Abia LG polls: APGA national chairman urges ABSIEC to be fair to all

The Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) has been advised to provide a level-playing field for all the political parties and candidates in Wednesday’s local government elections in the state.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Ike Oye, made this appeal while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Umuahia on the forthcoming polls.

Oye said the commission should also keep strictly to the rules of the game and not engage in any acts that could undermine the prevailing peace and tranquility in Abia.

He described the commission’s chairman, Justice Igbozurike Akomas (rtd.), as “a man of principle and integrity.’’

“Let me tell you, I am not bothered about who is going to conduct the elections. What I am bothered about is due process.

“Do what is proper and write your name in gold and leave posterity to judge you positively.

“Justice Akomas is my friend, everybody knows him. He is a man of integrity.

“If he chooses to use this election to rubbish his integrity that is his own business,’’ Oye said.

He expressed the confidence that the elections would be free and fair, saying that Abia people would vote according to their consciences.

He said that APGA was fully prepared for the elections and expressed optimism that the party would sweep the polls.

The national chairman described APGA as the ruling party in the South-East, saying, “South-East is our traditional home and APGA’s catchment area.

“Naturally, the Igbo man loves APGA. If you ask Ndigbo to vote for political parties, they will vote for APGA,’’ he said.

The national chairman said that it had become imperative for Ndigbo to identify fully with APGA, if they hoped to become a relevant force in the nation’s politics.

He said that the North and South-West geopolitical zones had used the All Progressives Congress (APC) to find a political direction for themselves.
Oye said that Ndigbo should likewise use APGA as a bargaining chip for its self-determination and the development of the zone.

He said: “This is what we are trying to make our people to understand. There must be unity, cooperation and integration of Ndigbo in APGA.

“What the Igbo have done is to marginalise themselves by belonging to three political parties.

“Five states, three political parties. It does not work like that.

“Ndigbo should belong to one party to be able to negotiate their liberty from Nigeria’s complex political life.

“For as long as we continue to run from pillar to post, we will not develop, we shall be like the rolling stone that gathers no moss.’’

Meanwhile, the APGA national chairman had identified rigging, thug, ballot-paper mutilation, falsification of results and violence, as the major impediments to the nation’s political development.

He said: “If elections were to be held the way it should, then Nigeria would be a wonderful country.
“Without fighting corruption in any election, every other thing we are doing will not work.’’

Oye said that corruption in the nation’s politics could be curbed, if political offices were made less attractive.

He said that the mouth-watering salaries and allowances of political office holders in Nigeria made politics a do-or-die affair, adding that elective offices should be made part-time.

Oye also spoke on the recent crisis that rocked the party’s national leadership, saying that the party had no leadership issues either at the national level or in Abia.

He said that five out of 29 members of the party’s National Working Committee attempted to undermine his position as the national chairman.

Oye said that he had continued to discharge his functions as the national chairman of the party. (NAN)

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