Abia guber: APGA’s Greg Ibe steps down for Mascot Kalu
Barely 24 hours before the March 18th Governorship and State House of Assembly elections, Abia Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Professor Greg Ibe has announced his decision to shelve his ambition to contest the polls throwing his weight behind the candidate of the Action People’s Party (APP), Mascot Kalu.
Giving reasons for backing down to endorse APP’S candidate, the University Chancellor who hails from Abia-North district of the state posited that in order to brighten the chances of a Governor from the region’s extraction there is a need to present an impregnable and united front ahead of the polls.
Though eminently qualified like Mascot his Abia-North counterpart, Greg pointed out that his campaign in which he intended to sell his Manifesto to the voters had stagnated due to the prolonged court cases challenging his victory, therefore in the spirit of brotherhood decided to step aside for Mascot whom he said shared similar development programmes for the state.
In a terse statement he personally signed, issued to newsmen on Friday, Greg Ibe urged his supporters and entire electorates to collapse their support for Mascot Kalu describing him as “the best man for the job.”
Ibe berated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), Young People’s Party (YPP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for ceding their Governorship tickets to candidates of Ngwa extraction rather than those in Abia-North.
According to him the move is a calculated attempt by the State’s ruling PDP to dim the chances of Abia North to produce the next Governor. He argued that it is only proper that all Abia citizens support the return of power to Abia North in 2023 in keeping with the Abia Charter of Equity.
“To avoid a replica of what is currently happening in Abia South and Abia Central where we have multiple candidates from Ukwa/Ngwa bloc of the state running for the same position, we have decided to pursue a united cause for Abia-North and the entire Abians.
“Though I deeply appreciate Judiciary with the Wednesday’s ruling of the Supreme Court Wednesday in Abuja, reaffirming my candidature of the party but the greater task lies ahead and my ambition which is for the Political emancipation of our dear region and the overall development of our dear state.
“Our campaigns have been hugely affected by the Torrid cases denying us the ample time to sell our mandate to the people. After careful deliberations with stakeholders and members of our party and campaign council we arrived at this decision.
“From the book of history from 1999 to 2007 Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was the Governor of Abia State from Abia North. From 2007 to 2015, Senator TA. ORJI became Governor from Abia Central. From 2015 to 2023, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for Abia South. It is only proper that the rotation begins from Abia-North to avoid chaos and anarchy in the state.
Ibe appraised and lauded Mascot’s action policies which he said are well tailored to address challenges in ; security, education, private sector , civil service, infrastructure, Agriculture, Urbanisation, Youth empowerment, Power, Local content development and sports.
Ibe cautioned politicians and stakeholders from Abia-North to desist from supporting working against the interest of the district by supporting other candidates from other zones rather than their own.
He further urged the voters to turn out en masse to cast their votes for Mascot while assuring that the measures has been put in place by the Independent National Electoral Commission to avoid a repeat of the much controversial February 25th polls.