Despite Abia State government’s repeated warnings and threats, denying the state’s Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti, the use of Ngwa High School, Aba, field to flag-off his campaign today, his Campaign Council Coordinator, Iheanacho Obioma, yesterday, urged members of the public, as well as party members, to disregard state government’s announcements and attend the event at same area, insisting it will hold as scheduled.
The state government had, through its Secretary, Mr. Chris Ezem, announced that the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, directed persons and groups intending to make use of government facilities, including holding rallies, to first of all seek approvals from designated authorities.
Also, the state Commissioners for Basic and Post Basic Education, Ukwu Emma and Mr. Chijioke Mark, respectively, in their statements, said that Ngwa High School field would not be available to the Labour Party, today, on the ground that the event was slated to hold during school hours, and therefore, would disrupt school activities.
But Obioma, yesterday, in his reaction to government’s position, stated that the event will hold as scheduled today, and at the same venue, saying that the location it secured is not owned by state government.
He said: “The venue of the proposed rally does not belong to state government, but a private religious institution, Aba Ngwa North Diocese of Anglican Communion, which had since given us necessary approvals after payment was made and received.
“The school is presently on midterm break, which is one of the things taken into consideration before the date was chosen. We do not expect the state government to be aware of this, because they have no interest in affairs of the school.
“The owners and management of the facility, who have better knowledge of the area, and who had shown moral obligation to protect the welfare and wellbeing of their students than state government, understood that our rally will pose no threat of any kind to students whose classrooms are far away from the venue of the rally before giving their approval.”
Obioma, who accused the state government of hypocrisy and double-speak, further stated: “Just few days ago, Ikpeazu-led state Peoples Democratic party (PDP) held similar rallies at Osusu Amaukwa and Umuakatawom primary schools, respectively, in Obingwa, while schools were in session.