Ikpeazu Accuses Apga Candidate, Otti, Of Desperately Seeking To Become Governor
BEVERLY HILLS, January 08, (THEWILL) – The Abia State Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in last April's election, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has accused his challenger, Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, of being desperate to takeover his office.
The Governor's Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Godwin Adindu, who made this assertion during a chat with journalists in Lagos, described the Appeal Court ruling, which voided Ikpeazu's election as “a rape of justice”, urging “the entire world” to rise up to condemn the “judicial rascality and brigandage” of the appellate court judges.
According to him, “Recall that before they commenced sitting, the PDP in Abia had raised alarm over the constitution of the judges. All the five judges came from one judicial Division – Lagos. This was against the tradition in selecting judges of the Appeal Court. Lagos is where the APGA candidate lives and does business. PDP expressed fear of a possible compromise.
“The Appeal Court judges have trifled with the lives and destiny of over 6 million Abians. And what they did would have launched the state into anarchy if not for the calm and peaceful disposition of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. But, let me state here that Abia State is not for sale and nobody should trifle with the destiny of the people.
“All the people involved in this grand conspiracy to cause havoc in Abia and drag the state into anarchy and bloodshed should stay clear of Abia.”
While noting that the judgment had sparked off series of massive protests in the Southeast state, the Governor said: “On Saturday, 2nd January, Ukwa Ngwa men led by former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara and Chief Gershion Amuta, led a massive street protest that grounded activities in Aba.”
“On Monday, 4th, Ukwa Ngwa women, in what looked like the re-enactment of the Aba women riot of 1929, worn black attires and marched on the streets of Aba and also brought the city to a halt.”
“On Tuesday, 5th January, members of the Abia Reunion marched on the streets of Umuahia and ended at the Government House. It has been a week-long protest and there seem to be no end to it as many groups are warming up for their own action.”
The CPS wondered how an appellate court could disenfranchise three local governments and disenfranchise (one-third) of Abia state electorates, how it could even disenfranchise the governor and deny him his own right to his vote, how it could have ordered INEC to swear-in Otti immediately after their pronouncement, knowing that there was still a window of 14 days within which the governor could appeal to the supreme court.
“Are they saying that the about 400,000 electorates of Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa North are no more Nigerians who have the right to exercise their voting right?” he queried.
“In Obingwa Local Govt, the local council of the Governor, APGA did not have candidates for the House of Assembly in the two state constituencies. So who could have mobilized or monitored votes for APGA in Obingwa? At worst scenario, if the appeal court judges were able to establish cases of irregularities in the three local councils, the fairest thing should have been to order for a re-run. When INEC ordered for a re-run in some booths in these three local councils and other places, APGA duly participated and at the end of the day, PDP, won in all the booths.
“The peaceful demonstration going on in Aba is a legitimate expression. There is a provision for such open show of disenchantment in our constitution. The aim is to dramatize our anger over the Appeal Court ruling so that the entire world will know that injustice has been done to the people of Aba. Our people are conducting themselves within the ambit of the law.
“Let me announce to you that Governor Okezie's mandate is sacred and safe. By God's grace, money cannot replace justice. We have the utmost confidence in the ability of the Justices of the Supreme Court to correct the anomaly at the Court of Appeal and uphold the victory of our Governor as had been earlier done by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.”
He lamented the new “regime of sponsored intimidation” in the state, pointing at “invasion” on the house of Eziuche Ubani, commissioner for works and two-time member of the house of representatives” by DSS officials who claimed Ubani was stock piling arms and training people to assassinate APGA leaders.
“If state institutions will be used to harass innocent Nigerians then he wonders where the country is heading to,” Adindu said, adding that “Mr. Alex Otti and his surrogates have now turned to false and desperate propaganda to grab power at all costs, and mortgage Abia State.”