Following the replacement of Hon. Ossy Prestige, the late Jouse Representative member of Aba North/South Federal Constituency, which has warranted a by-election, has also attracted a heated debate among party faithfuls of rival political parties in Abia state.
The latest criticism and debate came when the Abia State commissioner for Information responded to a publication by Hon. Maduka Okoro, the South East media aide to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Hon. Maduka faulted the remarks of the Abia state commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu which he said that the commissioner in a statement was on a mission to de-market APC.
Hon. Maduka Okoro’s Statement reads: “Yesterday, in a bid to demarket APC and Mascot Uzor Kalu for the Aba North/South Federal Constituency by-election, the heavily owed commissioner for information who may have become disoriented as a result of some owed salaries and entitlements told Abians never to vote APC and Mascot because APC as a party supports RUGA .He subtly told Abians to vote party and not individual.
“I responded to him that we should not vote PDP either because PDP is a party that supports owing worker’s salaries and starving pensioners to death.
“Apart from PDP owing Abia workers and pensioners ,are you aware that Enyimba football club of Aba under Ikpeazu PDP have refused to come back from South Africa after crashing out from CAF competition due to 15 months unpaid wages and allowances?
“This salary issue under PDP has become very endemic .Those players after suffering and toiling ,they have refused to pay them .
“So what moral justification does the heavily owed Okiyi Kalu has to tell us who to vote ?
” How can anyone vote for a party that uses hunger as a political tool?
‘How can anyone vote for a party who attracts no projects to their constituency ?Hon. Maduka Okoro asked?
” If you do a comparison of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of PDP who has been in Senate for 16 years and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of APC who has spent a year plus in the Senate, you will be so ashamed of PDP that you can’t but hate anything associated with PDP .
“The state government even claims NDDC projects in Abia to be state government projects . Anyone supporting PDP in Abia state is simply wicked and heartless
” Chief Okiyi ,please stop insulting our collective sensibilities. PDP is the worst thing that has ever happened to Abia state.
“My friends,reject PDP if you need a suden turn around and immediate breakthrough.
“Ossy Prestige did well as a legislator and the only candidate and party that can continue and improve on what he did is Hon Mascot Uzor Kalu of APC .
“The APC legislators in Abia has shamed PDP by constructing roads , building schools and hospitals which the state government failed to do . I wished their legislative duties is extended to paying salaries.
“Abians, please pray for Enyimba players as they may have concluded plans to elope.”
In a rapid response to the Hon. Maduka Okoro’s criticism, John Okiyi Kalu challenged APC to spell out the party’s agenda on RUGA and his resolution as a PDP member, the current position of Enyinba FC amongst others.
His words: “Maduka Okoro nwannem,(my brother) Enyimba FC players are currently in Ivory Coast and will land Abuja by noon today.
Secondly, I stand by my statement: legislative election candidates are sponsored by political parties and they support their party’s agenda only.
“What is your party’s aganda on RUGA and open grazing? Be courageous enough to state it here for posterity to record you.
“We in PDP Abia remain resolutely against RUGA and open grazing. We also want service chiefs appointment to follow national character and that’s why Senator Abaribe (PDP) sponsored a bill on that. How did your APC Senator vote? For or against?
“As per other things you wrote, I don’t engage in iko onu(boosting) and will let them slide.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed March 27, 2021, for the conduct of the by-election to fill the vacant seat for Aba North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State.
According to the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the official notification for the election would be published on Monday, March 1, 2021, while political parties shall conduct their primaries between March 4 and 10, 2021 while the last day for submission of the list of nominated candidates is March 16, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.
Okoye directed political parties to submit the names of their polling agents for election to the electoral officers of the respective local councils on or before March 19, 2021, and campaigns by political parties shall stop on March 25, 2021.