A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Audu Shuaibu, on Wednesday, warned Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, to steer clear of Imo State ahead of the November 11 governorship election.
Otti had urged the incumbent governor, Hope Uzodimma, during a Labour Party campaign in Owerri, Imo State capital, to start preparing his handover note before his imminent defeat at the poll.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Shuaibu insisted that Otti will not be welcomed ahead of the Imo governorship election because his presence could spark violence in the state and scare away voters.
He said, “It is our duty to speak truth to power and we shall continue to do so until sanity is restored to all levels of governance in Nigeria. It is necessary to draw the attention of Nigerians towards the activities of the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, who is set to invade Imo State with some members of the Labour Party for the Imo State gubernatorial elections.
“Otti’s mission in Imo is to sponsor violence in the gubernatorial election so that voters will flee in favour of the Labour Party’s candidate. How can a newly elected governor who is yet to acclimatize himself with his office openly declare that the workaholic governor of Imo State should prepare his handover note? We are using this medium to tell Otti that Governor Hope will only hand-over to himself and not the Labour Party.
“As we are aware, the Imo State Governorship election is fast approaching alongside Kogi and Bayelsa States. In most part of the country, elections are made to be a do-or-die affair with political actors willing to do anything to secure their seats but men of good conscience always stand to advocate for peaceful elections. Such are leaders of thought who believe in Nigeria.”
Continuing, Shuaibu warned politicians and elder statesmen not to make unguarded statements, which he observed is already building up tension ahead of the November 11 poll.
“In Imo State, some senior citizens are calling for war with their unguarded statements which is already building up tension ahead of the poll. Mr President must remember his statement that he won’t interfere in any democratic process anywhere in the county. Therefore, the president must caution the governor of Abia State against statements that are capable of causing crisis and not to meddle in the affairs of other states.
“If the election is free and fair, Governor Hope Uzodinma will cruise to victory as his works speak for him. The APC-led government of Imo State has shown clearly the difference between good governance and maladministration and it would be wrong to fold our arms and watch a governor from another state cause chaos in Imo State.”
“For Governor Otti and his co-travellers, the plan to change the political leadership in Imo State come November 11 will fail just like the plan to surrender South East to unknown gunmen also failed. Governor Hope Uzodinma has stood firm with his people in ensuring that security is provided by the Federal Government, his effort is commendable and he deserves re-election,” he said.