- The opposition PDP has described as mere rumour Governor Okezie Ikpeazu's purported plan to dump the party for the APC
- PDP’s national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the opposition party is stable and none of its governors is contemplating defection
- Governor Ikpeazu's media aide, Onyebuchi Ememanka, also explained what his principal's visit to President Buhari was about
Abia state - The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has debunked the speculations that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state was planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Nation reported that there were speculations in the social media about the governor’s plan to dump his party, PDP, for the ruling APC, following his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, December 30.
Reacting, the PDP’s national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, described the purported defection speculations as one of the rumours of the season.
He was quoted to have said:
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“This is a season of rumours and untruths. So, we at the PDP consider the purported defection plan as one of the rumours being circulated by those who enjoy doing so.
“Nigerians know that the PDP is very stable as I speak. So, none of our governors would contemplate defection to the other party…
“Please, take Governor Ikpeazu’s purported defection plan for what it is: one of the rumours of the season.”
The PDP has so far lost three governors, David Umahi (Ebonyi), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) and Ben Ayade (Cross River) to the APC.
Why Ikpeazu visited Buhari - Abia state government
Meanwhile, the Abia state government has explained why Governor Ikpeazu visited President Buhari in Aso Rock on Thursday.
Contrary to the defection speculations, the chief press secretary to the Abia governor, Onyebuchi Ememanka, said the meeting between President Buhari and his principal was purely on the economy and the plan to further industrialise the southeast state.
The statement by Ememanka reads in part:
“The purpose of the meeting was to brief the President on the developments on the Enyimba Economic City project and inform him of the next level plans for the mega project."
He added that the governor thanked President Buhari for the support given by the federal government to the project, particularly the 20% stake taken up and the consistent approvals given by relevant federal authorities to important applications made on behalf of the project after fulfilling all legal and other relevant requirements.
Enyimba Economic City project groundbreaking slated for 2022
The media aide said Governor Ikpeazu informed the president that all the international financial institutions involved in the project had fulfilled their obligations.
The Abia state governor said the formal ground-breaking of the Enyimba Economic City project is expected to be performed by President Buhari between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter of 2022.
According to him, the president expressed satisfaction with the developments and renewed the commitment of the federal government to the project.
PDP debunks allegations of Udom Emmanuel's planned defection
President Buhari's special assistant on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang had claimed that Governor Emmanuel was making subtle moves to join the APC.
Citing the governor’s recent romance with APC stakeholders, including the invitation of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Enang concluded that "Udom Emmanuel is now a member of the APC."