The Abia State chapter of the Labour Party, LP, has stated that the venue of its proposed rally does not belong to the Abia State government.
The State government had in a release cautioned the Labour Party not to disrupt academic activities by insisting on the use of the Ngwa High School, Aba for its Campaign rally that is expected to have its presidential candidate, Peter Obi in attendance.
In a press release signed by the State Coordinator of the Alex Otti Campaign Council, Hon. Iheanacho Obioma dated November 11, 2022, the party disclosed that payment for the use of the proposed venue had been made to the owners of the facility.
The full statement reads:
The Alex Otti campaign Council has noted with dismay some disjointed and disgusting press statements emanating from Abia state government and her agents which have been flying up and down, and which are geared towards disrupting the Labour Party Campaign Rally billed for Thursday 10th November, 2022 at Ngwa High School Aba.
Ordinarily, we would have ignored the government having discovered that some unproductive appointees use such strategy of provocative rabble rousing and media mischief to extort money from the government, especially once Alex Otti’s name and Labour party are mentioned, however, our detection of infantile emotional blackmail in the releases leaves us with no choice than to respond and state as follows:
1. That the venue of the Proposed Rally does not belong to Abia state government, rather to a private religious institution, ABA-Ngwa North Diocese of Anglican Communion which had since given us the necessary approvals after payment was made and received.
2. That the school is presently on midterm break which is one of the things taken into consideration before the date was chosen. We do not expect Abia state government to be aware of this because they have no interest in the affairs of the school.
3. That the owners and management of the facility who have better knowledge of the vicinity and who had exhibited moral obligation to protect the welfare and wellbeing of their students than Abia state government understood that our rally will pose no threat of any kind to the facilities students whose classrooms are far away from the venue of the rally before giving their approval.
4.Just a few days ago the PDP held similar rallies at Osusu Amaukwa and Umuakatawom primary schools respectively in Obingwa while schools were in session. Does this not show hypocrisy and double speak by the same government?
5. Our party had applied to use the Aba Township Stadium (Enyimba Stadium) but the state government turned down our request on the grounds that the Pitch is a synthetic turf and thus will be destroyed if we hold our rally there.
6. Our Governorship Candidate, Alex Otti has repeatedly proven his love for education hence he runs the most professionally organized and sustainable Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme for indigent students in Abia, unlike the present government that continues to superintend the de-accreditation and destruction of our academic institutions, therefore the government’s insulting pretence of love for education and welfare of Abia students is both hypocritical and provocative.
7. If the Ikpeazu led government had any respect for our students and teachers, nor attached a modicum of importance to the welfare of Abians, the governor would not have abandoned protesting workers and pensioners to go to Benue to dance like one who won a championship trophy.
8. We wish to advise governor Okezie Ikpeazu to distance himself from his overzealous aides and allies who are encouraging him to resort to violence as a strategy to enthrone his anointed candidate. Such advisers and allies do not mean well for the governor because they do not understand the implications and consequences of their action.
9. The government’s false alarm and the negative publicity it is giving to our planned rally is a well thought out fraudulent strategy aimed at causing confusion amongst our supporters with the intention of scaring them away from the rally. It’s a repeat of the devilish 2015 campaign strategy of the PDP, which failed then and will fail again this time.
10. Finally, while calling on our members, supporters, and indeed Abians from all walks of life to ignore the rants from Abia state government and come out en mass on Thursday at Ngwa High School to give our Presidental Candidate a rousing welcome, we wish to assure everyone of their safety and security.