TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

ished: 07/01/10

Source: pointblanknews.com

Esin told pointblanknews.com that while the party is not surprised at the defection of the governor to the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, it owed the state the responsibility of saving it from bad governance and the abysmal performance of the Governor in the last three years.

"We are responsible to Abians and it is our intention to put the state back to where it belong as one of the top states in Nigeria. We would not challenge his defection because we do not want mayhem in Abia. We would rather wait till 2010 and wherever he goes, PPA would win," Esin told pointblanknews.com.

However, loyalist of the embattled Governor of Abia State are alleging that the rift between Governor Orji and former Governor Orji Kalu is over the sharing of an N18 Billion allocated to the state from the federation account.

They accused the former Governor of not just meddling in the governance of the state but also demanding that a sum of N12 Billion be giving to him from the N18 Billion federal allocation to enable him prosecute his Presidential ambition.

The alleged refusal of the Abia State Governor to part with the N18 Billion deepened the rift between the two hitherto political brothers.

But Esin described the allegations as a "blatant lie", accusing Governor Orji of refusing to substantiate the allegations when the leadership of the party summoned him following the rumor of the N12 billion demand by former Governor Orji Kalu.

"We requested for a meeting to find out the truth in the allegation, we summoned everyone to the NWC, everyone showed up and explained their own side of the story, the Governor refused to show up but at a later date, sent in a writing response where he said he would release details at a later date."

According to the PPA chairman, "former Governor Orji kalu denied allegation that he interferes in the governance of the state and that he has no relationship with any company doing contract in Abia State except Julius Berger and when the governor refused to state his side, we considered the allegations spurious and a blatant lie."

Esin disclosed that out of N3 billion federal allocation to the state monthly, the sum of N1.4 Billion goes for payment of salaries to workers leaving a balance of N1.6 Billion out of which the Governor takes out N700 Million for his personal security every month.

"He has refused to answer to that allegation but preferring to keep spending that huge sums for his monthly security for himself and his family at the expense of Abians who are left at the mercy of kidnappers and insecurity in the state," the PPA National Chairman said.

However, sources told pointblanknews.com that few weeks ago, former Governor Orji Kalu who is the chairman of the Board of Trustees, BOT of the party had met with the Abia Governor. At the meeting, the former Governor was said to have told the incumbent that because of the rising insecurity in the state and his lack of popularity in Abia, he should not seek a second term as the party might be defeated. The Governor was said to have been shocked, insisting that he would seek a second term even if he has to run on another political party.

Sources said it was after the meeting between the two men that the Governor decided to ditch the PPA for APGA.