Isialangwa (Abia) – The supporters of Dr Alex Otti, the Abia governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2015 election, had advised him to challenge the decision of the tribunal.
The advice was given by the executives and supporters of the party in Isialangwa North, Isialangwa South and Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Areas of the state during a well-attended solidarity rally.
The supporters organised the rally at Amankwo-Mbutu in Isialangwa South on Saturday.
Some leaders and youths of the council areas, who took turn to speak, urged Otti to challenge the judgment of the trial tribunal, which upheld the election of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, at the Appeal Court.
They described the judgment as “unacceptable’’ and a mockery of democracy, saying that Otti clearly won the election.
The National Treasurer of the party and former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Damian Ozurumba, told the people that Otti had already commenced the process of filing an appeal against the judgment.
“I urge you all to remain resolute and unshakeable, we are going to reclaim our mandate, it is ours and nobody will take it away from us,’’ Ozurumba told the large crowd.
According to him, the rally is for us to demonstrate that the judgment was unacceptable to us.
“I will also urge Otti to pursue the mandate to the logical end, and if necessary go to Supreme Court,’’ he said.
Other speakers, namely, Chief Tony Onwutuebe, Chief Shine Osondu and Christopher Nwachukwu among others urged Otti not to relinquish the mandate given to him by the people.
Ownutebe said that the rally was organised to assure Otti, that the people are solidly behind him and that they will continue to protest until he recovers the people’s mandate.
He described Otti as “a dogged fighter and the only person that has the capacity to fight and recover the mandate.’’
Also addressing the rally, Osondu said that the judgment left an opening for APGA to recover its mandate and urged the people not to despair.
“You should remain steadfast because the end of the struggle is imminent and there will be light at the end of the tunnel,’’ he said.
The spokesman for the youths, Henry Nelson, and the Woman Leader, Mrs Bridget Abel, said that they were not satisfied with the judgment and urged Otti to take his petition to Appeal Court.
In his speech, Otti assured the people that he would not relent in his determination to get justice and ensure that he recovered the stolen mandate.
He said “this is the beginning of the fight,’’ adding that he joined the race to liberate the people and not for self-enrichment.
Placards with different inscriptions, such as: “Restore our mandate to Dr. Alex Otti,” “This is injustice by Abia Tribunal,” “Go to Appeal Court”, among others, were displayed by the youths at the rally. (NAN)