. Says cost of litigation can be channeled to community development
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, has dedicated the validation of his victory by the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to Abians especially his teeming supporters.
This is as the Governor has extended the olive branch to the opposition political parties in the state, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC), asking them to sheath their swords and join him in the task of rebuilding the state.
“This is a good time for the opposition parties to sheath their swords and join hands with him to develop the state,” Otti declared.
The Governor, who was reacting to the judgment of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which gave him victory over the PDP and APC, called on everyone to use their various connections to help him in revamping the state instead of continuing with unnecessary litigations.
Otti in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Kazie Uko, said that the money his opponents spent on litigations could have been better channeled in developing their various communities.
“My advice to my opponents is that this is a good time to sheath their swords and join hands with me to develop our state, Abia.
“Any how you slice and dice it, it costs a lot of money to engage in litigation. while I will not ask them to bring the money to me, I would advise that each of them have villages that are dilapidated; without roads, without water, and I believe that their communities will appreciate it if they would channel those resources to building roads in their villages and communities,” he said.
Gov. Otti urged his opponents to rather deploy the resources spent in prosecuting the litigation in providing pipe borne water to Abia residents.
He said that the victory should not have been contested in the first place and expressed joy that the wishes of the people have come to pass.
“If you follow the election and everything that happened thereafter, you would know that quite frankly this victory shouldn’t have been contested in the first place, but then, I also do not deny my opponents their rights to go to court,” the Governor stated.
He thanked the jurists and all those who ensured that justice prevailed in the end. The Governor also thanked God for the victory and pledged to continue to serve Abians diligently, describing the victory as a reflection of the sacrifice made by Ndi Abia in the 2023 Governorship election.
The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Umuahia, had earlier on Friday dismissed the petitions of the PDP and APC, and their candidates, Okechukwu Ahaiwe and Ikechi Emenike, respectively, challenging the electoral victory of Governor Otti of the Labour Party (LP).
The three-member panel in about seven-hour judgment, struck out the petitions for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
Ikengaonline had reported that the judgment triggered spontaneous jubilation among the populace as residents openly celebrated it on the streets similar to how they celebrated Otti’s declaration as Governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on March 22.