—By Onitsha Shedrack—–
DELTA—The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Monday Igbuya, has allegedly sent the leadership of Okpe Union Worldwide, to appeal to Chief Felix Anirah, the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate who is challenging the election of the speaker at the electoral tribunal to withdraw the petition in the interest of Okpe people.
Advocate authoritatively gathered from one of the leader of the Okpe Union worldwide, the apex social cultural body of the Okpe people, visited Chief Anirah at his home in Sapele, on Saturday with about 15-man delegation from its headquarters in Lagos.
According to our source who pleaded anonymous because he is one of the delegates at the meeting, stated that the speaker initiated the move through one of his close allied, after critically examining the case at the tribunal and the possibilities of him losing to the APC candidate.
He added that the delegation of Okpe Union Worldwide was led on the peace building mission by its President-General, Mr. Patrick Akpotor, to appeal to Chief Anirah to drop the case against Igbuya, in order for Okpe people not to lose the speakership position zoned to Okpe.
According to him, “Igbuya is aware of the fact that the election that returned him to the house was not free and fair and there is this fear that he might lose in the court, and if that happened, the Okpes would have lost the speakership, so he appealed to the Okpe Union to intervene, and that is why we visited Chief Anirah.
“However, the meeting didn’t yield the desired result, as Chief Anirah told us in the present of his party leaders in Sapele that the matter is beyond him; because it is the party that contested the election and that he is just the candidate of the party.
Anirah was also alleged to have told the delegation that Igbuya, the group is pleading for, does not behave like an Okpe man, because all the contracts he got from the state government for Sapele, were ether poorly done or are out rightly abandoned; therefore causing infrastructural decay in Sapele, and therefore does not deserve to represent Okpe people.
He therefore asked the Okpe to allow the will of the people of Sapele who vote for change by voting for him and the APC for effective and efficient representation to materialize in order to move Sapele and Okpe forward.
He vowed to reclaim the mandate of the good people of Sapele, at the electoral tribunal, as the Card Reader used by INEC to conduct the election will show the true winner.
Meanwhile, Hon. Monday Igbuya debunked the claim that he asked the leadership of Okpe Union to intervene in the matter, noting that he does not even know the name of the President of the Okpe Union, let alone asking them to beg Chief Anirah.
The Speaker, in a text message response on his alleged begging of the APC candidate for an out of court settlement over fear of losing, he said that he won the election fair and square and that Chief Anirah has no case against him.
According to him, “I never sent any person to beg Anirah and will never do that, I don’t even know who the Okpe Union President is; he must be a joking to think he will win a case he has not started.
Why will I lose when I know he has no case against me? He clearly lost the election, I have done election with him many times and he has never won me, inspite of the internal gang up against me, he clearly lost the election, because the people of Sapele have not forgotten his atrocities,” he added.