Abia PDP, the Leopard that never changes its spots
by Eagle Okoro
The Abia Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), renowned for its false propaganda machinery, is at its best again. Unfortunately, it has come to its wits end this time around.
Even when the party was in government, it relied heavily on dishing out falsehood and cheap blackmail against the opposition political parties then.
Recall the days of Orji Uzor Kalu, Theodore Orji and immediate past former Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu (now Personal Assistant to Minister Nyesom Wike), when Eze Chikamnayo, Don Ubani (Okwu bunka) and John Okiyi Kalu (JOK), alias “Sidon dey weep”, became rather notorious for regularly rattling unsuspecting Abia residents with their fake news and false alarm.
These men, who were abysmally unprofessional and crude in their style, mistook propaganda for information management.
Indeed, the only Commissioner for Information with a professional background in Ochendo’s administration, late Bonny Iwuoha, was prematurely fired because he could not cope with dishing out lies everyday to the good people of Abia in the name of propaganda.
This is why no rational Abia resident would take seriously the fake news, false alarm and allegations being sponsored in the social media about a non-existent, phoney plot by the Labour Party (LP) “to influence the judgment of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in favour of Gov. Alex Chioma Otti”.
It is also laughable how the opposition concocted yet another fake news, alleging that Gov. Otti was sponsoring the election petition of his LP’s Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, with Abia funds.
Indeed, since March 22, when the LP flag bearer in the Governorship Election, Dr Alex Chioma Otti, was pronounced the winner and governor-elect of the state, PDP has not stopped sulking with deep-seated agony, blended with aggression and frustration.
Of course, it is natural and understandable that losing power after 24 solid years of being on the saddle is bound to inflict severe psychological torture on the party, its chieftains and their hirelings.
Yet, there should be a measure of decency and decorum in the expression of one’s agony over an electoral contest, which ordinarily should be seen and taken as sport, where one contestant must emerge as winner.
The March 18 Governorship Election generated a lot of interest and concern from the Abia electorate, who showed a burning desire for a peaceful, free, fair and credible poll, devoid of manipulations and electoral malpractices.
The prayer by well-meaning Abia indigenes and residents, communities, religious and pressure groups, was that God should intervene in the conduct of the election to bring about a change in the leadership of the state.
The electorate also prayed fervently that their votes should count, hoping that the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine would help to achieve a foolproof exercise with credible outcome.
Expectedly, God indeed answered their prayer. The election was peaceful and the desparate and brazen conspiracies and actions to subvert the genuine wishes of the people, particularly in Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA), was roundly resisted and thwarted by God and man.
Thank God for the BVAS and abolition of the use of incidence forms, which frustrated the clandestine and devious attempt by the master riggers to alter the 27,664 voters accredited in the area by means of the BVAS.
Bouyed by the facts on ground, the courageous State Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Nnenna Oti, dared the fatal threats and rejected the mouth-watering financial and material inducement offered to her by the desparate PDP chieftains and went ahead to declare Otti the winner of the poll, after he polled 175,5467 votes to defeat his closest PDP rival, Chief Okey Ahiwe, who polled 88,529 votes.
Suffice it to recall here that the joy and jubilation that greeted Otti’s emergence as Abia governor was unprecedented in the history of Abia since the return of democratic governance in 1999.
Media reports in the aftermath of the polls nationwide further showed that Abia was the only state in the country where the outcome of the governorship election drew spontaneous and widespread celebration among people from diverse political and cultural backgrounds.
Indeed, the celebration, which erupted with the returning officer’s declaration lasted until dawn in different parts of the state. I wished the video of the massive surge into the streets of the towns and villages was tendered at the tribunal for their Lordships to watch.
It therefore amounts to a feeling of intense fear within the ranks of PDP and its All Progressives Congress allies over the impending monumental legal defeat that awaits them on Friday, when the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal hoped to deliver its judgment.
In order words, having beheld the handwriting on the wall, as is commonly said, the parties, being so highly terrified and agitated chose the inglorious path of cheap blackmail, outright falsehood and devious propaganda against the people-oriented ELUPEE and God-sent Governor.
Unfortunately, the nincompoops and empty-headed fake alarmists assumed they were dealing with their fellow imbeciles, who lack the capacity to decipher truth from falshood.
How on earth would a party that emerged victorious from a transparent, credible and fairly conducted election be bothered about the outcome of a judicial scrutiny to the point of issuing fatal threats to their Lordships?
Indeed, the jurists are not only cerebral in their professional assignment but honest, transparent and God-fearing to dispense justice and ultimately affirm the people’s mandate freely conferred on LP and Otti.
They are also sufficiently discernible to know which party in today’s Nigeria that has a history of violence and unruly conduct as well as a disposition to issuing such an unholy threat.
Of course, Labour Party and its teeming following stand head and shoulder above the rest.
There is no gainsaying that virtually every eminent and highly placed Nigerian from different spheres of life have had personal and/or official relationships with Otti and the LP Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, either in the hay day of their banking career, business or political life.
Therefore, no Nigerian of good conscience would by any stretch of imagination associate the two accomplished and consummate gentlemen with violence. Neither would any link them with fraud!
The trumped up allegations that Otti was using Abia money to fund Obi’s legal battle to recover his stolen mandate was like a tale by moonlight, fictitious, baseless, pure falsehood and cheap propaganda.
The same goes for the wishy-washy attempt to link them with the sponsorship of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
In the first place, where is the Abia fund, when Ikpeazu’s government left a whopping debt profile of over N191 billion naira at the end of eight-years.
Why did PDP government abandon its statutory responsibility of paying salary to its workers as and when due, if it had money in the state treasury in its dying days in power?
Again, if the state truly had money in its till, why did Ikpeazu resort to bank facilities, which he ended up stashing away rather than investing in developmental projects?
Indeed, this last propaganda stunt against Abia LP is not only nonsensical but counterproductive.
Obviously, the unscrupulous sponsors of the media propangada, inadvertently shot themselves in the foot, having exposed themselves as a bunch of predators, with unbriddled lust for power and public funds to continue to satisfy their avaricious tendencies and self-aggrandisement.
And as rightly observed in many quarters, PDP, like the leopard, cannot change its spots, come rain, come shine!!!
– Eagle Okoro, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Umuahia