Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has identified ‘the Peter Obi effect’ as one of the major reasons his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the governorship election in the state, saying that he predicted it.
Africa Today News, New York recalls that the PDP’s original candidate Uche Ikonne had passed on weeks before the poll and the party replaced him with Okey Ahiwe, who was defeated at the poll by Alex Otti of the Labour Party.
Ikpeazu, who also lost his senatorial bid, said he said he informed his party to anticipate ‘The Peter Obi effect’ at the poll.
‘That Peter Obi effect, I predicted it and told my party. I even volunteered that reasonable politicians should not ignore what Peter Obi was doing,’ he said.
The governor said he never personally campaigned against the former Anambra State governor as all he wanted was a president from the southern region of the country.
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On Peter Obi’s effect after the election, Ikpeazu said, ‘What would happen going forward will be determined by how Peter Obi manages the groundswell of support that he had gathered. How is he going to funnel this towards an agenda that can eventually materialise in his dream?’
The Abia governor was one of the five PDP governors known as the G5 who did not support the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar. Ikpeazu said he doesn’t regret being part of the group.
Ikpeazu said, ‘I think that (being part of G5) is one of the most brilliant decisions I have taken as a politician.’
The incumbent’s preferred candidate, Ahiwe, lost the Abia governorship election while Ikpeazu himself also lost his bid to represent Abia North Senatorial District in the National Assembly to the incumbent Senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
However, he said if losing those elections are a sacrifice for his principled position for the presidency to return to the South, he was okay with it.