Labour Party, on Tuesday, said the abduction of its governorship candidate, Mr Obiora Agbasimalo, was politically motivated.
National Organizing Secretary of the party, Gbazuoagu Ojukwu, at a pressbriefing in Awka, the state capital, alleged that Agbasimalo was abducted because of his towering popularity in the political game.
Ojukwu, who doubles as the Chairman of Obiora Agbasimalo Campaign Council, said the party and the members of his family have commenced talks with his abductors with a view to securing his release.
“Our candidate has not appeared anywhere since he was adopted on the 18th of last month (September). He was adopted alongside one of his security aides on his way from Ezinifite – Nnewi to Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area.
“Since after his adoption, we only spoke with him, maybe… for his abductors to assure us that he is alive but he has not appeared anywhere or disappeared again.
“And we are doing everything possible to ensure that he is released. The relevant (security) agencies are working; the party is working, and the family as well are working towards his release. Maybe as we talk, he will appear.”
Asked what he discussed with the abductors as regards his release, Ojukwu said: “What we discussed with them is something like what a man discusses with a woman inside a room. Sometimes, you don’t make them public. They’re meant for the two ears.”
Asked if he considered his abduction politically motivated, he said: “First and foremost, it is political because when he was in the bank, nobody had abducted him or looked for him; but since he started aspiring to be the governor of Anambra State, so his adoption is very, very political.
“He was abducted because he’s very popular and because the Labour Party is very popular, the bigwigs in Anambra politics might want to remove him so that they would have their way.”
Asked what the party would be telling the electorate at the campaign grounds without their party’s candidate, he said: “This is not the first time such a thing was happening in Nigeria. Omisore was in Agodi Prison, Ibadan and won the senate seat and later went there.
“Theodore Orji was in Ikoyi Prison detained by the EFCC. Immunity as a governor removed him from Ikoyi prison the moment he was pronounced the governor of Abia State. So, this is not the first time that Nigerians are hearing that a candidate was not seen.”
Meanwhile, the party dismissed the report that the party was making plans to adopt the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Valentine Ozigbo, as its candidate for the poll.
“Labour Party hereby declares the contents of the publication as false, misleading, baseless and a plot by meddlesome interlopers to discredit, disparage and de-market Labour Party, its candidate, Agbasimalo.
“This attempt to derail the focused campaign organization whose work and impact with the masses is making the opposition very jittery because of the massive support the LP is enjoying in Anambra State has failed woefully”, Ojukwu said.