Assassination attempt?

By John Okiyi Kalu on

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I felt let down when someone mentioned to me yesterday that Dr Alex Otti alleged attempts on his life by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu during a press conference at Umuahia on Friday. I decided to read the news as published by Thisday and after going through it I relaxed a bit. Obviously my informant didn't report the news accurately.

Truth be told, nobody who knows Governor Okezie Ikpeazu will dare associate him with assassination of another human being. Governor Okezie we know will rather walk away from the Governor's seat than contemplate the assassination of any human being for any reason at all. The man does not love the Governorship seat enough to offend the God he believes lifted him from the dunghills to Umuahia Government House. He has long made public his intention to return to the academia after serving Nde Abia and he is not desperate about being Governor. To him the office of Governor is as an opportunity to serve and help our people only.

Dr Alex Otti, the defeated APGA candidate in the last Abia Governorship election, did not accuse Okezie or his government of being behind the purported assassination attempt but only him knows why he chose not to verify whatever gossip he received before calling a press conference at Umuahia. He confirmed in that interview that he was not at the Abuja Guest House when the purported incident happened. In his own words he "escaped assassination by 24 hours". (Only him know how an incident that happened 24 hours after you left Abuja amounts to an attempt on your life).
The police have also confirmed that the incident that took the life of one of their officers did not happen at the Otti guest house but rather at another house in same area. They are also still investigating the story further to unravel who killed their officer and for what reason.

All well and good.

We will know with time if there was any previous assassination attempt on Dr Otti or not and if yes who was behind it. Needless to say that if there is any iota of truth in the story, too many God forsaken people could have had an evil reason to attack Dr Otti. Former colleagues or customers, political gamblers who lost money through his failed campaign, armed robbers looking for money, anarchists seeking to destroy Abia etc. Whatever be the case, the police should find and punish whoever killed the policeman at Abuja.

As regards Dr Otti, if he believes his own story of "assassination attempt" then he should quietly review his life to date and guide the police to help apprehend the culprits. I suppose he is sufficiently confident in his security within Okezie governed Abia State hence his frequent visits to Umuahia to observe even pre-trials at the election tribunal. Surely he wouldn't have granted his press conference from Umuahia if he didn't feel safe under Okezie's leadership.

Since campaigns are over, we expect that if the alarm issued by the Abia APGA governorship candidate is found to be false he should answer to the law. Many already suspect that this alarm is part of a plot to move Abia's election petition tribunal to Abuja where a former APC Governor from the South South have guaranteed victory using the name of our President. If I were Dr Otti, I will not act out any "foreign" made script in Abia again after losing the election mainly because of the naivity of his "foreign" campaign managers and consultants.
Abia tribunal will surely conclude it's work in Umuahia and if Dr Otti chooses to continue distracting Dr Okezie he can go to the appeal court and lose further. But he needs a bit of introspection: how are his Ngwa "brothers" and "sisters" seeing him and his desperate antics?

It is also important to note that since Dr Alex Otti approached the tribunal to adjudicate on the Governorship election he lost to Dr Okezie Ikpeazu most of the noise have been coming from his camp whereas Governor Okezie has remained fully focused on delivering dividends of democracy to Abians. Since his inauguration on May 29th he has focused on issues of good governance with emphasis on infrastructure renewal, payment of salaries and sanitation taking up most of his time. I personally cannot remember him making any comment on the proceedings at the tribunal but rather has stopped his supporters from flooding the venue of the tribunal sitting as done by APGA and Dr Alex supporters each time there is a sitting.
He voluntarily requested that his campaign billboards be pulled down and all congratulatory messages to him stopped to enable him focus on issues of good governance.

Not many people know that the Abia Governorship Election ribunal is just about starting substantial work. But each day the tribunal sits false messages are sent to the gullible public on the proceedings. Just this Friday my sister called me to ask me how the tribunal ruled on the Otti case and was surprised when I told her the actual proceedings are yet to start as the tribunal is just dispensing with pre-trial issues. She told me her APGA supporting neighbor said the tribunal will rule and sack Governor Okezie that day and I laughed heartily and told my sister to buy high blood pressure drugs for her neighbor.

Personally, I read a copy of APGA's tribunal claims as well as a copy of the PDP's response. I honestly cannot see how a judge who passed through law school can hand victory to APGA even if bribed with billions of dollars. More so at this time when the government at the centre has made anti-corruption a cardinal agenda. Even if you present the two gladiators to President Buhari and ask him to choose who to support I can bet you that he will choose Governor Okezie over and over again. I therefore see the rumors of a former South South APC Governor trying to help Dr Alex Otti interfere with the outcome of the tribunal proceeding because of the agreement by Dr Otti to decamp to APC as a wasteful venture that will even cost the man his own political survival. Abia will not go to APC through the back door.

APGA's issue at the tribunal revolves around use of PVC card readers at some locations. It has long been confirmed from INEC records requested by APGA that even at locations they won like Arochukwu and Ikwuano card readers were not used. Even Aba North/South won by APGA recorded less than 10% successful card reading. The challenge for Lawyers at the tribunal is to prove that card reading is a necessary pre-requisite for validity of election result. If that is proved, the tribunal will necessary call for fresh polls wherever they are not used. They will never declare anyone winner because INEC failed to read cards before authorizing voting as that will serve to disenfranchise voters. Non of the candidates will then meet constitutional requirement to be declared winner. More importantly, the relevant electoral act never mentioned card readers as necessary tools but rather they are categorized among administrative tools used to execute the polls, just like calculators. INEC chairman is free to change an administrative tool he is using just like he did during the Presidential polls and ordered midway for card reading to be dispensed with and Buhari won with votes from PVC cards that were not read by any machine.
INEC's representative at the state level can do same if he/she experiences difficulties that might compel disenfranchisement of a large voting population. If the INEC supervisor of the election at Arochukwu actually authorized polls going ahead without successful card reading, it is my common sense view that he acted on behalf of INEC chairman and it will stand in law as INEC's decision to use alternative identity verifying method for voters. But let lawyers argue that in court.

You cannot claim to have won Abia Governorship election and then turn round to tell people that "Okezie won because of Ngwa votes". Should Ngwa people's vote not count because their son is contesting? Should we now change Abia's demographics and obliterate the fact that Nde Ngwa occupy 9 of the 17 LGAs in Abia? That I personally voted for Governor Okezie even makes your claim of "only Ngwa voted for him" a lie from the pit of hell since I am not an Ngwa man.  How exactly did you defeat him in that election?

Since APGA has gone to the tribunal the least they should do is wait for the tribunal to rule. Inventing tales of assassination to curry sympathy is a despicable act of political desperation. I sincerely don't understand why every tribunal day APGA buses are dispatched to carry people to go and chant along Ikot-Ekpene road Umuahia. Are those chanters expected to change the law to favor APGA? Why haven't media people noticed that PDP supporters are not mobilized to Ikot Ekpene road to chant? Why are PDP supporters not inventing tales of "assassination attempts"? For instance, a week ago the convoy of the Deputy Governor who represented the Governor at an event was accidentally blocked by a vehicle with APGA branding. Can you imagine how that matter would have been advertised if it was a PDP branded vehicle that suddenly drove into the road to block Otti's convoy? Yet the PDP people treated the issue as purely an innocent mistake and the Deputy Governor even told his security aides to leave the young man who made the mistake.

One thing I have learned from following Nigerian politics is that the man who cries wolf first is usually the one with baggages. I have witnessed a high profile labor leader in Nigeria go into hiding and send out information that he has been kidnapped by the Federal Government. Remember Frank Kokori of NUPENG? People died while protesting his "abduction" only for the man to show up and gleefully tell the media he did it to fight for restoration of June 12. I just hope that we wil not witness anything similar in Abia given the desperate manner some are going about this Governorship thing.

My candid advice to Abia APGA supporters is to avoid overheating the state unnecessarily with lies and negative propaganda. Join hands with Governor Okezie to build the Abia of your dreams and wait for the tribunal to rule. We really don't need all these distractions and throwing of valuable money at Lawyers who will never tell you the truth about your chances of winning or losing a legal matter. Abia is in dire need of moving from foundation to storeys of success and we should only be desperate to add development blocks to the already laid foundation.

Luckily for Nde Abia, Governor Okezie is not a man that is easily distracted. Today he is working on at least 21 roads spread accross the 3 Senatorial zones of the state. He is paying salaries and rooting out ghosts from the civil service. The Governor is working to improve technology supported education, empower the youths through massive job creation, making Abia self sufficient in food production through partnership with Songhai farms, cleaning the environment and building capacity in ICT while securing the state for all citizens and visitors. These are the things that matter to Abians. Not the proceedings at the election petition tribunal or orchestrated media propaganda.

According to Proverb  17:28;
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

The question is whether those spreading false tales of "assassination attempt" know that scripture. If they do they will keep silent and wait for the tribunal to rule while allowing Governor Okezie peace to deliver more dividends of democracy to Nde Abia.

 

Posted on July, 27 2015

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