By Anayo Okoli
Abia State chapter of Progressive Peoples Party, PPA, has accused Governor Theodore Orji of using the state environmental protection agency, ANSEPA, to remove posters and billboards of opponents, saying the governor was trying to intimidate its candidate.
PPA said while the governor’s posters and billboards littered everywhere in the state, those of Comrade Chris Akomas, its governorship candidate, were being pulled down.
According to the party, the PDP government is not allowing a level-playing ground for contestants in the state.
The party warned ANSEPA not to allow itself to be used as “we are all Abians paying our taxes and levies”.
Reacting to the observation, the Campaign Director of Comrade Chris AkomasOrganisation, Prince Emeka Okafor, decried the incessant removal of the candidate’s posters and billboards and advised the governor to allow a level-playing ground for all candidates.
He said: “He is the incumbent, if he thinks that he has done well, he should allow others to contest with him. We are not allowed to use BCA, it is used only by him and the family. They gave order to all schools and public places not to allow us to use any of the fields for rally.
“President Jonathan is not stopping his opponents. They freely use federal media and public places. The governor should allow others be.
“We are all Abians and we pay tax and levies. Therefore, we should have access to the facilities in the state as long as we can pay for the service. Nigerians should know what is happening in Abia. If there is any law which says incumbent government should not allow others to operate, they should tell us.”
Okafor called on Abians living outside the state to come home and register in the on-going voters’ registration to enable them vote for change in Abia, by voting Akomas.
But in a swift reaction, Governor Orji’s media aide, Ugochukwu Emezue, dismissed the allegation, saying the governor had no time to give such instruction.
According to him, PPA is no threat to PDP in any way, hence there is no reason for the governor to order the removal of posters of the party’s candidate.
Similarly, supporters of Chief Ikechi Emenike have raised an alarm that his banner campaign posters mounted at his campaign office at Cooperative, and Ohuhu-Uzuakoli Road Junction in Umuahia, the state capital, had been defaced with black paints.
Emenike is a parallel governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Chief Ben Etie in the state for the 2011 general election, just as Governor Theodore Orji emerged as the candidate of the Senator Emma Nwaka executive committee.
Reacting to the development, Barrister Egwuatu Egbulaefu, secretary of the Etie-led executive committee, described it as the handiwork of enemies of the party and cautioned the members against being provoked by the act.
The secretary said rather than take laws into own hands, by either retaliating or confronting the suspects, the chapter had concluded plans to report the “uncivil, dastardly, and ugly incident” to the police for investigation.