Eleven days to the Anambra State governorship election, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Obiora Agbasimalo, is still in the den of his abductors.
Agbasimalo, a former banker before he resigned to run for the governorship seat of Anambra State, had in late August flagged off his governorship campaign in Onitsha, with a huge attendance, which surprised many of those that have referred to him as a political underdog.
He was however kidnapped on September 18, on his way from Ezinifitte in Nnewi South Local Government Area to Azhia in Ihiala Local Government Area on campaign.
Briefing journalists Tuesday in Awka, the National Organizing Secretary of Labour Party, Mr Clement Ojukwu, and a member of the party’s campaign council, Mr Stanley Okoli, said the abduction of their candidate has political undertone, and is not unconnected to his popularity and chances in the forthcoming election.
Ojukwu, who addressed journalists in Awka, said: “Our candidate has not appeared since he was abducted on 18th September, 2021. He was abducted alongside his security on his way from Ezinifitte to Azhia in Ihiala where he was going for campaign. He was also kidnapped alongside his security aide.
“Since after his abduction, he has not appeared anywhere and his abductors have always spoken to us to assure us that he is alive and we believe he will be out soon.”
Asked what the kidnappers were demanding, and if money was a hindrance to his release, Ojukwu said: “What we discuss with them and what they tell us is like what a man and a woman discuss in the bedroom because it is secret. We always discuss with them to ensure our candidate is alive, and they let us speak with him.
“His abduction is political. He was in the banking sector and no one has ever thought of abducting him, but since he started vying for the governorship seat of Anambra, they now targeted and abducted him. He is very popular and his chances are very clear, so his opponents are not happy.”
On wether he can win the election even in captivity, he said: “This is not the first time this is happening. People have been in prison and won election. You remember Omisore, you remember T.A Orji? We believe that he will win the election.
“We do not need sympathy vote to be able to win the election, he is popular and deserves to win. Besides, he is not the only one abducted, his security too, and the police force headquarters and the DSS are on it, and we believe he will be out soon.”
The party also denied media reports that the party had concluded arrangements to collapse its structure into that of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the intention to adopt Mr Valentine Ozigbo as its candidate for the election.