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Alleged Stolen Mandate: Gov. Orji Booed By Angry Abia Traders

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Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia State was again booed and pelted with sachet water on Tuesday at Onu-Imo Market at the boundary between Abia and Imo States.

He was on his way to Owerri Airport, en route to Abuja, when traders, who heard the siren of his motorcade, trooped out to the road, armed with bags of sachet water.

They pelted the motorcade with the sachets of water, jeered and booed at him, shouting, ''Onye-oshi vote, Onye-oshi vote'' meaning you stole our votes.

T A Orji was said to have travelled to Abuja to continue to allegedly bribe officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the headquarters, having allegedly compromised those in Umuahia to the extent that the Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, in concert with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Selina Oko, reversed his earlier pronouncement cancelling the results of Obingwa, Osisioma and Isialangwa North Local Government Areas of the state.

While announcing the cancellation during the collation of results on Sunday, Ozumba cited violence and reports of the international observers that monitored the polls in the affected areas as his reasons for the cancellation.

Surprisingly, after the visit by the governor, who led chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, including the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the Minister of State for Defence, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe and Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, the cancellation was immediately reversed by the Returning Officer.

Those who are close to Ozumba conjectured that either of two things might have been responsible for the sudden reversal.

One: that Orji may have allegedly offered irresistible bribe to this highly esteemed Vice Chancellor of one of Nigeria's foremost Universities, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

Two: that the erudite scholar and professor of medicine might have been allegedly intimidated and threatened that he might not leave Abia alive should he fail to reverse himself.

Local sources said truly, Orji has the capacity to do either of the above and that he allegedly did one or both and has achieved his objective. However, according to the sources, what is left to be seen is how he can justify his alleged invasion of the state collation centre, allegedly summoning the INEC officials and intimidating them to total submission.

Observers of the elections maintained that no election took place in the three local

government areas, including Ugwunnagbo and PDP knows it. “It is on account of this desperation by Orji and his PDP rascally and shameless leaders to steal the mandate freely given to the governorship candidate of the masses party, APGA, that Abia traders at Onu-Imo trooped out to the road, when they heard the siren of Orji's motorcade,” a local source said.

“They booed, jeered and pelted his motorcade with sachet water, calling him ''Onye-oshi vote, Onye-oshi vote…'' (meaning the thief that steals votes).”

Orji was also accused of compromising the INEC staff during the senatorial election on March 28, when he allegedly snatched ballot boxes and result sheets via his kinsmen, allegedly trying to steal the people's mandate freely given to an outstanding lawyer and eminent son of Ngwaland, Barr. Ahamdi Nweke.

“Orji has shown an unrestrained desperation to become a 'Un'distinguished senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But he will fall like a pack of cards at the tribunal no matter how hard he might try because he was rejected by his people during the poll in his unit and he cannot sustain the forged figures he allocated to himself through the corrupt INEC officials,” an aggrieved resident of Aba, said.

Some of the traders, including Chinedu Nwankwo, James Orakwue and Kingsley Maduagwu, said it is highly worrisome that T A Orji and his son, Chinedu, could be wasting billions of public funds on INEC to win their elections as legislators and also impose their surrogate on the people, when workers and pensioners are owed several months of their salaries and pensions.

”The billions of naira being lavished by this heartless family is the money meant for the development of Aba and Abia, which Orji abandoned, as well as the payment of salaries of workers and pensioners,” they said.

”He must answer for his inhumanity to the people of Abia, non-indigenes, traders, teachers, doctors and medical personnel, whose destiny he has toiled with for eight years of his administration.”