The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has alleged that some politicians were buying the PINs of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, for N5,000 in Abia State.
APGA has raised the alarm, alleging a plot to rig the 2023 polls in Abia State.
Augustine Ehiemere, the APGA chairman, on Sunday, November 13, 2022, raised the alarm while unveiling the party’s Campaign Council in Umuahia.
He claimed that some desperate politicians go about collecting the pin number in the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, of unsuspecting voters under the guise of giving them empowerment.
“Some greedy politicians go about pretending to be empowering people by sharing N5000 to unsuspecting voters and collecting the pin number in their PVCs. Abians should resist them.
“This is nothing but an attempt to rig the 2023 elections. INEC and security agencies should rise to the occasion,” he said.
Ehiemere urged security agencies in the state to caution their officers and men against being used by the government in power to intimidate and harass members of the opposition.
He cited the recent arrest of APGA House of Assembly candidate for Obingwa, Chikezie Nwosu, at a filling station where he was distributing free petrol to motorists.
“We wish to state without equivocations that APGA, as a party, will no longer tolerate any further intimidation by anybody.
“Heads of security agencies in Abia should caution their field officers against being used as tools to suppress the opposition.
“We won’t accept a repeat of the recent intimidation of our candidate who was whisked away by security agents while distributing free petrol to motorists at a petrol station in Aba.
“They arrested him alongside others that were with him. It took the intervention of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe for those arrested to be released.
“We won’t tolerate this rascality and impunity again,” he warned.
APGA called for a united action against any attempt to muzzle the opposition in Abia State.
“We call on the opposition parties in the state to rise in unison and vigorously resist the despotic tendencies of the ruling party.
“We also call on the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, to rise to the occasion.
“All these intimidations, destruction of billboards of opposition candidates, denying opposition access to public places and fabrication of petitions to incriminate key opposition members must stop!”
The APGA Chairman, said that but for the non-violent posture of his members “as a disciplined political party, there would have been bloodshed when recently, thugs and agents of the ruling party attempted to deface APGA campaign office at Okpara Square Umuahia”.
He challenged heads of security agencies to prove their political neutrality by stopping agents of the ruling party from further provocations against the opposition.
“Recently the State Director of DSS and Commissioner of Police summoned all chairmen and secretaries of political parties and told us to promote peace and avoid politics of bitterness.
“Now the security agencies should tell the party in power to stop denying opposition parties access to public facilities during their campaigns.
“The party in power should rein in their agents from such action that could cause crisis in the state.
“We have not and will not take laws into our hands because we don’t believe in violence.
“But our gentleness should not be taken for timidity. We won’t take it kindly again if any attempt is made to deface billboards of our candidates,” he added.
APGA urged Abians to vote wisely in 2023, based on competence, capacity, and antecedents of candidates.
“Abians should be wise and ask these emergency philanthropists jostling for their votes, how many persons they have empowered in the past, or if they have any investments in the state.
The APGA Chairman cleared the air over the party’s governorship candidate, Professor Greg Ibe, declaring that “he is hale, hearty, and very fit to govern the state” if elected.
Ehiemere dismissed those making a fuse out of Ibe’s health condition as propagandists.