A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia Mkpa Uka has faulted the 2023 governorship ambition of Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, describing it as a “huge joke”.
“I did not expect Abaribe to say that. It is indeed a huge joke,” Mr Uka said while addressing journalists in Umuahia, the state capital on Thursday.
Mr Abaribe had during a visit to the incumbent governor Okezie Ikpeazu announced his ambition to join the 2023 governorship race in the state.
But Mr Uka condemned the senator’s pronouncement, saying he did not expect him, a former deputy governor, who hailed from the same area with Mr Ikpeazu to do so.
Although he admitted that the lawmaker, representing Abia South, was free to harbour any ambition, he insisted that the 2023 governorship slot should be the exclusive preserve of Abia North.
“Considering that the governorship position has gone round, beginning with Abia North (1999-2007), Abia Central (2007-2015), and Abia South (2015-2023), it’s natural that it should return to Abia North in 2023,” he argued.
“Any attempt to disrupt the process and smooth power shift arrangement by senatorial districts will cause confusion as well as serious political tension and acrimony in our dear state.
“I’m not saying there are no qualified persons from Abia South and Central but it will be absurd for somebody from Abia south to desire to succeed his brother from the same Obingwa.
“If he has declared to run for the President of Nigeria, we will all roll up our sleeves to support him because he is eminently qualified to be president,” Mr Uka said.
He further dismissed the argument in some quarters that power should rotate between Old Aba and Old Bende Divisions.
According to him, the argument lacks merit because it is neither constitutional nor in consonance with the dictates of the Abia Charter of Equity.
He said the 1999 Constitution provided for rotation of power among the senatorial districts in all the states of the federation.