting their candidates.

He, however, listed qualities the next Abia Governor must have for the state to attain greatness.

“We need governoship candidates with proven character and integrity; candidates that will be broad-minded such that they will handle Abia issues without fear or favour.

“We want highly patriotic individuals that will run inclusive Government. We want individuals that will have sleepless nights because of the problems and challenges of Abia State until they profer solution to them.

“We need suitably qualified candidates that will help Abia attain its past glory and surpass it.

“Abia used to be the hub of industrial activities after Lagos. But we have got to a level that we all need to re – double efforts to reposition the state.”

Asked if he would want the governorship slot ceded to Isuikwuato district in 2023 in line with the agitation that the district which represents the letter “I” in Abia acronym, should be given a chance, Ihejirika said he was not an agitator of zoning but merit.

“Zoning is a party issue. Each party should take into consideration the quality of its candidate. There should be consideration for merit and fairness to all. Abia people must remain focused on good governance”.

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