The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has frowned at the rising cases of politically motivated attacks against the opposition members in the state describing the development as barbaric and unhealthy to the country’s democratic journey.
Chief Austin Edeze, the Director-General of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council (GCC) while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abakaliki said that the objective of the sporadic attacks on the opposition was to dislocate the peace in the state.
Edeze said that the party could not stay aloof over the rising attacks against perceived opponents and the degenerating insecurity in the state.
He said: “It has become expedient for us to express our disgust and dissatisfaction over the escalating man-made insecurity in Ebonyi manifesting in the sporadic attacks on the opposition groups.
“In the buildup to the commencement of electioneering campaigns in the country, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had stridently and ingloriously declared that it would take victory at the polls at all cost.
“These attacks are unacceptable, absolutely condemnable and uncalled for.
“Democracy does not limit anybody from contesting elections and nobody has the legitimate authority to stop the electorate from voting for any candidate of their choice.
“In that case, we hereby entreat the Presiden, Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General, of State Security Service and the Chief of Defense Staff to bring the situation under control and stem dislocation of peace and security in the state.”
The party noted that the direct and unprovoked attacks on the opposition by hoodlums were a calculated attempt to suppress, oppress and intimidate members of the opposition as the race for the governorship election intensified.
“In 2022, Prof. Bernard Odoh, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was attacked by hoodlums suspected to be political thugs at a rally in Izzi Local Government Area.
“On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Sen. Sam Egwu, his supporters and the PDP faithful, held a rally in the home of Mr Michael Nwebonyi at Obegu Abba in Ebonyi LGA.
“Shortly after the end of the rally, gunmen arrived and shot for more than 30 minutes, dispersed the crowd and left many wounded.
“On Saturday, Feb. 4 Sen. Egwu scheduled a rally at the home of Sen. Ngiji Ngele at Amagu in Abakaliki LGA, suspected political thugs blocked the road to Ngiji’s home and chased the PDP faithful to stop them from attending the rally.
“In the night, they swooped on Ngiji’s home, shot for about 25 minutes and left.
“Then, on Thursday, Feb. 2, Odoh was again ambushed at Okpoto, Ishielu LGA, as he was returning to Abakaliki from a campaign rally.
“His driver was killed in the attack while a Police Escort attached to him sustained several gunshot wounds and later died at the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki,” the DG said.
The campaign council further listed other attacks on the opposition including an attack on Feb. 5 at the home of Mr Ene Odii, a chieftain of the party in Uburu who hosted a meeting of PDP where Sen. Ama Nnachi representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District was in attendance.
“The PDP gubernatorial candidate, Dr IfeanyiChukwuma Odii was billed to attend that meeting.
“By providential grace, he had not arrived at the venue before over 50 suspected ‘Ebubeagu militia’ swooped on them and unleashed a volley of gunshots on them.
“Gentlemen of the Press, we like to sound it clear that nobody has the sole capacity for violence; but, we are genuinely concerned about the life of the Ebonyi people.
“Although we have the means and capacity to fight back like former President Goodluck Jonathan once said, no ambition should be worth the life of an Ebonyi indigene,” the campaign said.
Meanwhile, Mr Nnanna Ujoh, State Commander of the Ebubeagu Security Outfit has denied the alleged involvement of the security outfit in any of the attacks on the opposition.
“The command has a well-defined rule of engagement and we were set to assist the police and other security agencies to provide security to everyone irrespective of political, social or economic status,” he said.