Chairman of the Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Mathew Achigbe, was among four other persons who lost their lives to a road accident in Ebonyi State on Saturday.
This occurred just as the decomposing body of another APC chieftain earlier kidnapped in Rivers State, Samuel Nwanjoku, was found on Saturday.
The accident involved two vehicles, a Toyota Sports Utility Vehicle and Toyota Camry (Spider) along the Akpohia/Abakaliki Expressway. The incident occurred 24 hours after two other persons died in another accident in Okavango near Onueke in the Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told one of our correspondents that officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps took the corpses to the Mater Misercodearie Hospital, Afikpo.
Images of at least four mangled bodies in a damaged vehicle were displayed on a Facebook page checked by one of our correspondents.
The Cross River APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bassey Ita, did not pick up calls to his phone when contacted.
However, the party’s state Vice Chairman, Mr. John Ochala, said the news came as a shock to party members.
He said, “He went for a Catholic Church programme and was on his way to Obubra when the incident happened. He was to meet with the party leaders in Obubra Local Government Area and the leaders were already gathered and waiting in his house when the news filtered in that he died in a fatal road accident. Everybody is in a state of shock. We cannot make any comment for now.”
Also, the National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-South, Chief Hilliard Eta, confirmed the development.
Eta stated, “It is true, we have lost our state chairman. We are very saddened by the lost of our chairman to road accident on his way back from a Catholic Knight programme in which he was a leader. We are saddened that we cannot have an official reaction now.
“Some other people also died in the accident but we do not have the identities of those who died in the vehicle. I do not think anybody survived in that accident. It is an unfortunate development,” he added.
Rivers APC mourns
Nwanjoku, who was the Organising Secretary of the party in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, was earlier kidnapped on Sunday, November 11, 2017.
The deceased was said to have been shot in the chest and behind by his assailants before his corpse was dumped in a stream at Omanwa, where he was abducted.
It was gathered that the APC chieftain was kidnapped alongside one Moses, whose whereabouts, according to the Deputy Director of Ikwerre Youth Movement International, Dike Bekwele, remains unknown.
Bekwele said, “They went for a harvest in Apani, Ikwerre LGA, and on their way back, Nwanjoku and Moses were abducted at Omanwa. It was also at Omanwa that Nwanjoku was killed and his body dumped in a stream.
“His body was already decomposing when it was found. He was shot in the chest and behind and his body has been taken to the mortuary.”
He described his death as politically motivated and accused the People Democratic Party of masterminding the act.
“He was the brother to Azuibuike Nwanjoku, member representing Ikwerre LGA in the House of Assembly. He was kidnapped last week and murdered. He was also the Organising Secretary of APC in Ikwerre Local Government Area.
“It is not far from politically-motivated assassination; it is not far from the PDP. The man was a strong APC man and probably the only way they think they can tame Ikwerre LGA is when they push away those they believe are threats,’’ he added.
Reacting, the state Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Darlington Orji, said it was disheartening to note that anybody could link Nwanjoku’s death to the ruling party in the state.
Orji said, “It is laughable that any member of the APC could attribute the death of that young man, who was a friend to all, to the PDP. There is no reason for anybody to say that the PDP was behind his death.
“At this time, the security agencies should rise up to the occasion. They should ensure that those behind the act are arrested and brought to book.’’
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, adding that Nwanjoku was kidnapped last week and his decomposing body discovered on Saturday.
Hoodlums stab pregnant woman
Meanwhile, a pregnant woman was on Saturday stabbed in the neck and dumped behind Azuiyiokwu Primary School, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, by unidentified persons.
SUNDAY PUNCH observed that the woman who lay critically helpless in a pool of her own blood was unable to talk as passers-by milled round her.
However, the spokesperson for the police in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed that seven people died in the Ebonyi crashes.
She said, “Seven people died in the two accidents; two died in the one that happened on Friday and five died in Saturday’s accident.
“The command was also aware of the pregnant woman’s case but had yet got full details about it.’’