▪Say decision means victory for Abia North
The Council of Traditional Rulers of Abia North Senatorial district of Abia State have hailed the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, (now former) Gregory Ibe, for his decision to step down for the candidate of the Action People’s Party (APP), Sir Mascot Uzor Kalu.
The news of Greg Ibe to withdraw from the contest and throw his weight behind Mascot Kalu was received with gladness, said the Traditional rulers, while commending his courage the community Monarchs urged Ibe’s supporters not to see his action as weakness but the greatest form of bravery and humility which was taken in the best interest of the zone.
Greg Ibe, a University Chancellor, announced Thursday his decision to resign from the election scheduled to hold tomorrow, 18th March, over his inability to campaign extensively due to the prolonged court cases challenging his victory.
In his statement, the APGA candidate also disclosed that in the spirit of brotherhood, he had decided to step aside for Mascot.
In a brief statement signed by the zonal leader’s Director of Publicity, Chief Imo Ukwa Imo, on behalf of the Ndi-Eze Abia North, His Majesty Elder Eze S. A. Okorie, the Udereze II of Ebem Ohafia, the Traditional ruler pointed out that if both candidates had proceeded into tomorrow’s governorship elections it would have limited the chances of the zone producing the next governor, because both candidates were strong contenders and hailed from the same Abia North Senatorial District.
Chief Imo commended Ibe:
“We have received with gladness the news of our son, Chief Gregory Ibe, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) stepping down his ambition to support his fellow brother, Mascot Kalu of the Action People’s Party (APP).
“This is the greatest symbol of patriotism, bravery and humility from our son in the overall best interest of the zone because this will brighten the chances of our zone to produce the next Governor as we head to the polls with one single mandate and unified accord.
“In line with the Abia Charter of Equity, which recommended power rotation among major political blocs, Abia North is the next to produce the next governor of this great state. Looking at the power sharing from 1999 till date, power has rotated among the three Senatorial zones and ideally should return to Abia North.
“While we thank Greg Ibe for his courage to withdraw from the contest, we urge Mascot Kalu and his supporters to see this as a huge sacrifice in order not to disappoint.”
As a follow up, the Traditional rulers called on all eligible voters, party faithful of both candidates to mobilise support and cast their votes in favour of Mascot Kalu.
Recall that on Thursday, the Traditional Council of Abia North Traditional Rulers endorsed the candidature of Chief Sir Mascot Uzor Kalu (KSJI), the state’s governorship candidate of the Action Peoples Party (APP).
According to the Traditional Monarchs, the endorsement was a symbolic demonstration of the determination of the people of Abia North to see that power returns to the Senatorial District.
Performing the traditional rituals of the endorsement at Ebem Ohafia on Friday, on behalf of the Ndi-Eze Abia North, His Majesty Elder Eze S. A. Okorie, the Udereze II of Ebem Ohafia, who is the immediate past deputy of the Abia North Traditional Rule Council, in concert with some selected traditional rulers representing the five local governments of the senatorial district, unequivocally declared support for Mascot Kalu.