By Chijindu Emeruwa, Abia.
A pressure group in the fold of the Abia State chapter of the All Progressive Congress, Abia Integrity Group (AIG), has frowned at the negative online media reports on Senator Chris Adighije, on the allegation of financial inducements to sign documents to give legitimacy to the purported Gubernatorial primary election held by a faction of the Abia APC, backed by the immediate past Secretary of the sub-committee on Contacts, Strategy and Mobilization Committee, in the just concluded APC National Convention, Chief Ikechi Emenike.
Adighije is currently Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Lokoja, Kogi State, and also represented Abia’s central Senatorial District of Abia State in the National Assembly between 2003 to 2007.
Recall that a news report had on Thursday, surfaced on many online media platforms wherein, Senator Chris Adighije was alleged to have received $200,000 from the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma to sign a document aimed at giving legitimacy and credibility to the purported primary election held by a faction of Abia APC, wherein party member, Chief Ikechi Emenike, emerged as governorship standard-bearer of the party ahead of the 2023 general election.
Reacting, the Abia Integrity Group, in a press statement jointly signed by Mazi Emmanuel Nwabuisi and the Publicity Secretary, Collins Madubuko, forwarded to journalists in Umuahia, on Saturday, warned that it would no longer condone the incessant media propaganda against leaders of the party in Abia state and vowed that no amount of character assassination, name-calling, and media propaganda will deter the progressive party from wresting power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PD, in the state, as it also lamented that Abia has remained developmentally backward in all indices.
The group recalled that Senator Adighije had served Abia and Nigeria at large in many capacities, attributable to his hard-earned and proven integrity, opining that the unholy practices of disgruntled political elements and desperados using the instrumentality of the media to launch negative attacks on elder statesmen like the ex-federal lawmaker is not healthy on the efforts to deepen democratic process in Nigeria.
The group further added that Senator Adighije cannot descend too low to mortgage the future of the APC in Abia state or sell his conscience for financial gratifications, maintaining that the overwhelming acceptability and popularity of the APC today among the populaces of Abia state was spearheaded by Adighije with other notable progressive-minded leaders, as this unique role played by the elder statesman has not happened in the history of party politics.
The organization challenged peddlers of falsehoods or anyone to come forward with the said documents allegedly and purportedly signed by the ex-member of the National Assembly, disclosing that it would further take necessary legal actions against any media houses that allow political mischief makers to use their platforms to blackmail and malign innocent leaders of our great party, the APC in Abia state.
The group further noted that Adighije has remained steadfast and committed to the growth and development of the party, and has continued and unrelentingly shown determination towards achieving amicable resolution of issues affecting the Abia chapter of the party ahead of the main elections in 2023 in the state.
According to the Abia socio-political group, “we vehemently frown at the media propaganda and campaign of calumny targeted at our quintessential leader and Senator per excellence. It’s indisputable that Senator Adighije has never been found wanting in previous capacities in Abia and Nigeria political leaderships, and due to his clean records which have continued to be a reference points to others entrusted with the mandate of the people.
“We state categorically that Senator Chris Adighije did not meet Governor Hope Uzodinma anywhere, talk less of being bribed or induced with $200,000 to sign a document to enable the national leadership of the APC and INEC to accept or recognize the indirect gubernatorial primary election that saw the emergence of a factional Abia APC leader, Ikechi Emenike as a candidate. We view such allegation against the Abia leader, elder statesman, great patriot, democrat, and crusader of true democratic governance, Senator Chris Adighije, as evil, malicious, fallacious, and misleading.
“And we have concluded a plan to take legal action against unreputable media organizations that abandon the true ethics of journalism, and allow unscrupulous political individuals or failed politicians to hijack various media platforms to disseminate falsehoods, to malign fellow political players. And also, Nigeria’s security agents have been alerted to the scandalous and evil activities of these fifth columnists.
“Conclusively, we believe at 77 years at age, Senator Chris Adighije should be given the utmost respect, rather than, the misguided fellows, launching a series of senseless and idiotic media onslaughters against the great Nigerian elder statesman”.