HomePoliticsOrji Kalu Distance Self From Abiriba Disenfranchisement

Orji Kalu Distance Self From Abiriba Disenfranchisement

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Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, the representative of Abia North senatorial district, has distanced himself from accusations of playing a role in the purported disenfranchisement of Abiriba residents during the February 25 National Assembly elections in Ohafia local government.

The legislator firmly states that there is no truth to the accusation that he accused Agboji and Ameke communities in Abiriba of supporting IPOB’s agenda, resulting in diminished voter engagement. He said the allegations are baseless.

Senator Kalu’s reply comes in the wake of assertions from the Abiriba Communal Improvement Union (ACIU), who stand firm in their belief that his reported comments were a key reason why they refrained from participating in the election, citing concerns of potential attacks.

In a paid newspaper advertorial, the ACIU argued that Senator Kalu’s reported remarks were responsible for INEC’s decision not to send its officials to the community, resulting in the disenfranchisement of some of their constituents.

In the paid advertisement, the community’s statements had elements of inconsistent. It stated that INEC officials did not appear for the National Assembly election in the community and, conversely, contended that they did arrive, though at an inappropriate time.

‘INEC did not show up till about 3:20pm on that faithful day.’

‘When they eventually arrived, particularly in Agboji ward that has ten polling units, they claimed they did not have adequate voting materials’, the advertorial on THISDAY newspaper partly reads.

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Reacting to this accusation, Senator Kalu’s media aide, Honorable Maduka Okoro, emphatically stated that there is no validity to the ACIU’s claim. Okoro emphasised that Senator Kalu does not have the authority to deploy INEC officials and, therefore, cannot be held accountable for the alleged disenfranchisement of Abiriba’s residents.

According to Okoro, the looming threat of violence from IPOB significantly impacted voter turnout in the senatorial district. He clarified that Senator Kalu had never specifically mentioned Abiriba in connection with IPOB membership.

He mentioned that security agencies were present and had documented that the low voter turnout observed in certain polling units in Abiriba was a direct consequence of threats made by IPOB, a fact supported by INEC’s report.

‘Sen. Kalu has consistently demonstrated that he is a leader for all. As a governor, he constructed majority of the roads in Abiriba and such roads are still there till date. He has never discriminated against any clan in Abia State.’

‘As a Senator, he has equally upheld such a record which is clearly seen in his even distribution of democratic dividends. Our brothers in Abiriba are big beneficiaries of Sen. Kalu’s effective representation and this is anchored on his firm belief that we are all one.’

‘Even as a governor, the number of Abiriba sons and daughters who were appointed into strategic positions by Kalu is numerous. He has for ages demonstrated love which he will continue to demonstrate.’

‘It is disappointing that ACIU, a socio-cultural organisation has delved into politics instead of focusing on the development of its community and protection of its culture.’

‘Pointing accusing finger on Sen. Kalu for the perceived failure of INEC officials to arrive at the polling units in good time is uncharitable. Would Orji Kalu also be held responsible for late arrival of INEC officials in polling units in Delta, Nasarawa, Kogi, Sokoto and elsewhere in the country. This is not a case of peculiar to Abia alone.’

‘The elections are over. It is time for governance and we must all join hands to move every inch of Abia North forward rather than engaging in the politics of antagonism.’

‘The cord binding us together supersedes political interest. Even ACIU does not like the face of Sen. Kalu, it must honour the bond of our brotherhood and respect our age-long togetherness. The political office is transient while our cord of love remains’, he stated.

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