From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The Abia State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has dared Governor Okezie Ikpeazu by dragging the Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti of Labour Party (LP), to the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal over the March 18 governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
Ikpeazu had in a congratulatory message to Otti after he was declared winner of the Governorship election, urged that those who have been declared winners of the election should be spared the burden of litigation which he said only serves to distract public officers from performing their duties and responsibilities.
However, in a surprising move and against the advice of the governor, PDP said it has concluded plans to drag Otti to the Tribunal.
A release by Abraham Amah, Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary said the State Working Committee (SWC) and the enlarged State Executive Committee (SEC), met and reviewed the results after collecting all the materials used in the conduct of the elections and decided to go to court to challenge the results of the Abia guber election, especially in six local government areas where he said the BIVAS machines were not used.
The release read in part:
“This decision is coming on the heels of members of the Labour Party taking its own candidates that were declared winners to court despite the honest and wise advice and appeal of the Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu that the those that have been declared winners of the election including the governor-elect, Alex Otti should be spared the burden of litigation which only serves to distract public officers from performing their duties and responsibilities.
“Abia PDP is shocked to note that at a time when it is making arrangements for a seamless and peaceful transition for the new government, it is the same Labour Party that was declared the winner that is trying to torpedo the process.
“Subsequently, the legal department of the Abia PDP will release the details of its petitions in the next 24 hours and head to the Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the declaration of Alex Otti of the Labour Party as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election.”
The release called on the people of Abia to remain calm, peaceful and steadfast as the party said it is working assiduously to reclaim her mandate.