ABIA, Nigeria – Amah Abraham, a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Abia state and ex-Chairman of Arochukwu Local Government Area, has warned the current Senator representing Abia North district, Chief Orji Kalu to stop intimidating people from the zone with his security aides.
He spoke on the heels of Kalu’s recent outing to Obikinta in Arochukwu LGA last weekend, where he was reportedly escorted by over 70 security personnel comprising army, police, DSS, civil defense, Road safety officials and local vigilante boys.
Abraham expressed worry over the development, claiming that the ex-Abia Governor was only trying to instill fear in the people ahead of a possible supplementary poll between him and Senator Mao Ohuabunwa as ruled by the Election Petitions tribunal sitting in Umuahia.
Recall that the Justice Cornelius Adebayo -led panel had invalidated Kalu’s election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to organise a supplementary poll between him and Ohuabunwa within 90 days.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain has, however, appealed the tribunal’s verdict.
Addressing newsmen in a press conference in Umuahia, Thursday morning, Abraham faulted Kalu’s decision to visit Arochukwu with a large number of armed security personnel, saying the action was suspicious.
He accused Senator Kalu of plotting to intimidate voters in Arochukwu where the greater chunck of affected wards and polling units for the exercise domiciled.
Results in eight out of the 11 electoral wards in Arochukwu were cancelled in the February 23rd election, and are involved in the exercise if the Appeal Court upholds the tribunal’s judgement.
“It is suspicious and provocative for Kalu to visit Arochukwu the home of his opponent with such intimidating number of security personnel. What does Kalu intend to achieve by visiting Arochukwu with over 70 security personnel? We know his antics as a showman who always tries to overate himself.
“He should be reminded that intimidation will not work for him this time. Aro Oke Igbo is ready for him and he will be disappointed. The people are resolute to recover their stolen mandate and ready to pay whatever price that is required. So, no amount of intimidation or showmanship can stop them.
The PDP stalwart also called on the Service Chiefs to monitor the activities of their officers in the state to avoid abuse.
He further warned against any plot to use security agents to rig the forthcoming supplementary election, saying such move will be vigorously resisted by the people.
“I’m yet to read the section of our constitution that says army should become security aides to senators or lawmakers. This abuse must stop. Security agents should stop being used as instruments of terror in the hands of politicians. Not even Mr President moves around with such number of security personnel let alone a senator whose mandate is still a subject of litigation.
“Abia North has remained peaceful and should not be militarised. If Kalu is holding a valid mandate he should not be jittery. No people-elected lawmaker needs military escort to visit his constituents”.
But when contacted, the Media aide to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Mr Maduka Okoro, dismissed the warning by the PDP chieftain(Abraham), as a mere antics of a politician who was seeking relevance.
He said Abraham was not present at the event, therefore, could not make valid statement on what happened during the event.
Okoro pointed out that Kalu was received and entertained by the Arochukwu people irrespective of their political affiliations.
He added that Kalu was more concerned with attracting development projects to people of the zone than intimidating anybody with security aids.
“Abraham was not present at the event and he is only making the statement to poison the minds of the people against the senator representing Abia North.
“Kalu does not intimidate people but he has an intimidating presence that makes his opponents afraid whenever he appears”.