Imo APC, PDP, APGA trade tackles over Saturday’s by-election



There is palpable tension in Imo State, ahead of tomorrow’s Ngor Okpala State Constituency by-election in Imo State.

Three parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) are the major contenders. They are trading tackles.

The parties showed their determination to win the election by embarking on campaigns to seek the votes of the people in Ngor Okpala.

Governor Hope Uzodimma yesterday led a campaign team to the local government to drum support for his party’s candidate, Blyden Amajirionwu.

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Analysts described the election as a litmus test for the parties ahead of the 2023/24 Imo governorship poll.

They said tomorrow’s election had generated fierce political firework, leading to accusations and counter-accusations by the parties

The PDP,  in a statement by its acting Publicity Secretary, Mazi Emenike Nmeregini, alleged that the ruling APC intended to abduct its leaders during the election and disrupt voting at polling units across Ngor Okpala, by stationing 10 hoodlums per polling unit, to perfect their plans of rigging the election.

“The APC in Imo, realising how unpopular it is and that it cannot win any peacefully-conducted election, has resorted to violence,” part of the statement said.

The party further alleged that the APC candidate unleashed havoc on PDP supporters, using hoodlums and militiamen to disperse a PDP rally.

Reacting to the development, the state government faulted PDP’s claims.

Information and Strategy Commissioner Declan Emelumba said: “PDP is a sinking party that foresees defeat in the by-election.”

“The PDP knows that it will lose the by-election, hence it is looking for alibi.

“Governor Uzodimma is a democrat who believes that people will always freely choose who they want in an election unhindered. He will never subscribe to vote-buying.

“Ngor Okpala people are enlightened. They will not return an irresponsible party that abandoned their seat in the House of Assembly for two years, to the same House,” he said.

APGA called for a peaceful election but warned that it would not fold its arms and watch its supporters attacked or rigged out of the by-election.

The Chairman, John Iwuala, told reporters in Owerri that APGA would resist any attempt to attack its members or supporters before, during and after the poll.

Police Commissioner Rabiu Hussaini warned the parties that the command would not tolerate the breakdown of law and order before, during and after the election.

Hussaini, addressing reporters in Owerri yesterday, advised parties and their candidates to comport themselves in a manner that would guarantee peaceful conduct of the election.

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