The Ebonyi State APC gubernatorial candidate, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji has advised Governor David Umahi of the state to ascribe and play out the seriousness that should be accorded electioneering.
Ogbuoji said this in response to comments of Umahi lately that he would loan the APC 2000 members of the PDP in the state to swell the crowd and receive President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, January 30.
The APC guber hopeful described the touted crowd by Umahi as virus the party doesn’t need. ‘I, all politicians, the APC and even the PDP national leadership knows Umahi’s reputation for anti-party activities, and we don’t want such mole in our serious business.
In Ugbodo, Ebonyi LGA on Friday, Umahi’s crowd dealt machete blows on each other’s heads and bodies. It turned out a blood-soaked outing. The social media has been awash with gory photos of your supporters’ clashes that left many with deep cuts on all parts of the body and how many of them were rushed to the hospitals unconscious. That’s not the crowd we need because that’s all you have.’
‘Campaigning and the quest for power are serious business and not an engagement for court jesters. In my campaigns, we deal with issues and not witless comedy or turning the political soapbox to a podium of unserious and riotous cacophony of the gibberish.
‘I want to let Umahi know that I deal with issues, and a man that promises to loan the APC crowd he never had in all his rallies is an anathema. This is a man that went to Ikwo and lied that 5000 APC members joined his party when all the persons that attended the rally were not more than 1000.
Moreover, Ogbuoji cautioned Umahi to steer clear of the APC mega rally on the day the president visits. ‘I know your knack for politics of betrayal and I seriously suspect you want to use such opportunity to try coming closer to the president and beg to join and infiltrate the ranks of the party in the state. I won’t allow you execute such plot. Kindly remain where you are where PDP doesn’t even trust you and face your imminent defeat that is sure to come on March 2. And I thank you so much for your misdirected and false kindness,’
In reaction to Umahi’s statement in Ivo LGA during his rally that he has instructed his aid to give N5m to Ogbuoji to print posters and billboards, the APC guber hopeful said he has just three points or posers for Umahi.
‘Number one is that this same Umahi had lied to the people of the state that I borrowed N5bn from a bank to prosecute my campaigns and put the state in debt. Does his gift now mean that I didn’t borrow the money as he had lied or that someone that has N5bn can’t afford N5m.
‘Point number two is that Umahi through that statement elevated political callousness to an odd art. The same Umahi has a standing instruction to his men not to allow my posters and those of President Buhari anywhere in the state and they have been executing that. As at the early morning of January 26, his thugs had pulled down at least 14 billboards of my campaign in and around Abakaliki, including the last on Afikpo Road, adjacent Jezco Oil.
‘While he vowed Buhari’s posters and mine won’t be seen in the state, he wants to loan me a crowd to welcome the same Buhari.
‘I advise you to first of all call back your thugs, behave in a civil manner and stop the vandalism you have authorized against me and the APC in Ebonyi where you have made opposition a criminal act.’
Lastly, I want to remind Umahi that I am aware of the cut in the January salaries of workers of Ebonyi. While the banks sent them alert of their salaries, the monies found in their accounts were about N10,000 and N15,000 less. The amounts he cut from the salaries were exactly the amount he had deceitfully told them was their Christmas bonuses and 13th month earning last December. So, I urge him to channel his kindness to clear that fraud and pay the workers in full.’
Ogbuoji also called on the workers never to forget the fraud in the dealings of the governor with them and vote him out to regain their freedom and rights to a living from their labour.