Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia State has rejected a drunkard tag hanged on him by Senator Smart Adeyemi, lawmaker representing Kogi West at the Nigerian Senate.
Mr Adeyemi while reacting to an alleged disparaging remarks credited to his Abia South colleague, Enyinnaya Abaribe, against his state governor, Yahaya Bello, described Ikpeazu as champagne drinking man, apparently in retaliation.
Although Mr Abaribe denied the insinuations reportedly trending on social media and asked his Kogi West to apologise, he is yet to do so.
Onyebuchi Ememanka, chief press secretary to Abia governor, in a Tuesday statement, said his principal does not take alcohol let alone getting drunk in the process.
“Ikpeazu does not take alcoholic drinks and he is shocked by the development,” Mr Ememanka said while listing giant strides recorded by the Abia governor since he took over.
“If Senator Adeyemi was of sound mind, he should have known that when it comes to education, Abia is miles ahead of his home state of Kogi. Indeed, not just in education but in every single area of development.
“Under the watch of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State has maintained first position in WAEC Examinations in the entire country for five years now. Kogi has not come close to the first 20. Never!
“Just last week, the National Bureau of Statistics adjudged Abia state as No. 3 on the list of States that attracted foreign direct investments, with only Lagos and Abuja ahead of Abia state in the entire country.
“It takes much more than drinking champagne to guide a state from zero foreign investments to No. 3 in the country. Kogi state featured prominently on the list of states that attracted zero investments. It is only a state that is peaceful and secure that has the capacity to attract such cross border investments.
“While his state is still awarding contracts for the renovation of schools, Abia had long completed more than 500 classroom projects scattered across schools in Abia State, and still counting,” he added.
The Abia spokesman also wondered where the lawmaker was when Mr Bello severally doubted the existence of the Coronavirus disease with no measures in place to tackle the pandemic in Kogi State.
“Senator Adeyemi was never heard to have either responded to that statement by the NCDC or raise it on the floor of the senate,” he said.
“Yet, he has the effrontery to abuse a governor whose state has maintained one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the country through proactive measures to protect our people.
“Between a governor who has consistently denied the existence of COVID and the one who has put in place measures to protect his people, one wonders who is the drunkard,” he added.