An All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate for the Afikpo North/West State Constituency, in the March 11 general election, Mr Omaka Onya, was on Friday evening, allegedly beaten to a pulp by suspected members of the Ebebuagu Security Outfit in the state.
A source, which pleaded anonymity, said Onya was at Akpoha, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state to consult with a chieftain of his party and others, when the Ebubeagu operatives stormed the area and started beating him and some of his fans.
The source added: “Mr Omaka Onya, who is the House of Assembly candidate for Afikpo North/West State Constituency, came to our community ( Akpoha) to meet with his supporters, when the Ebubeagu people, led by the Chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area, Hon. Uchenna Ibiam arrived at the place and started beating them.
“They beat him red and blue, and even beat some of his boys who were around. They said he should remove his campaign posters from an APGA office and that it was only them (the APC candidates), that can paste their posters on the APGA office.”
This was as the National Secretary of APGA, Chief Godwin Udu (aka GODINO) alleged that his life was under threat by the Council boss and his agents.
He urged security agencies to unravel the circumstances that led to the alleged threat to his life, the attack on the APGA assembly candidate in the area, Barr Onya and the disappearance of his two phones worth over a million naira each, when the Ebubeagu team led by the council boss, stormed his Akpoha area office, on Friday evening.
The APGA chieftain, who revealed he had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, CP Aliyu Garba; the Amnesty International and the National Human Rights Commission, alleged Ebonyians were no longer safe, in their land.
Speaking to journalists, in Abakaliki, on Saturday, the former candidate of the party for the Afikpo North/West State Constituency, said: “It was on Friday evening, I was in my office, in Akpoha when some Ebebuagu men came.
“At first, I thought they were passing by; but when I looked up and straight, behold the Afikpo North Local Government Area Chairman, Mr Uche Ibiam.
” And they entered my office and started removing all my party (APGA) candidates’ posters within and outside the office.
“Myself and Omaka Onya, who is the APGA assembly candidate for Afikpo North/West and lots of our party faithful were there.
” I told them it was improper for me to rent an office that APC candidates and members will be the ones to paste their posters there and that if a fellow national party officer sees it, the person could mistake me to be playing anti-party politics.
” I told them to remove their posters and they refused. It was when we made moves to remove those posters that the Ebubeagu men started shooting sporadically in the air and chased our supporters away and started beating Onya. They beat him and beat him until he collapsed.
“I ran for election in 2019 and my billboard stand, which I paid for, was the same billboard stand I released to Hon. Uche Ibiam, the council chairman when was contesting for the chairmanship position.
“Then he begged me to help him release it and I did freely. It’s the same billboard stand that I asked Onya, our candidate to use.
“But do you know what he (Hon. Ibiam) has done? He removed the campaign material of Mr Omaka Onya and replaced it with that of the APC candidate.
“His now telling me that gave it to him for free, to pay the sum of N7.4 million before our candidates can use it.
“Aside from that, he asked his Ebubeagu men to flood my office with APC candidates’ posters. This is intimidation and victimisation.
” Now, they have beaten Onya and others. Onya is very sick now and has been suffering in the hospital. Uchenna Ibiam’s Ebubeagu men took my two phones and threatened to kill me if I remove their candidates’ posters from my office.
“I call on the IGP and the CP in Ebonyi State to intervene. I call on other security agencies to intervene. I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene because Ebonyians are no longer free and they now live in fear.”
Reacting, the Afikpo North Local Government Area Chairman, Ibiam, denied the allegation, saying APGA and its members were afraid of failure at the 2023 polls.
According to him, “I did not beat anybody and never led the Ebubeagu team to the APGA office in Akpoha, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area.
“One thing I found out is that since APGA understood that they have no chance of winning this election, they have resorted to all manner of propaganda.”
Efforts to reach the Ebubeagu Commander in the state, Mr Friday Nnana-Ujor, failed as of the time of filing this report, on Saturday.
Calls put across to his mobile by our Correspondent, bounced back, and he was yet to respond to messages sent to his phone to this effect, on Saturday.