Abia State Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate, Dame Blessing Nwagba has said she cannot step down for Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, adding that she is the most capable candidate in the race.
Nwagba stated this yesterday while speaking to newsmen after an expanded State Working Committee (SWC) meeting of the SDP at its state secretariat at No 2, Nsukka Road in Umuahia, the capital.
She was reacting to a press breifing addressed by the chairmen of the local government chapters of the party in the state to announce their endorsement of Ikpeazu as their candidate for the election.
“The party has made its position on this matter known. I am very much still on course. Our campaign tempo has not reduced. I have my eyes on the ball and will run the race to the end,” she said.
Continuing, the candidate, who was accompanied on the occasion by her Deputy Governorship candidate, Chief Ogu Augustine Uchenna, maintained that, “As we speak, I am still running my election.”
In a communique issued after the meeting which was signed by the Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ikechi Osondu and obtained by LEADERSHIP, the committee said both the national and state chapters had disassociated themselves from the endorsement.
The communiqué said, “That SDP governorship candidate, Dame Hon Blessing Nwagba is very much in the race and our party through her shall provide credible leadership that is developmental oriented in the state.”
In the communiqué read by the chairman of the party, Hon Chidi Nwosu, the committee said, the chairmen took unilateral action contrary to the position of the party at both the national and state chapters which culminated to anti party activity.
The committee accused the 17 chairmen of making frivolous financial demands from the governorship candidate and may have found who satisfied their quest for money bags in the present administration in the state.
According to the committee, the chairmen had lost touch with the principles of the party’s constitution which is to provide the citizens with social justice, good governance, and protection of integrity.
The committee further alleged that the chairmen and the organizers of the endorsement were given N3m and N2m gratification respectively, saying they placed personal interest above that of the state.
Announcing the suspension of the chairmen in consultation with the national secretariat, they said they had set up a 7-man disciplinary committee to “further investigate appropriately the actions of the said persons.”
The committee, which announced the expulsion of the leader of the chairmen, Mr. Chuks Abengowe, for impersonating the organizing secretary, added that the chairmen had been replaced by their deputy chairmen.
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