From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The Provost, Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu (ASCETA), Dr. Philip Nto, has cleared the air over an allegation circulating on the social media that he accepted to host a factional Peoples Democratic Party, PDP stakeholders’ meeting.
Nto who was a former Commissioner for Finance, Abia State dismissed the rumour as a fabrication of some over ambitious 2023 governorship aspirants who see him as a threat to the actualisation of their aspiration.
He said the allegation that he had agreed to host a meeting of factional PDP stakeholders’ of Arochukwu extraction was a propaganda tool by some desperate governorship aspirants and their “boot leakers” to blackmail him.
According to the ASCETA Provost, the aim of those peddling the speculation is to pitch him against Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu who just returned to the state after weeks of absence on a medical trip.
Nto said his loyalty to Governor Ikpeazu was never in doubt, adding that he has at no time worked against the governor’s interest.
He further explained that contrary to insinuations by the peddlers of the unfounded rumour, he only planned to host few of his friends who had requested to rejoice with him over the completion of his new residence in Umuahia.
The provost in a statement made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Thursday said : “Those who believe that politics is their life have no qualms in blackmailing professionals. Those whose hypocritical lives are ruled by abysmal sycophancy, emotional blackmail and their intrigues are behind the recent tirade being circulated on whatsapp
“Because we don’t operate at the same level, and because both His Excellency, Gov Okezie Ikpeazu and the leadership of PDP in the State have never doubted my loyalty, I ought not to have dignified these political charlatans and harlots with my response, but because my name was specifically mentioned and certain imputations made against me, I deem it necessary to put records straight.
“First and foremost, I neither convened nor accepted to host any factional meeting in my house. Some of my friends who also happened to be my political associates and loyal supporters informed me of their desire to visit me in my new residence to assist me thank God for His benevolence for owning my own house in Umuahia.
” I accepted to host them as friends and not as a faction meeting. This is a purely private affair which has nothing to do with politics. In any case, if not for the earlier indisposition of His Excellency, he would have been the first to know of this development in my life.
“Those peddling this falsehood and blackmail are aware that the Governor deeply appreciated my role during the elections. However, let it be said that this campaign of calumny against my person is nothing but the handwork of those who desperately want to be governor in 2023, and see me as a threat to their inordinate ambition.”
Nto further said :”While our lives are in the hand of God to determine those who will survive till that year, let me categorically state that I don’t have any other ambition rather than to diligently execute the assignment given to me by His Excellency as the Provost of ASCETA, after which I will go back to my teaching job at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike.”
The former Finance Commissioner warned those he described as desperate politicians against blackmailing him, declaring that his loyalty to both the incumbent and the immediate past governor of the state is intact.