Anger Rages in Abia North over Alleged Plot to Impeach Deputy Gov

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The Governor of Abia State, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has stepped in to douse tensions in Abia North Senatorial Zone over an alleged plot to impeach the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Mr. Ude Oko Chukwu, for declaring interest in the 2023 governorship race.

Apparently sensing the looming crisis that impeachment could generate at this transition period, the governor has assured in an official statement that his deputy’s job is not under any threat.

There were bursts of anger and warnings of dire consequences from stakeholders in Abia North when unconfirmed reports of the impeachment plot filled the air, prompting stakeholders and youth groups to rise in defence of the deputy governor.

Former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Eme Okoro, stated that Abia North, the zone where the deputy governor hailed from, would not accept any attempt to intimidate him for simply declaring interest in the 2023 governorship race.

He said that what Oko Chukwu has done was within his democratic rights hence he has not committed any crime to warrant any move to remove him from office.

He said: “This is democracy. The house cannot impeach him or even the governor without first evaluating any charges against him. There has to be verifiable offences he is said to have committed. He cannot be frivolously impeached.” 

According to him, those involved in the said plot to impeach the deputy governor “are overheating the polity, and that will result in some kind of fracas that this state does not have the capacity to contain.

“Abia North won’t accept any action that does not follow due process to evaluate charges if any against him (deputy governor), thoroughly investigated and proven through the necessary legal pathways. Any trumped-up charges will not be accepted by Abia North,” the former SSG warned.

The Abia Youths Vanguard (AYV) while strongly condemning the alleged plot to impeach the deputy governor, urged the state lawmakers to perish the thought as it could plunge the state into unmanageable upheaval.

Coordinator of the AYV, Mr. David Onwuneme, made it known that Abia youth would “vigorously resist any attempt to promote political rascality in the state.”

“The impeachment rumour is quite strong and we are getting uncomfortable. A lot of underground work is going on in the House to remove the deputy governor of the state without any justifiable reason,” he said.

But in a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, said that government was aware of “the rumors gaining ground that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is behind some plan to impeach the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon Ude Oko Chukwu.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no substance in such rumor as Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has no such plans and has never discussed any such issue with anyone.” 

Though the governor’s spokesman alluded that his boss was disappointed with Oko Chukwu’s decision to engage in a political endeavour that could distract him from his official duties, he still insisted that it was not enough to impeach him.

He said that the “natural expectation of Governor Ikpeazu at this time was that his deputy would have stood by him in steadying the ship of state as we head towards a political transition period, instead of being distracted by his personal political ambitions.”

According to him, the governor has forgiven his deputy for the indiscretion and “as a true democrat, believes that such ambition is not enough to warrant any plans to impeach the deputy governor.”

He added that Ikpeazu was keen not to tarnish his personal record of being the only Abia governor that would stick with one deputy all through his tenure.

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