By Leo Okachie
Chief Orji Kalu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Abia North Senatorial District, on Wednesday, said that traders at the Ariaria International Market, Aba, had promised to give at least 65 per cent of their votes to President Muhammadu Buhari in Saturday’s rescheduled poll.
Kalu said this in a statement he issued to newsmen in Umuahia, pointing out that the traders “unanimously agreed” to vote for Buhari and other APC candidates in Abia in the upcoming polls.
He said that the leadership of the market took the decision “after due consideration” of the integrity and capacity of all the candidates for the general elections across the different political parties.
According to Kalu , “the leadership of Ariaria, led by Chief Peter Iheke, has made the best choice with their resolve to give Buhari a minimum of 65 per cent votes. They told me that their decision to support the president is rational because no one has done for the market what Buhari did.
“You saw what happened, where the Aba people, majorly traders from Ariara market, came out in their numbers to welcome and thank the president, when he came to Aba. Aba North and South Local Government Areas will deliver Buhari and the Ariara market has vehemently assured me of their votes too.
“You know Aba people are my own people and we have emotional attachment to each other. “One great thing about Aba is that they know their own people and as of today, the president has given Aba one of the important things they need.”
Kalu said that many traders did not know that the newly built Ariaria Independent Power Plant (IPP) was a Federal Government’s project until the president visited to Aba on Feb. 19. He said that Buhari’ s visit to Aba had helped to throw more light on some of the federal government’s projects in the state.
He said that about 30,000 shops, belonging to traders and small business owners in Ariaria market would soon be connected to the IPP dedicated electricity supply. He listed other federal government’s projects, for which Aba people were grateful to the president, to also include the N-Power and Trader Moni which, he said, had several beneficiaries in Aba.
Meanwhile, the former governor has accused Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, who is seeking re-election on the platform of PDP, of under performance. He alleged that Ohuabunwa did not attract meaningful projects to the area. He admonished the youths of the area not to allow themselves to be used as thugs during the general elections.
Kalu urged those plotting to recruit the hapless youths in the area as thugs to engage their own children instead.
“That politician that is plotting to recruit the youths of Abia north as thugs should bring back their own children from abroad and engage them as thugs for the elections,” he said.
He urged the youths to resist rigging and to report any strange face in your community on the election day to the security agencies.