Without Peter Obi its alter ego on the ballot this time around, Labour Party (LP), will witness a resounding defeat it never contemplated on March 11 when voters would file out to elect candidates for the governorship and state House of Assembly election.
This was the contention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, which is already looking beyond the polls to return to power in the state it has been in charge since 1999, adding that the coming election would prove to the whole world that neither the LP nor any other party held any challenge to its popularity in the state.
The ruling party, in a statement signed by Michael Nwabueze, for its PDP Governorship Campaign Council (PDP-GCC), said that Abia people were already aware that Peter Obi who made a majority of them vote for LP on the 25th of February would not be on the ballot next Saturday and would troop out to do what they had done in the last 24 years – return the party they had trusted.
It was also a day the ruling party riled against the allegation by the LP that it (PDP) had concluded plans to violently rig the March 18th governorship election, stressing that the reverse was not only the case, but that the cry was an indication of the plot the opposition party and their candidates was cooking up.
“Our attention has been drawn to a purported petition by the desperate gang of former APC members that have hijacked the Labour Party in Abia State titled: Threat by the PDP led Government in Abia State to violently rig the proposed March 18th Governorship Election in Abia State and we wish to state that it is another act of desperation by deceptive scare mongers doomed for electoral defeat.
“In the good old days, a thief will run even when nobody is pursuing him. Obviously members of the Labour Party In Abia are still living in that era, hence running even when nobody is pursuing them. They are frequently raising false alarms against others while plotting exactly the same thing.
“This has always been the character and tactics of the desperate serial losers that have currently taken over the Labour Party platform in Abia State after failing miserably, sojourning in the APC and APGA,” the statement, said, adding that it was in possession of information that the some members of the Abia LP rose from a meeting in Asokoro, Abuja, where they plotted and apportioned roles on how to rig the Abia governorship election, which included releasing a false red flag statement to the effect that the PDP and APC were planning to do exactly what they agreed in their meeting.
It also accused the party of having concluded plans to use thugs, rogue security agents and INEC officials to rig the elections, adding that it was also in possession of the details of the LP Asokoro meeting and the follow-up meeting in Okagwe Ohafia and Umuru Umuehim Nvosi Isiala Ngwa South, but had decided to ignore the plot and focus on the task of winning the election.
Alleging that LP agents working in cohorts with sundry security and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hid behind the expected “Obi wave” in the Presidential and National Assembly polls to write election results in Umuahia North, Ohafia, Arochukwu, Aba South, Aba North and Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Areas, among others, the party, said: “Indeed they were the major beneficiaries of the criminally shambolic performance of Abia INEC officials in that election that local and international observers have disclaimed. Let it be known that we are aware of multiple rigging plots by Labour Party operatives including recruitment of militants, thugs and sundry characters from neighbouring states and have long alerted security agents to their plot and antics.
“Obviously it is only a tree that will know you want to cut it down and still stand there to wait for you. Members of Abia PDP are not trees. Conscious of the fact that any free and fair election in our state will inevitably lead to the expected landslide victory of the biggest party, by hundreds of kilometres in the state, we wish to call on INEC and security agencies to ignore the rants of a party that knows it is impossible for it to win a free and fair election in the state and take all necessary measures to conduct a peaceful, free and fair election in the state as we are determined to resist any attempt to abridge the free choice of Abia voters.”
Boasting that no other candidate contesting in the 2023 governorship election in Abia enjoys the widespread love and acceptance across the state as its Governorship Candidate, Chief Okey Ahaiwe, the party, added: “We are equally proud of our entrenched democratic credentials and structure in the state, hence have no need to employ desperate measures to take what is rightly destined to come to us as a result of our great service to Ndi Abia.”