#AbiaDecides: Go In Peace, Don’t Allow Abia People Rise Up Against You – Otti Warns Ikpeazu
The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, has called on the out-going governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, not to set the lives of the citizens of the state on the path of danger.
Otti, widely acclaimed to have won the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state, advised Ikpeazu and his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to cease forthwith from manipulating the result of the governorship election in Obingwa Local Government Area.
“I still want to call on this government as it is going out, it should go out in peace. It should not expose Abia to danger. It is not fair, and I believe Abia people will rise up against them, if they continue the way they’re going. But I appeal for peace and calm and I know the right thing will be done,” he admonished.
Otti spoke on Monday at his campaign office, in Umuahia, where he addressed a milling crowd of party members and supporters, who had gathered to congratulate him on his victory at the polls.
Below, are details of his speech:
“Let me start by thanking everyone who came out spontaneously today, expecting that INEC was going to complete the collation and announce the result today.
“Unfortunately, we have received a report from INEC that they are suspending the collation (of results) from Obingwa Local Government and also postponing the return and declaration which should have happened today.
“I think it is appropriate that INEC did that. If you have followed all the things that have happened since Saturday, all the developments, it is very clear that Obingwa Local Government has turned itself into a terror. And it’s not Obingwa indigenes or residents. It’s actually thugs that we’re imported from outside Abia State and those thugs were imported by the current state government.
“I have continued to warn about the irresponsibility of this government. They terrorised the collation centre, they held INEC staff hostage for more than 36 hours. In the process, they battered one of our agents, local government agent, Dr George Chidozie. He has been in the hospital, but we brought him today to show INEC that it was jot only their staff that was brutalised but that our own agent was also brutalised.
“I don’t understand this level of desperation and irresponsibility. So, I believe that it is proper for INEC to listen to our cry and order a review and to ensure that the process is transparent. They have also said that a National Commissioner will come to review Obingwa Local Government and then make a return. It is believed that will be done tomorrow (March 21, 2023).
“So, I will appeal for calm. I will appeal that we wait for INEC to complete their job. I do not have any doubt that INEC will do the proper thing. The unfortunate thing is that the election having been won, the government think they can upturn it with one local government out of 17 local governments in the state. That’s exactly what they did in 2015, but times have changed and unfortunately they don’t understand that times have changed.
“Like I said earlier, the BVAS is a game changer. We have it on good authority that the total number of accredited voters in Obingwa was just a little less than 27,000 and we have two House of Assembly candidates that have been declared in Obingwa with total votes of less than 27,000. So, the question to ask the rulers out there, who do not want to leave, is where they got a hundred thousand; the same election where the same accreditation produced the House of Assembly members and now they’re building up the number. It used to be 90,000 now it’s over a hundred thousand. In their desperation, they forgot that the forged result sheet has total number of accredited voters at 81,000. So, I believe that INEC will do the proper thing.
“Dr George is here, a medical doctor. He was battered in Obingwa, his local government, by the people who are supposed to protect him. We had to get him out of the hospital to come and testify, when we thought that the review will happen by the Returning Officer, before his discharge. He has to go back to the hospital.
“I still want to call on this government as it is going out, it should go out in peace. It should not expose Abia to danger. It is not fair, and I believe Abia people will rise up against them, if they continue the way they’re going. But I appeal for peace and calm and I know the right thing will be done.
“I have a lot of people with me here. Our Distinguished Senator-Elect, Hon Darlington Nwokocha, who is a sitting member of the House of Representatives in Abuja and then I have Hon Ginger Onwusibe, who is also a sitting member of the House of Assembly and has just won an election into the House of Reps and whole lot of party leaders and elected members of the House of Assembly.
“We will request that you peacefully go back and resume here again tomorrow to wait for that return and declaration.
“Thank you very much.”
– Kazie Uko