Coming barely 24 hours after former Abia State governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu announced that Igbo traders in the popular Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State, have promised 65 per cent votes to All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari, the traders have denied the claim, saying that nobody can railroad them against their choice of candidate.
The traders who spoke exclusively to Educationtell, said nobody could have made such a promise to Kalu seeing that every individual in the market has a right to make his own choice in the election.
Chief Orji Kalu, had announced Wednesday, that the traders had promised to give at least 65 per cent of their votes to President Muhammadu Buhari in Saturday’s rescheduled poll.
The APC Abia north senatorial candidate had pointed out in a statement that the traders “unanimously agreed” to vote for Buhari and other APC candidates in Abia in the upcoming polls.
He said that the leadership of the market took the decision “after due consideration” of the integrity and capacity of all the candidates for the general elections across the different political parties.
His words, “the leadership of Ariaria, led by Chief Peter Iheke, has made the best choice with their resolve to give Buhari a minimum of 65 per cent votes.
“They told me that their decision to support the president is rational because no one has done for the market what Buhari did.
“You saw what happened, where the Aba people, majorly traders from Ariara market, came out in their numbers to welcome and thank the president, when he came to Aba.
“Aba North and South Local Government Areas will deliver Buhari and the Ariara market has vehemently assured me of their votes too.
“You know Aba people are my own people and we have emotional attachment to each other. “One great thing about Aba is that they know their own people and as of today, the president has given Aba one of the important things they need.”
However, debunking Kalu’s claim, some of the traders whose opinion was sampled said, the Ariaria traders would rather stand by the position of the umbrella body of the Igbo people, the Ohaneze, saying that the Igbo race has one voice when it comes to the presidential election and other elections in 2019.
One of the traders who gave his name as Ignatius Amadi said Orji Kalu is desperate to impress President Buhari even if it means telling him lies.
His words; “where did we promise Kalu 65 per cent votes to Buhari? This man is just desperate. Igbos in Ariaria would rather stand with Ohaneze who have settled for Atiku Abubakar. We have confidence that Ohaneze has made the right choice and cannot mislead us.
“This election is between good and evil. The Buhari government neglected Igbos and did not appoint them into the security council and now you are telling us to vote for him, on what grounds? The man Buhari said we hate him, but he is the one that hates Igbos and cannot trust them with sensitive position. My colleagues in Ariaria have said we will not vote for him and I am telling you the general feelings of Igbos in Ariaria market. Orji Uzor Kalu should forget our votes, it’s for Atiku,” he said.