APGA cries out against intimidation of candidates in Abia, unveils campaign council
* Says Greg Ibe fit, prepared to govern
By Steve Oko
The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Abia State, has complained bitterly against what it called incessant harassment and intimidation of its candidates and supporters by the Government in power.
APGA Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, who made the complaint during a press conference in Umuahia, urged security agencies in the state to caution their officers and men against being used by the Government in power to intimidate and harass members of the opposition.
Wawa News Global reports that Ehiemere was flanked by other members of the State Working Committee, SWC of the party during the briefing.
Ehiemere warned that the recent arrest of APGA House of Assembly candidate for Obingwa, Hon Chibuike Nwosu at a filling station where he was dispensing free petrol to motorists, should not be repeated.
He insisted that the opposition must be allowed to freely operate in the state, arguing that without a vibrant opposition, democracy would not thrive in the country.
Ehiemere warned that APGA would no longer tolerate intimidation of its candidates and supporters without cause.
” We wish to state without equivocations that APGA as a party will no longer tolerate any further intimidation by anybody. Heads of security agencies in Abia should caution their field officers against being used as tools to suppress the opposition.
” We won’t accept a repeat of the recent intimidation of our candidate who was whisked away by security agents while distributing free petrol to motorists at a petrol station in Aba. They arrested him with others with him. It took the intervention of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe for those arrested to be released. We won’t tolerate this rascality and impunity again”
APGA called for a united action against undemocratic forces trying to eliminate the opposition in the state.
The party also vowed to resist any attempt by the ruling party to muzzle the opposition.
“We call on the opposition parties in the state to rise in unison and vigorously resist the despotic tendencies of the ruling party. We also call on the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, to rise to the occasion.
” All these intimidations, destruction of billboards of opposition candidates, denying opposition access to public places and fabrication of petitions to incriminate key opposition members must stop!”
Ehiemere noted that but for the calm spirit of APGA members, there would have been a violent crisis in the state when some agents of the ruling party attempted to deface APGA campaign office around Okpara Square Umuahia.
” But for the non-violent posture of our members as a disciplined political party, there would have been bloodshed when recently, thugs and agents of the ruling party attempted to deface APGA campaign office at Okpara Square Umuahia”.
Ehiemere challenged Heads of security agencies to prove their political neutrality by stopping agents of the ruling party from further provocations against the opposition.
” Recently the State Director of DSS , and Commissioner of Police summoned all Chairmen and Secretaries of political parties and told us to promote peace and avoid politics of bitterness.
” Now the security agencies should tell the party in power to stop denying opposition parties access to public facilities during their campaigns. The party in power should rein in their agents from such action that could cause crisis in the state.
” We have not and will not take laws into our hands because we don’t believe in violence. But our gentleness should not be taken for timidity. We won’t take it kindly again if any attempt is made to deface billboards of our candidates”.
Ehiemere urged Abians to vote wisely in 2023, based on competence, capacity and antecedents of candidates.
He noted that no other governorship candidate was a match to APGA candidate, Professor Ibe in terms of empowerment and human capital development.
Ehiemere challenged other candidates to point at their investments in the state they are seeking to govern.
“Abians should be wise and ask these emergency philanthropists jostling for their votes, how many persons they have empowered in the past, or if they have any investments in the state.
” Professor Greg Ibe has over 300 people on scholarship in his university alone besides thousands of Abia youths that have gainful employment in his establishments”.
Responding to a question on the fitness of the APGA governorship candidate, , Professor Greg Ibe, to govern if elected, Ehiemere said :”Prof (Ibe) is hale, hearty, and very fit to govern the state”.
APGA Chairman dismissed those speculating that the APGA candidate is not sound enough to run his campaign as rumour mongers and hired propagandists.
He said that Professor Ibe would soon return to the state to continue with his campaigns, declaring that those making political capital out of his health will be disappointed when they see him.
” Abians should not give in to the works of propagandists making unnecessary politics out of somebody’s health. I know that in 2019, a certain candidate was sick and he traveled abroad, took care of himself and came back.
“Almost all of them do the same thing. So, anybody trying to politicize the health of our candidate is being petty and mischievous.
” The good news is that Professor Greg Ibe is fit, strong and very sound! Very soon he will return, and by the time he kicks off his campaign, it will be like hurricane. Many people will run into their house because they will know that train has come”.
Rev. Ehiemere who later unveiled the Campaign Council of the party headed by former Commissioner for Lands, Dr Longman Nwachukwu, said APGA remained the party to beat in 2023.
According to the list, member representing Ukwa federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Uzoma Abonta, is the Deputy Campaign Director while Chief Enyinnaya Onyekwere serves as the Secretary.
Ehiemere said that the Council would be inaugurated on a later date.
The APGA boss also raised the alarm over what he called attempts by some desperate politicians to rig the 2023 polls who he claimed go about collecting the pin number in the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs of unsuspecting voters under the guise of giving them empowerment.
” Some greedy politicians go about pretending to be empowering people by sharing N5000 to unsuspecting voters and collecting the pin number in their PVCs. Abians should resist them. This is nothing but an attempt to rig the 2023 elections. INEC and security agencies should rise to the occasion.”
APGA said it would rescue Abia State and refix it for the good of all.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.