The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, raised the alarm over alleged killings of its members in Ebonyi state.
The main opposition party also said some of its members and leaders in the state were being harassed and accused of phoney criminal acts by the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government in the state.
Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat, Abuja, national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan said Governor Dave Umahi has been firm in his consistent intimidation of PDP leaders in Ebonyi for simply refusing to defect with him to the APC.
“On the 30th of November 2020, one of our members, Mr. Shedrack Nwode, a native of Umuezoka, along with his fiancée were shot dead by thugs suspected to be working for the APC, for refusing to chant ‘APC, Change’ at a traditional wedding ceremony.
“Similarly, on Friday, 4th of December 2020, three prominent supporters of PDP from Ugwulangwu in Governor Umahi’s own Local Government Area, were arrested on trump-up charges of being cultists.
“During a recent courtesy call on the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi in Abakaliki by the Police Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone 9, Mr. Okon, the governor openly and without any investigation, criminally accused prominent leaders of our party, including, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Senator Sam Egwu, Chief Ali Odefa, Hon. Linus Okorie among others as sponsors of banditry and violence in the state.
“It is already common knowledge that agents of the Governor Umahi-led administration had gathered known cultists and thugs and armed them with dangerous weapons including pump action riffles to be unleashed on innocent citizens, particularly members of the opposition.
“These agents of APC government in Ebonyi State have also resorted to using the thugs to disrupt the meetings of our party as well as foist a reign of terror in the state, wherein thugs have taken over the streets and openly extort money from helpless motorists.
“Only recently, a member of our party, Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya, who refused to join Governor Umahi to the APC was abducted and later released with life threatening injuries after much public outcry. He is still in the intensive care unit of a hospital.
“Though Ogbonnaya recognized his abductors as state government agents and reported to the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, no arrests have been made to bring the perpetrators to book,” Ologbondiyan said.
According to the publicity scribe, Chief Henry C. Udeh (Ajim Best), from Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area “was brutally attacked for daring to hold PDP meeting in his own house and many valuables, including vehicles were destroyed.”
He also said the party was in receipt of a report that a PDP member, Prince Anyigor Methuselah of Ezza North “has been abducted and is reportedly being kept at the Cabinet Office of the old Government House in Ebonyi State.”
He continued: “Our party further alerts Nigerians of Governor Umahi’s resort to labelling opposition voices in the state as cultists and terrorist elements as a ploy to victimize members of our party as well as incite federal security agencies against our leaders.
“Governor Umahi’s suppressive government is now sealing off homes and businesses of PDP members all in a bid to cow and silence them.
“A hotel belonging to former governor Sam Egwu has been sealed up while a private school belonging to another member of the PDP, Barr. Friday Agbom was also sealed on trumped up charges.
“As a party, we are worried over the vexatious disposition of Governor Umahi towards the opposition, dissenting voices and other innocent citizens in the state; a development that has heightened security concerns and capable of triggering a huge crisis that can destabilize the state.
“The action of the APC-led government has also foisted a reign of terror in the state, crippled economic activities and brought untold hardship to the people.
“Since Governor Umahi realized that he is alone in his political voyage in the APC, he has been in distress, having been left in the cold and as such, seeks to decimate the opposition and disrupt peaceful coexistence in the state.
“Our party counsels Governor Umahi to have only himself to blame for his self-inflicted political woes, instead of seeking to drag down and destroy the entire state because of his botched political ambition.
“The PDP also cautions Governor Umahi to note that the people of Ebonyi State can never be intimidated or cowed by the APC and its external backers, who are looking for every means to cause mayhem and ruin the state for their political gains.
“Our party calls on all our members in Ebonyi to remain calm even as we caution Governor Umahi to note that human history has always shown that there is a limit to which a people can bear in the face of open aggression and intimidation.
“It is therefore imperative for the Inspector General of Police as well as the military high command to note the antics of the Umahi-led administration in the state and take urgent steps to protect the innocent citizens so as to save the state from imminent collapse.”
Also speaking, PDP national vice chairman (South-East), Ali Odefa said Governor Umahi, having realized that highly-placed party members failed to defect with him, has resorted to cheap blackmail and intimidating tactics.
He challenged the governor to test his popularity on the ballot after his second term in office on the platform of the APC to prove to Nigerians his electoral mileage.
Political affiliation, he noted, is a matter of choice, stressing that the people of Ebonyi State do not deserve to be punished for electing to remain in the PDP when the governor left for the ruling party.“
Allegation is false —Ebonyi APC Chairman
But reacting to the allegation, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha described the allegation by the PDP as false.
The APC chieftain who doubles as the Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace requested that the PDP should give details of their allegation instead of looking for cheap blackmail against the administration of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.
He said: “If there any clear details of where somebody was killed, then we can respond to it. It is not only APC people that my office is to protect; the state government is protecting every citizen of Nigeria in Ebonyi State.
“The government is to protect all the citizens of the state and so, if we have details of such killing, then we can now follow it up. When you don’t have details, how do you brief? Where did they kill the person, you can’t say?
“Tell them that the chairman of APC who doubles as the Commissioner for Internal Security said that the information is false. They should give details of how the persons and where the persons were killed.
“There should be details. What is the person’s name? Who was the person that was killed? Where was the person killed? Which local government was the person killed? Who is the person reporting to them that their people are being killed?
“Is it not when they want to talk, so that the PDP at the national will know that they are existing that they will start making up such falsehood.”
Activist declared missing in Ebonyi
Meantime, the activist, Anyigor Methuselah Maduabuchi from Ugalaba in Umuogharu, Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was yesterday declared missing.
His younger brother, Anyigor Ifesinachi Daniel, who spoke to Journalists in Abakaliki on Wednesday evening, said he was last seen last Saturday, after he left home for a burial in Afikpo North LGA of the state.
The victim’s younger brother said he dialed his mobile number on Saturday after he waited for his return to no avail, but an unknown person picked the call and warned him never to call the line again.
The victim, according to the younger brother, is a popular social media activist and crusader. He said he had reported the matter to the Police and the Department of State Services. Maduabuchi, according to the brother, is about 28 years old.
“My brother, Anyigor Methuselah Maduabuchi last Saturday told me he was going to a burial at Afikpo North LGA and we scheduled to go somewhere by 12 o’clock when he returns from the burial and by the time I called him to know if we would still go to the place, his phone was ringing but he was not picking. I kept on calling to no avail.
“In the evening of that day, I called again and somebody picked the call and I asked the person to give the phone to the owner but he shunned me and threatened me not to call the number again. I hung the call.
“I have dialed his number several times since then and it has not been going through. Apart from that, I have not got any other useful information about his abduction.
“He used to post a lot about bad governance on Facebook and had been getting attacks and threats from people believed to be supporters of government. That’s why I decided to report to the media to help me. I have also reported the matter to the police and the Department of State Services.
However, the state Commissioner for Internal Security, Mr Stanley Okoro Emegha denied knowledge of the alleged abduction, warning that people should stop dragging government into every issue.
Kaduna LG Polls: APC floors PDP, Secures 15 chairmanship seats
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the majority of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the local government council elections held in Kaduna State on Saturday.
The ruling party won 15 of the 17 chairmanship seats whose results have so far been declared, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two.
The polls were postponed in four of the state’s 23 local government areas to September 25 over security concerns.
An initial sensation was recorded when the PDP won in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Unguwan Sarki polling unit in Kaduna North LGA.
However, the APC rallied to win the chairmanship and most of the councillorship seats in the council.
The APC also won in the home councils of top PDP chieftains, including of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
The deputy governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe, also delivered Sanga Local Government in the PDP-leaning southern senatorial district to the APC.
The PDP picked its two chairmanship seats in Jana and Kaura local government areas.
The elections in Kachia Local government council was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Haruna Ahmadu.
The elections will hold in three weeks time in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf, and Kajuru LGAs following the postponement for security reasons.
See result as announced by returning officers for each local government council.
The returning officer, Katoh Ishaya, announced the PDP candidate, Matthias Siman, as winner of the chairmanship election having polled 19,511 to defeat Adamu Donatus of the APC who polled 10,941 votes.
PDP also won nine out of the 10 councillor seats while APC won one seat.
The returning office, Musa Makarfi, announced that the APC candidate, Nasara Rabo, polled 20,558 to defeat the PDP candidate, Caleb Pius, who polled 14,494 votes
Dayyabu Mohammed, the returning officer, declared Bashir Zuntu of the APC as winner of the election. He polled 23,973 votes to defeat Isah-Rabiu Imam of the PDP, who polled 9, 038 votes and Isah Yunusa of the SD who scored 530 votes.
Returning officer Haruna Abdu declared Shuaibu Jaja of the APC as winner of the chairmanship seat, having scored 18,129 votes.
Ibrahim-Shehu Doka of the PDP recorded 16,123 votes and Umar Taba of the Labour Party 1,844 votes.
Abubakar Buba of the APC was declared winner of the chairmanship seat with 36,389 votes, defeating Dalhat Abu-Dadda’i of the PDP who got 24,294 votes.
Idris Ibrahim of the APC was returned as the winner of the chairmanship seat with 34,006 votes. Yusuf Sambo of the PDP polled 14,019 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner after scoring 32,405 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abdu Bello of PDP, who scored 13,777 votes.
Bisallah Malam of the APC was returned as winner of the chairmanship election with 21,854 votes. The PDP candidate scored 12,832 votes.
Yunana Barde of APC took the chairmanship seat with 24,251 votes, narrowly defeating the incumbent chairman and PDP candidate, Peter Averik, who polled 23,215 votes.
The returning officer, Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, announced the results.
The ÀPC candidate, Abubakar Lawal, won the chairmanship seat with 22,896 votes His PDP rival, Awwal Kaya, scored 3,534 votes. Returning officer Godwin Ayuba also said the APC won all the 11 councillorship seats.
Mukhtar Baloni of the APC emerged winner with 16,545 votes. Adamu Dattijo of the PDP scored 15,472 votes. But PDP won 6 out of the 11 councilor seats to APC’s 5 seats.
The returning officer, Garba Salisu declared the incumbent chairman, Kabir Mayare of APC, winner with16, 328 votes. Abubakar Makarfi of PDP scored 14,739 votes.
Jabir Khamis of the APC is the winner of the chairmanship seat. He scored 29,804 votes to defeat PDP’s Ibrahim Yusha’u who scored 10,865 votes.
But the PDP chairmanin the area, Dan Azumi Maganda, said the PDP will challenge the result in court.
Peter Omale, the Returning Officer, declared Philip Gwada of the PDP winner having recorded 9,012 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Benjamin Jock, who polled 5,640 votes.
PDP also won 8 of the 10 councillorship seats.
The incumbent chairman, Abubakar Jarimi of the APC polled 7, 879to votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 4,765 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner by the returning officer, Abubakar-Mohammed Sadiq. Mr Usman scored 32,405 votes to defeat Abdu Bello of the PDP who had 13,777 votes.
The APC candidate, Ibrahim Sadiq, scored 18, 974 votes to beat his PDP opponent who scored 13,416 votes.
The chairmanship election in Kachia local government area was declared inconclusive. The returning officer said cancelled and uncast votes were over 13,000, more than the recorded votes.
According to the result announced, Allison Chitta of the PDP scored 24,482 votes to Aaron Bako of the APC’s 23,270 votes.
2023: Only the best, popular candidate will emerge in Akwa Ibom – Iniama
A stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom State politics, Mr James Iniama, has stated that the state would expect nothing but only the best and popular governorship candidate in 2023.
Iniama, in an interview with Journalists in Uyo over the weekend, noted the clamour by different groups for the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor and said that the delay by the governor in announcing his prefered candidate could result in the imposition of unpopular candidate on the state.
He warned that the state would not tolerate any imposition without a level playing ground for aspirants to test popularity.
“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed,” he said.
Iniama recalled that the political build-up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.
“I support this movement, in fact, I am an apostle of peace. Whatever you are doing in life, you have to cohabit peacefully.
“I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate. You were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.
“In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the United States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a necessity.
Secondus denies working against Southern Nigeria
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied the allegation that he is working against the interest Southern Nigeria.
Secondus stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Friday.
It noted “the Media Office of Secondus will continue to respond to even laughable talks because of the danger of allowing disinformation to enter public space unchallenged.”
It stated that one of such piece of false information being dished out was the allegation from the Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Desmond Akawor, that Secondus was working against Southern interest and that he had not paid his dues to the party.
“We understand the frustration of the anti-Secondus crusaders who have become evidence shopaholics in their desperation to find points with which to achieve their ignoble goals.
“The Media Office sees their effort as a case of bad marketer selling a product, who puts in several efforts to convince buyers to no avail.
“Our response is that there is no truth in all the allegations and Southern interest will be grossly endangered if it is the likes of Akawor and his clique that are pushing it,” the statement said.
The office said that critical members of PDP, including discerning members of the public knew as a fact that “no one person, no matter his position, could determine singularly the position of offices in the party”.
“The Media Office will, however, continue to urge members of the public and the media to be wary of compulsive shoppers whose agenda is mainly to distract and destroy this party and remove its focus from retuning to power in 2023 as being yearned by Nigerians,” the statement said.
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