The Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has informed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of his intention to run for the governorship seat in 2023, sources have said.
It was learnt that he will contest on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Rumours of Abaribe’s interest in succeeding Ikpeazu has been flying around in the state for a while.
Abaribe is yet to officially declare his interest in the race.
It emerged on Saturday morning that Abaribe made his intention known to Ikpeazu, who also comes from the same local government as the Senator, during a meeting with the governor at the Abia Government House Lodge on Friday night.
The Senate Minority leader was said to have embarked on the visit with some Obingwa political stakeholders.
Our correspondent gathered that Ikpeazu was taken aback when Abaribe told him the reason for their visit.
A source said: “Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was thrown off balance when Senator Abaribe told him about his gubernatorial ambition because he had no idea why they wanted to seek audience with him.
“We learnt that Senator Abaribe just called him to tell him (Ikpeazu) that he wanted to see him.
“The governor thought it was the usual Christmas homage.
“The twist is that we learnt that some of the stakeholders that came with Abaribe didn’t know his mission.
“They too were surprised when Abaribe made his intention known to the governor.”
Efforts to reach Abaribe or any of his aides to confirm the development have been unsuccessful.
It was learnt that Abaribe will declare his plan soon.
However, there have been reactions from several quarters, for or against. Opinion are divided across interest groups and party lines.
One school of thought is saying he has not done much as a ranking legislator, others are saying, he is from the same Local Government as the incumbent Governor, others are of the opinion that he is poised to stop the leadership challenges of Abia by stoping those they claim are holding the state down, while others are of the opinion that he may be using his declaration to install another person as Governor.
For now, it is on record the Senate Minority Leader has made his intentions known as we watch the drama unfold.