No Rift with Ikpeazu over My Guber Ambition, Says Abia Deputy Gov
Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
Deputy Governor of Abia State, Ude Oko Chukwu, has said that his ambition to succeed his boss has not in any way caused a rift between him and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Speaking with journalists in Umuahia yesterday, the ambitious number two man of Abia said that he is still loyal and committed to supporting his boss in the business of governing Abia and the fulfillment of electoral promises made to the people.
There were speculations that things have fallen apart between the deputy governor and his boss, who is believed to have anointed a successor, Prof Uchenna Ikonne, in spite of Chukwu’s interest in the top job.
But the deputy governor dismissed any suggestion of unhealthy relationship with Ikpeazu, insisting that his decision to join the 2023 governorship race has not in any way implied that he was no longer loyal to the governor.
“As the deputy governor of Abia State, I remain loyal, supportive and committed to my boss and Governor of Abia state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.As a man of outstanding and tested integrity, I cannot betray the governor.”
He therefore, warned detractors against rumour mongering and plots that are “capable of setting the state on fire”, adding that nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Abian.
He said: “My declaration of ambition to succeed my boss was not borne out of disloyalty; rather a well thought out project to improve on the good things this administration has done.”
He noted that his decision to contest for the governorship seat “is borne out of personal conviction that I can (offer leadership) to take Abia to the next level”.
Oko Chukwu, who has remained Governor Ikpeazu”s deputy since 2015, said that he would continue to be grateful to his boss for giving him the opportunity to serve Abia State and the nation in general.
He stated that the harmonious relationship that has been existing between him and Ikpeazu since they entered office has remained strong and not under any threat of possible rupture.
“He (Ikpeazu) has sent me to represent him in many assignments where my predecessors were not privileged to have. I can’t also forget the support he has given me as the chairman of the state IGR council and chairman of the State Boundary Committee,” the deputy governor said.
He assured all that he would continue to be loyal to his boss till the end of their tenure in May 2023, adding that he would leverage on his experiences he has gained over the years of being in government to serve out his tenure would
“I have been actively involved in the affairs of Abia State in different capacities, as lawmaker, Speaker and Deputy Governor in the past 18 years. As a good follower and leader, I have learned good lessons for success and in areas we succeeded, I have the knowledge and opportunity to make things better for Abia people,” Oko Chukwu said.