Following the massive rigging that characterised the March 28 Abia North Senatorial election, youths comprising students, artisans and traders under the auspices of Abia Youth Alliance Forum (AYAFY) besieged the Igbere country home of Dr. Orji Kalu on Tuesday to woo him to join All Progressives Congress (APC) in the interest of the state.
The former governor, who contested for Abia North Senatorial race on the platform of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) had challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC officials of manipulating the election result in favour of the PDP candidate, Chief Mao Ohuabunwa. The group condemned in strong terms the maltreatment meted out to Kalu and other opposing parties by INEC and Abia State government officials during the National Assembly poll.
Speaking with journalists during the visit, the group’s Coordinator, Mazi Obiajulu Okonkwo explained that Dr. Orji Kalu was a respected Igbo son, whose contribution to the social, economic and political development of Nigeria was deeply appreciated by all irrespective of age, religious and political differences.
According to him: “ We believe in change and we need the likes of Dr. Orjii Kalu to come on board in the interest of Ndigbo. We know he has a close relationship with General Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu but we are here today to persuade him to join the party that appreciates him. “ Abia State is in a mess because Governor Orji had been dropping the name of President Jonathan’s wife in running the state with impunity. We are glad that this will stop with the new government and Abia State will regain its lost glory,” he said.
“At the March 28 poll, INEC officials connived with Abia State officials to change the people’s will by ensuring Orji Kalu was rigged out of the race,” Okonkwo added.
The activist berated the Governor Orji-led administration for failing to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Abia people, adding that the current administration had committed a crime against humanity.
According to him: “ It is unfortunate that Abia State is in a sorrowful condition, a trip to Aba will explain better. The governor and his family have mortgaged the future of Abians by using tax payer’s money to acquire property all over the world. We will wait to see if the ill-gotten wealth will make them stay in office beyond May 29, 2015.”
The group’s coordinator maintained that for the state to progress, there was a need for leadership change and appealed to the electorate to come out en masse to vote APC candidates in the April 11 poll.
Okonkwo, while urging Nigerians to support the incoming administration of Gen Buhari, urged them to remain calm and committed to the new Nigeria project, adding that the country would be a better place if collectively we join hands together to support the new government.
In his remarks, Special Adviser to Dr. Kalu, Chief Ugochukwu Obialo, who received the youths thanked them for identifying and appreciating his principal and promised to convey their message to him.
Obialo used the opportunity to call on the youths to maintain peace and order during and after April 11 elections.
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