•Optimistic on Otti’s victory
• ACF declares support for PDP in Abia
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship poll in Abia State, the opposition Labour Party (LP) has denied the story making the round that 3,000 of its supporters have defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The party maintained that what is left of PDP is its carcass, which, it said, would be finally defeated and “buried” in Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections.
Refuting the report of defections from its fold, the party stated that its membership in the council is intact, and working to win the election for its governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti and other state Assembly candidates on Saturday.
The remark was a rebuttal to some report that about 3,000 members of the party, led by one Maduka Akpulonu in Obingwa Council of the state dumped it for PDP on Tuesday.
A statement titled, ‘Akpulonu, others not defectors from LP Obingwa LG, but expelled betrayers,’ co-signed by the Chairman, Obingwa West Stakeholders, Dr. Eric Egwuibe and the Coordinator, Obingwa West Constituency, Maxwell Nwadike, stated that Akpulonu has long been expelled for anti-party activities.
The statement reads: “The attention of Labour Party in Obingwa Council of Abia State has been drawn to reports that 3,000 of its members, led by Akpulonu, had defected to PDP.
“We wish to place it on record that no member of our party in the council has defected to PDP or any other party.
“Labour Party and its members in the coucil are together, working diligently day and night to ensure Otti and others for state Assembly emerge victorious in Saturday’s elections.”
Meanwhile, two days to Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections, a group under the auspices of Abia Crusaders Foundation (ACF), yesterday, went to the Abia State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) head office at Umuahia and declared support for the party.
ACF, which comprises supporters and members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and led by Prince Emeka Okafor, was platform the governorship candidate of the state APGA, Prof. Gregory Ibe, used to distribute relief materials and other philanthropic gestures in the 17 councils of the state, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the declaration, Okafor told the state PDP members that the ACF delegation came to identify with the state ruling party, saying the party has what it takes to govern the state if re-elected.
It was, however, gathered that ACF members are not active politicians, but joined the group to position themselves to benefit from Ibe’s various largess comprising free Medicare, empowerment, scholarship, among others.