With just 11 days to the Anambra State Governorship election, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Obiora Agbasimalo, is yet to be released by his abductors.
The former banker was kidnapped on September 18, 2021, while on his way from Ezinifitte, Nnewi South Local Government Area to Azhia in Ihiala Local Government Area on campaign.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday in Awka, the National Organizing Secretary of LP, Mr Clement Ojukwu, and a member of the Labour Party Campaign Council, Mr Stanley Okoli, alleged that the abduction of their candidate has political undertone, citing his popularity as a pointer to his chances of winning the November 6 poll.
“Our candidate has not appeared since he was abducted on 18th September 2021. He was abducted alongside his security aide on his way from Ezinifitte to Azhia in Ihiala where he was going for campaign.
“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,” Ojukwu said.
Throwing light on the demands of the kidnappers, 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.”
The party denied media reports that the party has concluded plans to collapse its structure into that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the intention to adopt Mr. Valentine Ozigbo as its candidate for the election.
They insisted that their candidate’s popularity was making his opponents very jittery because of the massive following he had garnered, hence the rumours.
On whether Agbasimalo can win the election even while 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.”
Recall that Agbasimalo had resigned his banking job to contest the Anambra governorship election. Before his abduction, he had garnered many followers unexpected of an underdog.