Abia Speaker, Orji opens up on strained relationship with Ikpeazu

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By Chijindu Emeruwa

The outgoing Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Chinedum Orji, has stated that he learnt lessons from the outcome of the just-concluded 2023 elections held in Abia and all other states.

He accused former governor, Okezie Ikpeazu of sponsoring his opponent in a rival party to thwart his bid to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives for the Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency during the recently-held National Assembly elections.

He was baring his mind against the heels of continued outbursts by critical Abia political stakeholders trailing his recent appearance and that of father, and an ex-Abia Governor, Senator Theodore Orji, during the inauguration of Governor Alex Otti at Umuahia Township Stadium on 29th May 2023.

Orji, who represents Umuahia Central Constituency of the state, insisted that days had gone when he fought for the good political interests of close allies and friends, regretting that he was being rewarded with blackmail and propaganda targeted to dent his image.

He also clarified his recent appearance with his father and the current representative of Abia Central Senatorial District at the national assembly, Senator Theodore Orji,

“When you have a governor-elect that wrote to you or extended an invitation to you from another party, to please come and witness his inauguration; when you have a governor-elect reaching out to one of his predecessors who happened to be my own father, to please come and be a guest on his inauguration; if you are in my shoes, what will you do? I am throwing the question to you, the journalists. You will honour the invitation.

“Is it about politics or Abia State? Let me tell you something, my dear brother. The days of Chinedum Orji (Ikuku) fighting other people’s wars are over. If you want to fight anybody, come out and do the fights yourself. Don’t hide under anybody.

“I fought against the current governor twice between 2015 and 2019. You all know about it. At the end of the day, who told you those people I was fighting for? Did the person I fought for not reach out to the people I fought against? Who told you?

“All these people who were our enemies, didn’t the former governor go behind and reconcile with them? Didn’t he go and reconcile with them? Why must my own be a topic? Did he not visit President Tinubu the other day? Have you people killed him?

“It is a season of do me, I do you. I went there out of courtesy. And immediately he was inaugurated as governor, I left. And since that time, he has been naming those people who worked with him. Did you see my name? Did you see my relation’s name? Did you see the name of anybody close to me there?

“When you are hobnobbing with my enemies in the night. When you sponsored my opponent in the night, and I decided to be a statesman, and you had an issue with that. But you were sponsoring my opponents, and you want me to continue fighting your enemies for you. So that when I fight, you win. And you go by 2 am, you invite him to your place and reconcile with him. He will then tell him how bad and cankerous the boy is. He is always fighting. I didn’t send him. I didn’t do this. All those “gamji”(scam) don pass. All those gamji period don pass.

“If you want to fight, you fight. You come out and do the fighting by yourself. So, if you fight me directly, i will fight you also directly. Am a man and I’m not afraid of them. But for me, while i will doing the fightings for you and you keep quiet. So, attending Otti’s inuaguration is about Abia state”.

Recall that Theodore Orji, and the son and Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji were said to have single-handedly installed Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of the state after keenly contested gubernatorial elections in 2015 and 2019.

Ikpeazu defeated Otti twice.

However, Ikpeazu lost the bid to install his anointed successor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the just-concluded 2023 elections held in the state.

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