From Steve Oko , Umuahia
Major stakeholders in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Abia State have waded in to quell the brewing cold war between supporters of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, and those of Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji over the Speakers recent visit to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Some of the Governor’s aides including Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief Don Ubani; Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Dr. Cosmos Ndukwe and Special Adviser on Public Orientation, Eze Chikamnayo, have taken to the social media to attack the Speaker.
The Governor’s aides criticised the Speaker for allegedly describing those who criticized his recent visit to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as “political jobbers”.
They also accused the Speaker of betraying his friends who stood with him and his father during their protracted political war with Kalu. They also faulted the Speaker’s alleged appeal to Kalu to come and assume the political leadership of the state, arguing that such call amounted to undermining the powers of the Governor.
The Governor’s loyalists demanded the immediate resignation of the Speaker while some asked him to tender unreserved apology.
But the Speaker’s media managers fired back at them, describing them as “political jobbers” trying to set the Governor in a collision course with the Speaker, and ultimately instigate crisis in the state.
But worried by the festering cold war and its far-reaching implications on the PDP ahead of the 2023 polls, major stakeholders in the party have sued for peace.
The PDP elders in a press release made available to newsmen on Saturday, asked all camps to cease fire in the overriding interest of the party.
The press release was jointly signed by former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara; former National Chairman of PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor; and the Senate Minority Leader and former Deputy Governor, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Other signatories include former Governor and senator representing Abia Central, Senator Theodore Orji; former PDP Chairman in Abia State, Senator Emma Nwaka; former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NNDC, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu; and former Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Acho Nwakanma.
According to the release, the stakeholders decided to wade in after reviewing the ugly development during their meeting at an undisclosed location .
They noted that the acrimonious statements coming from loyalists of both the Governor and the Speaker are not in the interest of the party, hence the need for immediate cessation of hostilities.
The stakeholders accused promoters of the unnecessary feud of pursuing a self -serving agenda to cause disaffection in Abia PDP, and urged them to retrace their steps.
“After reviewing the various exchanges , we came to the conclusion that the quarrel were unnecessary and were probably instigated by agents, provocateurs to undermine the unity in the party for their own purpose.
“We are certain that those unfortunate exchanges do not represent the true situation in our party which is united in solidarity with our Governor Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
” We therefore call on all antagonist on both sides to cease fire immediately. We believe that whatever issues anyone may have can be addressed within the protocols of the party instead of in public debates that project a bad image of our party and government. We urge all members of our party to wake up to the challenges we face especially from opposition parties that are trying to revive through federal support”. The elders charged in the statement.