By Inyali Peter
Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Cross River State in the last general elections, Mr. Odey Ochicha has described as “Malicious, vexatious and total falsehood” rumor making the rounds that he received money from the People’s Democratic Party to concede defeat to Governor Ben Ayade in the last election.
It would be recalled that Ochicha who came second to Ayade in the election was the first governorship candidate in the history of the state to concede defeat.
Ochicha while briefing newsmen in Calabar, regretted that a gesture he did in the spirit of sportsmanship has been misinterpreted by some demented and criminal elements who have been hired by political demagogues to tarnish his hard earned reputation.
He vowed to take legal action against those peddling the falsehood once he is able to trace where such “blatant lie” is emanating from.
According to him, “My attention has been drawn to some malicious, vexatious, and demeaning falsehood peddled by scammers and fake characters that I, Mr. Odey Ochicha received money or any kind of gifts, bribes or compensation from Ayade or any member of his party to concede defeat in the 2015 general election.
“Let it be stated for the records that I never had any sort of transaction with Ayade before, during or after congratulating him. I did what I did in my own wisdom and my exposure to understand politics as an interesting game and in the spirit of sportsmanship therefore, I want to inform the general public to disregard such wicked rumor”.
While warning perpetrators to desist from such evil, the APC stalwart challenged them to publish any evidence or record against him that he received money from anybody.
He added that those who still harbor doubt of his integrity should trace his antecedents to his days at the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) where he retired as a Deputy Manager prior to the election.
“Those spreading this malicious lies should come out with facts to prove that I got money from Ayade. And I challenge anybody even the EFCC to trace my records to the NITEL and NNPC where I worked for 29 years before my wilful retirement prior to the election”, he said.
While stressing that the rumour is aimed at fermenting trouble, causing confusion and misleading members of his party and the public, he urged his party members to be wary of false information from political foes and detractors.
“Let it be on record that although the decision to congratulate Ayade was my sole decision, when the party decided to challenge the election result in the Tribunal, I contributed financially for the party to pursue the case so this rumor is nothing but a figment of the fertile imagination of the criminal elements spreading it.
“I want to urge members of our great party to be wary of political foes who are out to ferment trouble, cause confusion, distraction and division in the party”.
He added that ,”Nothing can be farther than the truth. And for the avoidance of doubt, this false and wicked rumors as far as I am concerned are the handiwork of political foes and detractors” which should be disregarded.
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