The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ebonyi State, on Friday condemned the attack on former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dorothy Obasi, and many others that were given machetch cuts by thugs at a campaign rally that took place at Afikpo South Local Government Area, the hometown of the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The former Minister of State for Health, Engr. Fedelis Nwankwo, made this known while briefing journalists in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State.
He lamented that many vehicles and other valuable properties that worth millions of naira belonging to PDP supporters were burnt down by thugs.
He said “We are collecting more facts, but as it is, people were wounded and vehicles were burnt by thugs of APC. We told our supporters to be law abiding but that doesn’t mean that if the security agencies fails to protect us, we can as well protect ourselves.
“It may be out of negligence that the security agencies decided to look the other way and our people were attacked.
“As we were moving to Afikpo South yesterday, we got report that APC thugs lead by no other person than the gubernatorial candidate of APC, were instigating crisis and this threatens the peace of our campaign.
“Incidentally, this took place near the house of the gubernatorial candidate of APC. Law abiding citizens were molested, beating and harassed by this APC thugs. Wanton destruction of vehicles and other properties of PDP faithful were burnt down. The former Deputy Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Mrs. Obasi Dorothy, was assaulted and wounded, and as it is, she is in the hospital receiving treatment.
Nwankwo, who is the campaign Director General to governor David Umahi, however, urged both the independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies, not to allow themselves to be used as an instrument to rig the February 16 and March 2nd Presidential and governorship election in the country.
“We condemn without reservation the violent approach that has been adopted by the APC in Ebonyi state to what should be a contest of ideas and not of sticks, stones, cutlasses and guns.
“The violent destruction of posters across the state by APC thugs, with particular concentration within the Abakaliki capital territory is a matter of immense concern to the elders of this state.
“We warn that the provocations must end forthwith to avoid plunging our society into unnecessary state of anarchy.
“It has for long been rumoured that votes running into hundreds of thousands have already been allocated to the APC gubernatorial candidate in Ebonyi state.
“It is also speculated that results of the forthcoming elections will be written either prior or during the elections, thereby disenfranchising the voters of Ebonyi state.
“We must issue a stern warning to both the independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies that the perpetration of such electoral fraud will be met with total resistance in Ebonyi state” he added.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State command, who spoke through the PPRO, Dsp Odah Loveth, said the command is yet to be briefed on the alleged attack on PDP supporters at Afikpo South LGA, but assured that the command will bring to book the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
In a swift reaction, the gubernatorial candidate of APC in Ebonyi state Senator Sunny Ogbuorji, who spoke through his campaign director general, Senator Anthony Agbo said PDP should conduct herself in an orderly manner and should desist from blackmailing and intimidating their supporters.
“I feel that PDP who has all the resources of government should conduct themselves in an orderly manner instead of resorting into blackmail and intimidation of APC supporters in Ebonyi state” he stated.