ABIA: After Otti Trounced His Candidate, Gov Ikpeazu Calls For Unity, Advises Losers Against Going To Court
Following the defeat of his preferred candidate, Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Wednesday congratulated governor-elect Alex Otti on his hard-fought victory in the state’s gubernatorial election that was held on March 11.
Speaking in a news release made available to THE WHISTLER on Wednesday, Governor Ikpeazu praised Otti for his tenacity and wished him the best as he prepares to take office.
“Since we have come to the logical end of this battle, it is appropriate to congratulate the winner, Dr Alex Otti on his hard-fought victory,” Ikpeazu said, adding “In every battle, there will always be a winner and in the spirit of sportsmanship and love for our state, the Governor-elect must see his victory as a higher call to service to the people of Abia State”.
Ikpeazu went on to urge contenders who lost in the election, including his former Chief of Staff and candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okechukwu Ahiwe, not to distract Otti’s administration in the name of challenging the outcome of the election.
He further urged all residents of the state to unite in the wake of the election and to work towards a brighter future for the state.
Ikpeazu specifically called on his preferred candidate, who lost to the governor-elect in the race, to accept the outcome of the election and to support the incoming administration.
The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanke, said his principal believes that Otti should be given an enabling environment to run the affairs of the state from May 29th, 2023.
“Having myself spent about three and half years in different courts and having experienced first hand, the distraction such cases can cause a leader, I appeal to every candidate in this election not to distract the incoming administration with court cases, so that they will settle down and deal with the very demanding business of governance. Let us break this negative trend of subjecting our Governors to endless litigations and allow them to concentrate on providing good governance,” Ememanke further quoted Ikpeazu to have said.
Otti was declared the winner after the initial suspension collation of results for Obingwa Local Government Area over the invasion of a collation in the LGA by political thugs.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that the LP candidate scored a total of 175,467 votes while his main challenger, Okechuwku Ahiwe of the PDP, polled 88,529 votes.
In his acceptance speech, Otti said “With deep humility and a profound sense of responsibility, I wholeheartedly accept your mandate to be your chief servant for the next four years,” Otti told the people of Abia in his first post-victory address.
“I dedicate this victory to God the Father, the almighty who makes everything beautiful in His time. I also dedicate this to the millions of Abia citizens who have been the unfortunate victims of bad governance these past decades.”