As the dust raised by the zoning formula of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Abia State is yet to settle, the National Chairman of PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, has advised Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu and aggrieved members of the party to quickly resolve their differences to avoid the state sliding into the hands of the opposition.
PDP had last week, announced the zoning of the party’s 2023 governorship ticket to both Abia North and Abia Central Senatorial Districts.
But several party chieftains including former Senate President Senator Adolphus Wabara; immediate Secretary to State Government SSG Dr Eme Okoro; among others have kicked against the “strange zoning” which some alleged, was a ploy to actualise the alleged “Ngwa self succession agenda”.
The PDP National Chairman spoke Tuesday, when he came to commission the Abia State Specialist Hospital, said that “Abia State has been traditionally a PDP state and very dear to the party.”
Senator Ayu who said he received several threat letters warning him not to come to Abia alleging he was coming to endorse the Governor’s preferred candidate for the governorship race, distanced himself from any endorsement.
We must not lose Abia. Abia must remain PDP. I have asked the Governor and others complaining about zoning to put heads together and resolve it.
When I was invited by the Governor to come and commission this project, I received a lot of letters of threat warning me not to come to Abia. They said if I come to Abia I would not return alive.
They said I’m coming to endorse a certain candidate. But we don’t endorse candidates at the centre. It’s left for Abia people to discuss and solve their problem in their own way.”
The former Senate President had earlier while reacting to a group of people suspected to be from Abia North who stormed the venue with placards, demanding that “equity be respected”, noted that democracy allows people with dissenting voices to express themselves.
He said that PDP strongly believed in democracy and giving equal opportunity to all.
Senator Ayu prayed that “Nigeria will never be ruled by the military again”.
He commended Gov. Ikpeazu for the initiative to build a specialist hospital for children, describing the move as ” very wise”.
When we elect governors we expect them to work for their people; to build roads and hospitals; to develop education.
We are not like the other party whose governors do nothing but run to Abuja and be playing politics. ‘
The PDP Chairman, however, pleaded with Gov. Ikpeazu to ensure that the hospital is sutained to be able to fulfill the purpose of its establishment.
In a remark, Gov. Ikpeazu said the aim of his administration was to increase the life expectancy of Abians above the national average.
He said the specialist hospital was built to provide specialised and quality care to all health needs of children from 0-18 years.
Ikpeazu explained that while the hospital financed the project but the technical support was provided by Abians in Diaspora.
He commended Dr. Jackson, an American, and co-founder of Project C.U.R.E who he said, facilitated the shipment of the equipment to be used in the hospital.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, described the project as another landmark achievement of Gov. Ikpeazu’s administration.
The project consultant, Dr Edith Ugboaja, noted that children receive better treatment at specialist hospitals than at other hospitals, hence the need for the facility.