As governorship aspirants begin to pick nomination forms, anti-zoning elements in Abia State have planned series of visitation to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu by groups which will endorse plan to have another Ngwa man become governor in 2023.
Gov Ikpeazu had said that the choice of his successor will be determined by all stakeholders, amid speculation that he prefers a successor from Isiala Ngwa.
Stakeholders from Abia North have outrightly said it was their turn to produce governor after Ikpeazu, in compliance with subsisting power rotation arrangement in the state.
Sources told Daily Sun that in order to get backing for a successor from among Governor Ikpeazu’s kinsmen in Isiala Ngwa, his foot soldiers have organised groups to start paying homage and supporting the governor’s plan.
It was gathered that local government chairmen and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) council chairmen have been mandated to raise groups from their areas to visit the governor and pledge support for his plan on preferred successor.
With the recent removal of former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, as chairman of Abia State University governing council, for insisting that power should shift to Abia North, it was learnt that LG chairmen are afraid of suffering such fate if they fail to comply with the instruction.
Daily Sun learnt that the visitation to the governor is schedule to commence Friday with a delegation from Bende Local Government Area.
It was gathered that the endorsement project is being coordinated by a Special Adviser in the office of the Governor on Special Duties, who is working with a former deputy speaker in the State House of Assembly, who also served as Commissioner.
The planned groups’ visits are like the recent one by a traditional ruler from Ohuhu clan, Eze Nnamdi Ofoegbu, where he canvassed power shift to Ngwa side of Abia Central, claiming to be speaking for traditional rulers from the area.
Other monarchs from Ohuhu have denounced Eze Ofoegbu, saying he spoke for himself.
Meanwhile, Governor Ikpeazu has asked the Elders Committee of the PDP to advise him on a successor.
It was gathered that the governor appointed a Chairman and Secretary for the Elders Committee instead of allowing members to decide the leadership.
The governor’s chosen chairman, it was gathered, has consistently supported his plan to dump the zoning arrangement and chose successor from Isiala Ngwa.
The Secretary of the Committee, sources revealed, recently rejoined to PDP and has been eager to please the governor.
With an Elders Committee led by two people supporting the governor’s plan, sources say the outcome of the committee’s work is obvious. It is expected that the committee will support the governor’s plan for an Ngwa successor.