Abakaliki -The Campaign Council of the Ebonyi State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday alleged that Governor David Umahi directed thugs to attack rallies organized by the opposition political parties, including the PDP, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, among others in the State.
The Director General of the PDP Campaign Council for the Party’s governorship candidate, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze who stated this during a press conference in Abakaliki described the myriads of attacks on the opposition as unacceptable, absolutely condemnable and uncalled for.
Edeze further alleged that the hoodlums had been directed to physically attack PDP supporters and its candidates in the State even as he called on “Governor Umahi and the APC to refrain from further mindless dispense or escalation of violence/attacks for any purpose whatsoever.”
Recall that On Wednesday, 1 February 2023, Senator Dr Sam Egwu, his supporters and the PDP faithful were allegedly attacked after their rally in the home of Michael Nwebonyi at Obegu Abba in Ebonyi LGA.
On thursday, 2nd of February 2023, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof. Bernard Odoh, was ambushed at Okpoto, Ishielu LGA, as he was returning to Abakaliki from a rally. It was gathered that his driver was killed in the attack while a Police Escort severely wounded and later died at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
Also, on Sunday the 5th of February 2023, Hon. Ene Odii hosted a PDP meeting with other members in his home in Uburu, Ohaozara LGA and were allegedly attacked and wounded by some hoodlums.
Continuing, the DG of the PDP Campaign Council, Ebonyi State, added: “In that case, we hereby entreat the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the State Security Service and the Chief of Defense Staff to fetter Governor Umahi and constrain him from further dislocation of peace and security in Ebonyi state.
Let me inform you that with all sense of goodwill towards all and desire for peace and security, the Ebonyi State PDP has decided to embark on its campaign in the 13 local government areas from Wednesday 8th February 2023, irrespective of their disposition to violence.
‘We hereby exploit this medium to call on members and supporters of PDP to brace for the rallies. Nothing can stop the party from leveraging on the constitution of Nigeria and democratic norms and practices to earn expected victory based on the confidence Ebonyi people have placed on the PDP.”
Reacting to the allegations against him, Governor David Umahi urged the opposition political parties to focus on their rallies and stop tarnishing his image.
Umahi who stated this during an APC rally at Ugbodo, in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the State, charged the opposition to stop destabilizing the peace of the State as Ebonyi remained the most peaceful State within the region.
He further alleged that the opposition had recruited and branded ESN members and IPOB in every Local Government to atrack APC members.
Why I am saying this is because I just want the world to know that Professor Odo is just busy tarnishing my name for nothing. When he was unfortunately attacked, I was not in town. Two days before the attack, two police men and two soldier were killed almost at that same spot. He is said to be doing campaign by 10pm according to police report and he was attacked. As curious as it sounds, I want him to concentrate in his campaign and not do anything to destabilize Ebonyi State.
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“Tomorrow, he says his people will attack my convoy in Ebonyi State, let him try it. Let me give him the last warning, to be the Gubernatorial Candidate is not the licence to commit crime in the State or to destabilize the State. Should he continue, he will meet the laws of the land.
“To the so-called Anyichuks, he is just running against the tide, he is my cousin, his place to my place is just about 5 km. The Governorship of Ebonyi State is by rotation, I am finishing in few months time, the thing is zoned to Ebonyi North and it is zoned to Izzi and the Izzi people and entire Ebonyi people have brought out Nwifuru, Onwa Oferekpe. Let them concentrate on their rallies, let them know that election is not 419.
“From security report, I have learnt that the opposition have recruited and branded ESN members and IPOB in every Local Government to attack APC members. Until today, no APC person is arrested for tearing posters and billboards, they have torn many of our posters and billboards. Those arrested are already in Court. We give them our stadium, they deface our it, they destroy our infrastructure, we have kept quiet as the Father of the State. We will continue to give them our stadium.
“Let there be peace in Ebonyi State, let the world know that Ebonyi is very peaceful, and for those that they have given guns, I am warning you for the last time.”
Edeze emphasized that the PDP as a Party was determined to liberate the state from enslavement, arbitrariness and political rascality, and enthrone truly progressive governance.
“We wish to use this opportunity to advise the APC and its leader in Ebonyi State to stop all divisive and inciting comments capable of overheating the polity as the Campaigns for the 2023 general elections gathers momentum.
“Promoting divisions or harping on clannish and artificial differences between administrative zones and peoples as was done recently by Gov David Umahi and other APC leaders during their Campaign rallies at Izzi, Ikwo, Afikpo and Ohaukwu was the height of verbal incitement of one group against the other in the state.
“This political rascality shows that the APC is not prepared for the 2023 Elections. The problem with the APC is that its autocratic imposition of candidates had robbed it of popular and acceptable candidates. It is this realization by some of the APC leaders that gave rise to these soap box rhetorics.
“As the ruling party in the state, one would have expected them to engage in issue-based campaigns. They should advertise their development projects and create a favourable atmosphere for peaceful campaigns and electioneering to take place.
Their attitude of desperation indicates that they are empty and have nothing to justify their quest for re-election as a political party.”
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