Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 8 January 2016 | 3,969 times
All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) faithful from the 17 local government areas of Abia State, have stormed Umuahia, the state capital, to celebrate the appeal court victory of the party’s governorship candidate, Dr Alex Otti.
The Appeal Court sitting in Owerri in neighbouring Imo State had on December 31, 2015, declared Otti winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship contest in Abia. The appelate court held that Otti defeated the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who was returned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the poll. Otti had earlier made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Ikpeazu at the Election Petition Tribunal.
Celebrating their latest victory on Wednesday, the placards-bearing APGA members said they were confident that the Supreme Court would affirm the ruling of the Appeal Court to give the party the opportunity it has been angling for to rebuild Abia.
Some of the placards read: “Abians are free from Economic Bondage,” “Bye- Bye to Unemployment in Abia,” “Alex Otti, Abians are proud of you,” “Join us celebrate to Alex Otti.”
Addressing the crowd at Isi Gate, a major intersection in Umuahia, during the victory rally, APGA chairman in Abia State, Rev Augustine Ehiemere, said that the party was grateful to God that finally justice has been done in their election petition and expressed hope that the Supreme Court will confirm the Appeal Court judgment.
Ehiemere, who personally led the procession through some streets in Umuahia, said it was organised by a coalition of groups for good governance in Abia to celebrate the victory of APGA and its candidate, Otti, in the Abia 2015 governorship election. He said that Abia people were happy that the mandate which was given to APGA has been recovered through the Appeal Court judgment.
Also speaking, the Minority Leader of the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikedi Ezekwesiri, said that December 31, 2015 would go down in history as the day God manifested himself on behalf of the people even when it appeared as if all hopes had been lost and prayers not answered over the election.
“It was a day transformation, change and liberation were delivered to Abians; today Abians have trooped out to the streets to thank God for recovering their stolen mandate,” he said.
Ezekwesiri expressed hope that the Supreme Court would affirm the judgment of the Appeal Court.
Addressing party members at the party secretariat after the march, leader of the pro-groups, Berth Ekeoma, appealed to the people to be patient, saying that it was a matter of time before APGA would take over the reigns of government in the state.
•Photo shows Dr. Alex Otti.
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