Some stakeholders have continued to react to the alleged rift between the Abia State House of Assembly and the executive led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
There's been media reports that Speaker of the Abia Assembly, Chinedum Orji (Ikuku), and father, T. A. Orji, are warming up to “hijack” the state government, ahead of 2023 guber in the state, which Ikuku is widely believed to be keenly interested.
Adding her voice to Abians who have condemned the said move, Lady Shirley Ikonne, on Friday declared that such ‘sinister’ move by the duo, would be strongly resisted by the people of Abia.
Ikonne is daughter of Eze Isaac Ikonne (Enyi 1 of Aba), paramount ruler of Ngwa, hometown of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
She lamented what she described as witch-hunting on the part of the Speaker, saying that the State Assembly is out to frustrate the executive.
Speaking with Igbere TV, Lady Ikonne decried the number of ministries being probed by the State House of Assembly, under the leadership of Chinedum Orji as Speaker.
We gathered that the Abia State Assembly had set up several committees to probe various ministries and agencies under the Ikpeazu led administration.
Just few days ago, the State Assembly summoned the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, in what many alleged is targeted at the state governor.
Ikonne said: “Within few days of his inauguration, Ikuku has practically taken over the running of Abia State government and indirectly instituted probe of the Ikpeazu led administration.
“Over 10 government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, are being probed by various committees set up by the Ikuku led State Assembly.”
Speaking further, Lady Ikonne said the Speaker had no moral justification to probe the current administration, over what he (Orji) could not do when he held sway of government.
“What moral justification does he have to probe the present government over things he and his father couldn't do when they were in the helm of affairs?.
“Ikuku was the defacto governor of Abia State between 2011 and 2015 during which civil servants in the state were owed over 12 months salary.
“Talking about environmental decay, his father's administration witnessed worse. Abia State was in the most sorry state in terms of environmental decay”, she added.
Ikonne alleged that the move by the Speaker is aimed towards impeaching the Governor, and assuming the affairs of the state.
“The Ukwa Ngwa see Ikuku’s present undue meddlesomeness in the running of the state, a plot to create unnecessary tension between the Ikpeazu led executive and the legislature, in order to find excuse to impeach the governor on trumped up charges.”
She, however, insisted that such move would be strongly resisted by the people of Abia, particularly those of Ukwa/Ngwa extraction.
On his part, Chief Nkem Nwosu, from Obinwa clan, said he had it on good authority that the Speaker would in the next few weeks and months, move against more appointees of the Abia State government.
He alleged that the move by Ikuku, is to see to the sack of the appointees and influence the appointment of his loyalists.
According to him, “Ikuku wants to sack all Ikpeazu’s loyalists and replace them with his, those who will do his biddings.”
Chief Nwosu added that “the ASEPA General Manager (Victor Apugo), has been penciled as first victim of the legislative onslaught.”
When contacted the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Chief (Sir) Jude Ndukwe, he denied the allegation, describing it as "baseless".
"How can the person say that Ikuku wants to hijack Abia State government through the back door? Are we in military regime? ".
" So my brother, we are not in military regime and I can't react to such allegation," he told our correspondent on telephone, declining to make further comments.
When contacted, the Abia state commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, declined to make comment.