October 4, 2023

Tribunal verdict: Abia govt demands arrest of terror instigators


Gov. Otti

•Denies sponsoring IPOB, Obi’s litigations

By Steve Oko

Abia State Government has demanded immediate arrest of those it described as instigators of terror and insecurity following their toxic comments concerning the awaited judgment of the governorship election petitions tribunal slated for Friday, October 6.

Both the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and the All Progressives Congress, APC, and their candidates, had gone to the tribunal to challenge the emergence of Gov. Otti.

Special Adviser to Gov. Alex Otti on Media and Publicity,  Ferdinand Ekeoma who addressed the press yesterday in Umuahia, accused the two key opposition political parties of inciting violence against the state using some mischief makers.

He expressed disgust over  some inflammatory comments and unfounded allegations being made by the opposition and their hirelings to blackmail the state government ahead of the judgment.

Ekeoma dismissed as laughable and jokes taken too far, the claims by those behind the campaign of calumny that the state government was sponsoring the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, denying any dealings between the state government and IPOB.

He also  described  as a blatant lie, allegations by the group that the governor was using the state resources to bankroll the legal battle of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The SA called on the security agencies to invite the purveyors of the rumour for questioning.

He said: “The attention of Abia State Government has been drawn to videos arising from two press briefings conducted by individuals suspected to have been hired by opposition elements who were roundly defeated in the last governorship election in Abia state.

“In the first press conference, a group of few young men had alleged that Governor Alex Otti was using Abia funds to sponsor the litigation of the LP Presidential candidate in the last Presidential Election, Mr. Peter Obi.

“In the second press conference, another group of strange fellows alleged that the four-month-old government of Dr. Alex Otti is sponsoring the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to cause terror in the state.

“They went further to call for the governorship election judgment billed for 6th October 2023 not to be delivered in Abia because the Abia State Government had allegedly concluded plans to intimidate the Justices to deliver judgment in favour of Governor Alex Otti or would ensure that the Judges would be killed if they fail to deliver judgment in favour of the Governor.

“Because these allegations are weighty and have the propensity to cause disaffection, insecurity, breakdown of law and order, and even endanger the lives and property of innocent citizens, we strongly and most respectfully make the following demands and submissions:

“That His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu , the Chief of Army Staff, the National Security Adviser, and the Inspector General of Police should kindly use their good offices to cause immediate and thorough investigation into these allegations.

“That the young men who organised these press conferences should be invited by security agencies to come and throw more light on their allegations to enable law enforcement agents to carry out thorough investigations that could lead to the arrest of culprits.

“That Governor Alex Otti’s position as Governor of Abia State is a product of a nationally celebrated governorship election victory, hence we consider it a demeaning insult and provocative blackmail for a group of greedy hatchet men with zero stakes in the Abia project to sit behind the microphone and spew gibberishness  that lowers the office of the Governor of Abia State while insulting the sensibilities of our people who have  heaved a sigh of relief since the emergence of Governor Alex Otti.

“The hate, anger, bitterness  and the trademark of  terror  contained in the text of the press conference and on the facial expression of the accusers showed a despicable design to subject the government and people of Abia State to public opprobrium.

“The two opposition parties that are in  court against Governor Otti and who are suspected to be the brains behind these allegations know very well that they have terrible cases and that their suits would be thrown into the thrash bin on the 6th of October, hence the resort to this panic and desperate strategy of deceit and destabilisation.

“They should be exposed and punished for choosing the perfidious path that seeks to advance their selfish interest against the genuine interest of millions of innocent Abians.”