Okezie Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia State, has stated that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State remains the party of choice.
He said as such, all hands must be on deck to consolidate on the gains and strength of the party in the State.
Governor Ikpeazu stated this on Sunday, at the Dr. Micheal Okpara Auditorium Umuahia, while addressing a meeting of the stakeholders of the party, the first for the year 2021.
Governor Ikpeazu made it clear that the party remained as strong as ever in the State and restated his strong membership of the party, dismissing rumors of his alleged defection plans as unfounded.
He challenged stakeholders of the party at all levels to close ranks and work in harmony with leaders of the party.
The Governor reassured party stakeholders that there is no cause for alarm over the rumored defection of party members to other parties.
He stated that the two persons who left the party did so because he refused to make a commitment to hand over to them automatic tickets of the party for the 2023 elections.
Ikpeazu made it clear that he had no regrets over his stance because it was too early in the day to make such commitments to any person, adding that when the time is right, the party will choose her candidates.
He advised party members not to allow personal ambitions to override party supremacy at a time when the general elections are almost two years away.
Governor Ikpeazu congratulated the newly elected Executive Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas in the State and urged them to embark on people oriented projects in their areas and always ensure that they keep the communication channels open between them and members of the party in their councils.
The Chief Executive Officer of Abia State, however, assured party members that the baton he received from the last administration will remain intact with him and by the grace of God, the next administration in the State will be a PDP government.
Earlier, while welcoming stakeholders to the meeting, the State Chairman of the party, Rt Hon Allwell Asiforo Okere told the members that the meeting is part of the strategies of the State Working Committee of the party to keep key stakeholders abreast of happenings in the party, as well as seek their inputs into various programs of the party.
The Abia PDP commended the synergy between the State Government, the party executive council in the State, as well as members of the National Assembly.
During the PDP meeting, various speeches were delivered by different stakeholders of the party, including the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, the National Organizing Secretary of the party, Col. Austin Akobundu (Rtd), Senators T A Orji, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Mao Ohuabunwa.
Hon. Abonta Nkem Uzuoma spoke on behalf of the members of the House of Representatives, while Speaker Chinedum Orji spoke on behalf of the State Assembly members of the PDP.
Chief Tony Ukasoanya and Senator Emma Nwak, both former State Chairmen of the party also spoke.
Hon. P C Onyegbu spoke on behalf of Abia North, Barrister CSL Nwosu spoke for Abia Central while Hon. Chinwe Nwanganga spoke for Abia South. Chief Mrs Nnenna Obewu spoke on behalf of the Abia PDP women.
They all restated their total commitment to the success and strength of the party in the State and congratulated Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the huge successes recorded in infrastructures in the State.