By Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Chief Whip of the Senate Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has reiterated the resolve of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abia State chapter, to participate in the forthcoming Local Government election in the State, warning that the party would not accept any form of rigging from any quarter during the election.
The former Abia Governor, who restated the party’s position at the home of senator Chris Adighije at Olokoro in Umuahia South Local Government during an expanded caucus meeting of the party, warned the Chairman of Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa to desist from engaging in any activity that would truncate the wishes of Abians from counting in the conduct of the December Local Government election in the State.
Kalu said what APC is demanding from ABSIEC was to allow for a participatory process and election devoid of fraud, saying: ‘We are prepared for the December 18 local government election in Abia State.’
He said the demand of APC was that it must know who the electoral officers across the 17 local governments are, stressing that the party does not want any trouble.
‘We want them to sit down with the security agencies until the election is finished. We must also sight all the forms that will be used for the election in all the localities.
‘Let the beloved Governor of our State and the chairman of his electoral commission put things in order to make sure that things will go on smoothly. All those people saying that the results will be written in their homes, the time has come and gone. APC in the State has resolved not to take that. Local government chairmanship candidates must work hard to earn their victory.
‘We as a party must be ready to go for the election; we are not afraid of anybody and they shouldn’t be afraid of us. We need a participatory democratic process. We don’t want to harass anybody and we don’t want anybody to harass us.’
Kalu commended Chief Marc Wabara, Dr Alex Otti, Friday Nwosu, Nyerere Anyim, Sen Nkechi Nwogu, Hon Nkeiruka Oneyejeocha, Chief Chekwas Okorie and other leaders of the party in the State for their steadfastness in seeing for the growth of the party.
The Chairman of the party in the State, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, said APC cannot afford to field candidates who have the credibility to not only stand for an election but has the will to resist attempts by the ruling party to manipulate the process and truncate the wishes of the Abia electorate.
‘The party this time wants to have people who have the capacity to stop people that would want to rig out the party in an election because it took a courageous man like Kalu to put an end to the rigging out of APC candidates in the State by the ruling party by ensuring that the votes the people cast for him counted.’
Nwamkpa warned that anybody in Abia who wants to join the party must do so with the consent of the leadership of APC in the State, adding that the party would not take it lightly with anybody who would want to join it through the back door.