Former governor of Abia state and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Abia North senatorial district, Dr. Orji Kalu, has advised Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to wait for the result of the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections to know if he (Kalu) is popular or not.
According to the former governor, the PDP candidate for Abia North is from Rivers State, who denied his origin because of selfish, political ambitions.
Describing Ohuabunwa as a bag carrier for Senator T. A Orji (representing Abia Central), Kalu urged the senator to apologise to the people of Abia North; for failing to provide qualitative and responsive representation, adding that Ohuabunwa is not equipped with necessary skills for the job of a councillor, not to talk of a senator.
Recalling with sadness, the connivance between officials of the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) and the PDP, in the 2016 re-run senatorial election in Abia North, Kalu stressed that he won the election but the PDP, with the support of the Governor of Abia state, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu, bribed the INEC returning officer, to declare Ohuabunwa as winner of the re-run poll, which was initially declared inconclusive by INEC.
Addressing a mammoth crowd in his Igbere countryhome, yesterday, Kalu pointed out that his popularity across the state will give him victory in Saturday’s election, and added that Abians will vehemently resist any attempt by the PDP to rig elections.
He said: “As a firm believer in democracy, I do not have to connive with officials of INEC before winning any election.
“ I am aware that the PDP candidate, Mao Ohuabunwa, has been bragging that he has INEC in his pocket so, I don’t know why he is crying foul.
“My goodwill in Abia state will give me victory in a free, fair and credible poll.
“The PDP in Abia state is known for rigging, vote-buying and violence but the people have vowed to resist any form of electoral fraud in the forthcoming poll.
“The will of the people was short-changed in the 2015 general election and, as such, we shall not fold our arms and watch the PDP cheat us again.”
The former governor, while advising Ohuabunwa to face reality, stressed that the PDP candidate has failed woefully in discharging his legislative duties, and also, noted that Ohuabunwa’s sojourn in Abuja is for sightseeing as against providing good representation for his constituents.
The APC senatorial candidate also blasted Ohuabunwa for alleging that he (Kalu) is using the military and police to harass the electorate, stressing that as a well-accepted politician, he needs not intimidate or molest the people for any reason.
Kalu said he remains a people person, regardless of the propaganda being peddled against him by the PDP candidate.
“It is not only laughable but painful that Ohunabunwa, who snatched my victory in the re-run poll in 2016, can be talking about fairness.
“I am not afraid of election because of my popularity.
“My antecedents and accomplishments in all spheres of life will continue to speak for me.
“ I have paid my dues in business, politics and philanthropy.
“My desire to represent the people of Abia North, in the Red Chamber, is borne out of my passion for community service and good governance.
“During my stint as governor of the state, I offered free education, free health care, salaries and pensions were paid on or before 25th of every month.
“I understand the challenges of our people and I have the right contacts and political sagacity to take our communities to the next level.”
The former Abia governor also called on the INEC, security agencies and other stakeholders to be vigilant as top chieftains of the PDP, in Abia state, including the Deputy Governor, Mr. Ude Chukwu, thr Secretary to the State Government, Chief Eme Okoro and Deputy Speaker, Cosmos Ndukwe, have concluded plans to thumb-print ballot papers and fill result sheets before the poll.
He added that Abians are tired of falsification of election results by the PDP.
Kalu also urged the electorate not to take the law into their own hands, despite the intimidation and molestation by agents of the PDP, and noted that security must be beefed up in Abia state; to forestall plans by the PDP to manipulate the electoral process.