December 8, 2022

S’East needs more people like Abaribe in senate to avoid going into political relegation – APGA chair

By Steve Oko

The Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Abia State, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, has said that the South East geopolitical zone needs more vocal senators like Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe at the Senate to avoid going into total political relegation.

Ehiemere who addressed newsmen in Umuahia regretted that lack of courageous and outspoken Igbo lawmakers at the National Assembly to champion the cause of Ndigbo was part of the reason South East is nearly relegated to the background.

He said that most NASS members of South East extraction had failed to speak up for the because of their selfish political interests.

The APGA boss urged Ndigbo not to vote for any NASS candidate that would not be courageous enough to stand up for Igbo cause.

Ehiemere advised Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, not to contest against Senator Abaribe, APGA’s candidate for the Abia Central senatorial contest.

According to the APGA Chairman, Ikpeazu’s scorecard as a sitting Governor is no match to Abaribe’s achievements at the senate, hence, he should not bother challenging the former Senate Minority Leader.

” It’s not in doubt that Senator Abaribe is the only known and fearless voice of the South East in the current Senate, and the people of Abia Central cannot afford to dump him for a governor who has not justified his two terms in office, he said.

Ehiemere further said:” I don’t know what Ikpeazu is going to do at the Senate. If he could not fix the roads in his constituency with all the available resources as Governor for eight years, how will he do the magic as a senator without allocations?

” I have seen Abaribe’s performances; besides being the only vocal senator for South East, he has also been able to do what Ikpeazu could not do as Governor.

” There is no community in Abia South that doesn’t feel the impact of Abaribe. For the past six days he has been going about commissioning projects but he makes no noise about it”.

Ehiemere said that if Ndigbo had more senators like Abaribe, the South East would not be relegated to the background in the country.

He denied any rift between the APGA governorship candidate, Professor Greg Ibe, and his running mate, Hon. Obinna Ichita, saying that the duo are still enjoying cordial relationship.

Ehiemere said that those who felt threatened by the swelling support across the state for APGA were behind the various propaganda being peddled against the party.

He dismissed the recent judgement by Abuja High Court nullifying APGA’s governorship primary as “a supermarket judgement”, which cannot withstand the scrutiny of the Appeal court.”

Ehiemere told APGA members and supporters not to panic about the judgement which he said had been appealed, expressing faith that it would be vacated by the Appellate court.

He also dismissed as ridiculous, statements credited to Chief Nnanna Ukaegbu laying claims to the chairmanship of APGA in the state.

Ehiemere said that the claims by Ukaegbu that he (Ukaegbu) would comply with the Abuja court judgement by organizing a fresh primary should be ignored.

He said that “Ukaegbu is an impostor who comes around every four years to claim the leadership of APGA in the state”.

According to him, Ukaegbu’s name is not in APGA’s register and should not be taken seriously, insisting that he ( Ehiemere) remains the authentic chairman of the party.

He enjoined Abians to remain united against anti-democratic forces holding the state down, and to sustain their support for APGA “to give birth to a new Abia”.

Ehiemere particularly challenged the people of Abia North to decide whether they want to produce the next Governor of the state or would be satisfied with the Deputy governorship position.

He predicated landslide victory for APGA in the 2023 poll across South East, saying that the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC; and the PDP had disappointed South East.