By Steve Oko

The Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Professor Greg Ibe, Friday, announced Hon. Obinna Ichita representing Aba South state constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, as his running mate for the 2023 poll.

Unveiling the deputy governorship candidate on behalf of Professor Ibe who is out of the country, the state Chairman of APGA, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, said the choice of Ichita was the outcome of extensive consultations, describing him as a nice man for the job.

He was flanked by the Director General of Greg Ibe Campaign Organisation, Sir Emeka Okafor, and other close aides of the governorship candidate during the unveiling at APGA state secretariat, Umuahia.

Reading from a prepared speech, he said: “The outcome of an extensive, rigorous and painstaking screening exercise conducted by the party among many aspirants initially, which finally culminated in the nomination of three eminently qualified Abians, from whom Hon Ichita emerged”.

” In arriving at Hon Ichita, the party adhered strictly to existing guidelines, protocols, due process and ground rules, which among many criteria provide for specific functions and contributions by different organs of the party at State Working Committee (SWC) and National Working Committee (NWC) levels, in collaboration and consultation with the candidate”.

He said that some of the considerations which influenced the emergence of Ichita include “his enduring membership of APGA even during turbulent periods, sterling performance as leader of the party in the House of Assembly, equalizing senatorial zone of origin, public acceptability and grassroots support”.

Hon. Ichita is a two- term and serving member of Abia House of Assembly, and doubles as APGA leader.

Responding after the unveiling, Ichita expressed delight to be chosen by Ibe as his running mate, saying that “with utmost sense of responsibility I accept this responsibility.”

He promised to give his best towards the success of their mandate, while appealing to all those who lost at the primaries rally behind them.

“I feel honoured to be chosen to understudy this great institution. Professor Ibe is not an institution because he built one of the thriving universities but because of his intellectual capacity and International connection he will bring to bear in governance.

” I hereby, appeal to all those who lost to Professor Ibe, all Abians and men of good conscience to rise in unison and support this personality that has risen to ensure that Abia gets freed from political brigandage.

” I say this with utmost sense of conviction because I know that over time, the dearth of quality men has been the bane of Abia State but with the ascension of Professor Ibe as Governor in 2023, I am positive beyond every atom of contradiction that the state will experience a paradigm shift.

” I call on Abians especially our brothers agitating, wherever they may be, to come and join us so that together we can liberate our state from the hands of this gang that has overtime, held this state down.

” I also appeal to Mr. President to consider political solution to the problem in the South East which is traceable to bad governance and Abia has taken the worst heat. We can’t afford to watch our state being ruled as if we have never produced men of integrity where as we have produced the finest of brains.

” Aba used to be the attraction of Igbo land but today Aba has been forgotten. The assurance we have is that Professor Greg Ibe is coming with all it takes to liberate and fix Abia”.

Later in an interview, APGA legal Adviser, Chukwuemeka Nwokoro described Ichita as “a round peg in a round hole”, adding that with the choice of Ichita, winning the poll has become much easier for APGA.

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