Old Bende Stakeholders Forum rise in anger, demands justice for Philips Nto and warn Abia state government against political victimization

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The Old Bende Stakeholders Forum has warned against the victimisation of any of their sons and daughters using the current Abia State Panel on Recovery of Government Property.

It noted that although it welcomes the panel as a means of ensuring that nobody appropriates government’s property unlawfully, it will not subscribe for the use of the panel for intimidation of perceived political opponents.

Leader of the Forum, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya made the remarks when they paid a solidarity visit to the immediate Provost of Abia State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu, Dr Philips Nto.

He said the governor of the state, Dr Alex Otti was well intentioned in setting up the panel but regretted that reports emanating from it suggest that some people want to use it to settle political scores.

Chief Ogbonnaya, a statesman and former Commissioner in the state urged the governor to ensure that the panel works strictly according to its terms of reference.

H explained that they visited Dr Nto to express their solidarity and support to him over his recent experience in the panel.

He said they were surprised that the panel ordered the seizure of his official vehicle which he is legitimately entitled to vacate office with.

According to him, owing to the monumental achievements wrought by Dr Philips Nto as Provost of ASCETA, he ought to have been treated with a lot more respect.

He however commended Dr Philips Nto for submitting the vehicle even before the expiration of the deadline given by the panel, and urged him to continue to be law abiding.

In his response, the former Provost who is also a former Commissioner in the state, expressed appreciation to members of the Forum for the solidarity visit.

He said as their son,they know him too well as a man of integrity who is committed to the highest degree of service to the state.

He said he would ever be ready to submit himself to any kind of probe in so far as the terms of reference are clear, and not designed to humiliate him.

Dr Philips Nto pledged to continue to cooperate with the panel for the interest of peace and development of the state.

According to him, it was in the spirit of that patriotism that he released his official car as requested by the panel without contesting the order in court.

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