Governor Theodore Orji has accused his Deputy, Comrade Chris Akomas of disloyalty, declaring that he could work without him.
He alleged that Akomas was plotting his downfall in the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) so that he would take over from him.
In what would now shift attention to relations between the duo in the unfolding political realignment in Abia State, Orji told his Ibeku kinsmen who were in Government House, Umuahia, midweek to demonstrate their solidarity for the governor in his recent cross-carpeting from PPA to All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that his deputy was plotting to take over from him in PPA.
In an interview with newsmen later, Orji repeated the same allegation when asked why he accused his deputy of disloyalty earlier, adding that he could work without a deputy.
“Yes, what I said is correct. My deputy is not a loyal deputy for sure. You know he’s been trying to push me away; he wants to take over my seat and that wouldn’t happen. No governor will tolerate that type of thing,” Orji said.
He noted that the Deputy Governor parried a question during a Press interview on whether he would contest the governorship in 2011 and stressed that only the party and the structure would determine would be its candidate.
“You all read what he said on the pages of newspapers when he was asked whether he wants to be governor. That is a direct question of either yes or no.
“Instead of saying yes, I want to be governor or no, I don’t want to be governor, he said it is the structure that would decide who would be governor. That is a clear testimony of his intentions”.
He also called the Deputy Governor a “spare tyre.”
“I have repeatedly said I don’t need a spare tyre. My tyre is bullet proof. It can’t be deflated.”
He added: “I can operate without a Deputy Governor but the constitution allows the office of the deputy governor. He is still there as the deputy governor but I am operating as Governor and he is operating as a Deputy Governor.”
There have been speculations that Akomas may be impeached for refusing to decamp to APGA with the governor.
While addressing his kinsmen, Orji alleged that his deputy collaborated with the party’s chieftains to undo him. He said Akomas, would who pledged before his kinsmen at the Isieke ancestral headquarters of the Ibeku clan, later turned against him.
“He was the arrowhead of the plot for my removal. He was disloyal to me,” the governor said.
This is the first time the governor would be accusing his deputy of disloyalty in public. Observers expressed the belief that both had good working relations until the incidents that forced the governor to quit PPA.
It would be recalled that Orji had last year, when Abia hosted the National Cocoa Day event, described his deputy as “the most loyal deputy in Nigeria” when members of the National Cocoa Committee paid him a courtesy visit at Government House.
Also, earlier this year, the governor had denied that he had frosty relations with his second in command. He told newsmen in Lagos that he had the best of cordial relations with Akomas.
Officials in the Deputy Governor’s office could not be reached for comment as at press time.