From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
An All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees (BoT) and the national caucus member from Abia State, Ochiagha Benjamin Apugo, has predicted that the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and the party’s governorship candidate, Alex Otti, will win the forthcoming general election.
Apugo stated this in a statement in Abuja, yesterday. In the statement, he dissociated himself from a report that linked him with the endorsement of the candidate of the APC in Abia State, Ikechi Emenike.
Apugo said in the general election, he would be supporting individuals with a proven track record rather than any political party.
He said: “Emenike and his team paid me a courtesy visit as a chieftain of the party to inform me of his governorship ambition as well as the proposed visit of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to Umuahia, Abia State.
“I emphatically told Emenike that the APC would lose both the Abia governorship and presidential elections, and restated my uncompromising support for Otti and Obi.
“APC will fail woefully in Abia State. PDP is already dead. I am supporting Otti. I didn’t endorse him (Emenike). I told him that APC will not win because there is nothing to show APC people. So, forget about endorsement.”
Giving reasons for supporting Obi and Otti, Apugo said: “If you check my political history, you would discover that I have always associated with people of high moral standing and integrity, hence my support for Otti whom I believe will develop this land when he becomes governor.”
Apugo said it would not be politically reasonable to support a party that could not fix the strategic Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road and the Umuahia-Ohafia-Aro chukwu road respectively, maintaining that both the APC and the PDP have failed Abians and should be roundly rejected.
The elder statesman insisted that Otti was the only outstanding personality in the Abia governorship race with proven capacity and passion to develop the state, stressing that though he was a member of APC BoT and national caucus, the development of Abia, including Ibeku land was of paramount importance hence his decision to support the former managing director of Diamond Bank.
He also vehemently refuted the idea of anti-party when reminded about that saying,”what is anti-party? What I am telling you is the correct thing. They haven’t done anything here. I am saying it with annoyance. With the position that I held in APC, nothing. I am not talking about myself. I have not gotten even one contract from them. No employment for one single person since eight years. So, what are you talking about anti-party? They know that what I am talking is the correct thing. They have not done anything to my people here. They didn’t do one single thing here in my home town which is the capital of Abia State. No federal presence,” he said.
Asserting that the era of election rigging was over, Apugo also praised the Independent National Electoral Commission for the innovation of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System. He urged the Abia electorate to turn out on election day and vote for Otti for governor and Obi for president.
“In the first place, the electoral act does not permit anybody or give anybody chance to rig elections. What you can do is vote buying which is also a crime covered by law. So, if you think that somebody is going to rig the election, I doubt. If they will rig elections, they will rig it in other states. Here, we are ready to die instead of thinking that we are alive when we don’t have hope. So, boys and girls will protect their votes. Men and women will protect their votes and we are going to vote for the best. I don’t think money will solve this election. Who are you giving money to? Are you giving somebody who’s nearer to the grave? He’s already dead and you are giving him money. He wants to resurrect, he wants to come back to life,” he said.