Abia State governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Alex Otti, has decried the sack of five traditional rulers perceived to be sympathetic to the party by the state government.

Otti, in a statement by Chris Uka, Director of Media and Publicity of his Abia First Campaign Organisation, described the government as cowardly and vindictive.

According to a government release signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Emma Nwabuko, the punitive action against the monarchs took immediate effect.
The affected monarchs are Eze Nelson Emerengwa of Isiekenta autonomous community; his counterpart of Ovungwu autonomous community, Eze N.N Nwachukwu; Eze Peter Emereonye of Okporoahaba autonomous community, Eze Sampson Jinanwa of Amaise Ovungwu autonomous community and Eze Gbufor Johnson, Igwe of Ariam Usaka autonomous community in Ikwuano Local Government Area.
The traditional rulers were axed for appearing to support APGA against the directives from the government that no Eze in the state should identify with any party.

Otti, however, dismissed the explanation by the government on the action, stressing that it begs the question. In the statement, the APGA flag bearer asked: “How did the government come to the conclusion that they were supporting APGA? Were they found with APGA membership cards? Were they ever investigated on their alleged support for APGA? What panels were set up to investigate them? Assuming but not conceding that there was, what was the manner and character of the people that investigated them?”

He also tasked the government on the other traditional rulers that were not affected by the harsh action, asking, “who then were those not sanctioned supporting? Is it fair that those suspected to be APGA’s sympathisers were axed while those known to be sidekicks of the government are rather being encouraged and patronized?”

The APGA governorship candidate described the government’s action as draconian and lacking in civility, adding that by the action, the government had opened another chapter in its trademark politics of vindictiveness.

He said: “What the PDP-led government of Chief T A Orji has demonstrated by its latest cowardly and vindictive action against the innocent royal fathers, is a confirmation of our established insistence that it lacks the temperament for robust dialogue and contrary opinions. It is only a lily-livered administration and the PDP as we have in Abia, that will leave the demanding issue of people-centred governance and be chasing around hapless traditional rulers. How else would one define failure of leadership?”
The APGA hopeful advised Abia voters to look through the desperate antics of the outgoing administration, stressing that its panicky actions should remain a reminder to them to avoid making the mistake of voting for PDP candidate, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in the April 11 governorship election in the state.

“Tell me your friend and I can say who you are, it is said. What the PDP-led government of Chief T A Orji is doing should be enough to show us that Ikpeazu would do so or more. This is why we should emphatically reject them at the poll. They know that they have lost the fight. They know that they have been rejected by the people. That is why they are doing everything to drag everybody along in their descent to the dustbin of history. We will not allow them to go down with anybody. But we will ensure that they go down with our votes on April 11”, Otti said.