There are reports that the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu may dump the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) soon.
Daily Independent reported that its source disclosed that Ikpeazu’s defection plan had reached an advanced stage as some of his foot soldiers already defected.
Two former commissioners in Ikpeazu’s cabinet, Obinna Oriaku, former Finance Commissioner, and George Nnanna Kalu, his counterpart in the Works and Transport Ministry, dumped the PDP for the APC last month.
Although the Abia State chapter of the PDP had dismissed the reports, Ikpeazu’s associate who spoke with Daily Independent on Sunday, said the Governor is “under intense pressure to join the APC owing to his desire to attract federal presence to Abia State.”
He said: “Following Umahi’s defection to the APC, I can confirm that serious pressure is being mounted on Governor Ikpeazu by major stakeholders in the APC to join.
“He has remained resolute and has remained in the PDP. However, I won’t be surprised if he joins if doing so will better the lives of Abians, especially in terms of infrastructures and economic development.”
Another source, a former House of Representatives member in the state who is a member of the PDP, claimed that the governor may be under pressure to join the APC due to issues he has with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“It is not a surprise to me if he joins. Umahi of Ebonyi also denied but eventually what happened?
“The reality is that joining APC is political suicide in the South-East. All the second term governors flocking to the APC is for self-preservation.
“They are trying to avoid being tried by the EFCC. For Governor Ikpeazu, I wish him good luck if he joins them,” he said.
Senate Chief Whip and former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu had said Ikpeazu promised to join the APC like his Ebonyi counterpart, Dave Umahi.
Also, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello had opined that more PDP Governors would defect like Umahi.
“Umahi is with us, others are coming. Other governors are already knocking. They are on their way. We will be unveiling them one after the other,” Bello had said.