The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State has said its members will rather die than watch Samson Ogah, who Thursday, was issued a certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, sworn-in as the new governor of the state.
“We are ready for them, we are ready to die”, the party said.
The party made the resolution and declaration at the end of its emergency meeting in Umuahia, the state capital yesterday.
The Abia PDP Chairman, Johnson Onuigbo, accompanied by members of the executive committee, said the party got wind of a plan to flood the state with military personnel following the political logjam over who should occupy the Government House.
Mr. Onuigbo said such an invasion would trigger off anarchy, adding that the party was poised for showdown over the planned inauguration.
He described the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which ordered that Mr. Ogah be sworn-in, as “a rape of democracy”.
The court, presided over by Justice Okon Abang, on Tuesday ordered Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to immediately vacate office as governor after he was found guilty of tax evasion.
Justice Abang also ordered that Mr. Ogah, who came second in the December 2014 primaries of the PDP, should be sworn in as the governor.
In compliance with the order, Mr. Ogah stormed the INEC headquarters in Abuja yesterday to receive his certificate of return, a move that has been declared illegal, null and void by Gov. Ikpeazu, who said he has filed a notice of appeal and stay of execution.
The PDP chairman, however, said the judgment and issuance of certificate of return to Mr. Ogah had undermined the peace and tranquility enjoyed in the state.
“Abia is not safe. I didn’t want to believe the rumour that the state will soon be invaded by the army because this is not a war zone.
“We want to inform the world that there is tension in Abia because democracy is about to be raped.
“As a party, we will resist any move by anybody to undermine the peace in the state”, Mr. Onuigbo said.
He said that as a law-abiding state, the government had obtained an exparte injunction “restraining the state Chief Judge or any other judges from swearing in Mr. Ogah as governor”.
“We are ready for them, we are ready to die”, he said, adding, “If they do it, then they are inviting anarchy and confusion in the state.
“We are in a democracy so we want the world to hear and know that we are being shortchanged in Abia”, he insisted.
Mr. Onuigbo said the party had sent emissaries to Mr. Ogah to persuade him “to sheath his sword and allow peace to reign in Abia” to no avail.
He said that at the end of the current crisis, the party would mete out sanction to Mr. Ogah for disregarding entreaties from the chieftains of the party.