The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ebonyi State Chapter, has lambasted Governor David Nweze Umahi for allegedly using newly formed regional security outfit, Ebubeagu Security Network as a tool to attack its members and supporters in the State.
In a communique signed by a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim and 35 other stakeholders of the Party after a meeting in Abakaliki and made available to 9News Nigeria, the Party said Umahi needs psychiatric assistance in the management of a political situation he created for himself. The party stated that the creation of the Ebubeagu Security outfit by the government has increased persecution of political opponents in the state.
According to the communique, “we recall that before the Governor’s defection to the APC, the people Governor Umahi are witch hunting today were recognised as the leaders of the state. However, today our elder statesmen and leaders in the PDP in Ebonyi State have suddenly been tagged “trouble makers”, sponsors of cultists and terrorists, etc. Thus, Governor Umahi, who a month before he defected, publicly stated that anybody who left PDP for the APC needed psychiatric evaluation, has himself defected to the APC, and appears to be in dire need of psychiatric assistance in the management of a political situation he created for himself.”
The communique reads in full,
POLITICAL INTOLERANCE, PROLIFERATION OF ARMS AND GENERAL INSECURITY IN EBONYI STATE: A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE:
On behalf of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), we wish to welcome you to this press briefing.As stakeholders in the project of building a peaceful, inclusive and prosperous Ebonyi State, we deem it necessary to seize any, and every opportunity, to draw attention to issues that are presently bedeviling our dear state, and capable of adversely affecting the well-being and future of our state.We, therefore, consider it expedient to inform you that a couple of months ago, our Governor, Engr. David Umahi personally delivered petitions against Ebonyi State PDP stakeholders, to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director of State Security Services (DSS), the Chief of Army staff (COAS), the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the seat of our Federal Government (Villa). In this petition which was signed by the SSG of the state, Governor Umahi falsely accused Ebonyi PDP stakeholders of sponsoring cultists, ESN members, attacks on security Personnel in the State, arson on public buildings etc. Although we recognize Governor Umahi’s penchant for mischief, yet we deem it below the acceptable behaviour of a chief Executive of a State to be the purveyor of wild and vile allegations against leaders of a political party who God used to make him Governor in the first place. Never in the history of our dear State, not in any other state in Nigeria, has a sitting Governor deemed it necessary to hand-deliver a petition riddled with falsehood to heads of security agencies, against his own people. But this is Ebonyi State for you today. It is this political intolerance and mindless desire to suppress all dissenting opinions in the state which has resulted in proliferation of arms, intra communal clashes and general insecurity in our dear Ebonyi State, that we wish to address in this Press briefing.
GENESIS OF PDP STAKEHOLDERS PROBLEMS WITH GOVERNOR UMAHIPerhaps it is worth reminding us that the genesis of Ebonyi PDP stakeholders problems with Governor Umahi is the refusal of the Party to decamp with him to the APC. Otherwise, we recall that before the Governor’s defection to the APC, the people Governor Umahi are witch hunting today were recognised as the leaders of the state. However, today our elder statesmen and leaders in the PDP in Ebonyi State have suddenly been tagged “trouble makers”, sponsors of cultists and terrorists, etc. Thus, Governor Umahi, who a month before he defected, publicly stated that anybody who left PDP for the APC needed psychiatric evaluation, has himself defected to the APC, and appears to be in dire need of psychiatric assistance in the management of a political situation he created for himself. 1. EBONYI STATE GOVERNMENT AS DELIBERATE SPONSOR OF VIOLENCE AND INTRA COMMUNAL CRISISAlthough Governor Umahi mischievously accused Ebonyi PDP stakeholders of sponsoring violence in the State, yet it is very clear to Ebonyi people that only the State Government possesses the capacity to unleash the mayhem and generalised insecurity that has bedeviled the State in recent times. It is instructive to point out that since inception in 2015, violence against the Ebonyi people has remained the hallmark of the Umahi administration. This started quite early with the creation of a so-called Akubaraoha Youth Assembly (AYA), which in a space of about six years has left an indelible footprint of blood, tears and sorrows in Ebonyi State.
In pursuit of the self-confessed “Koboko” policies of Governor Umahi, EYA has been credited with the following attacks on journalists and other Ebonyians, to wit:
(i) The May 28th, 2017 attack by EYA operatives at a book launch organised by a priest, Rev. George Ume, at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki.
(ii) The May 30th, 2017 attack by EYA operatives at the defunct Diamond Bank premises Abakaliki (now Access Bank). In the ensuing attack by EYA, a pregnant female journalist was severely beaten up and her equipment confiscated for daring to cover the assault on the bewildered customers of the bank.
(iii) The well documented abduction and torture of journalist Charles Otu at Vanco Junction Abakaliki on the 2nd of June, 2017 by EYA operatives.
(iv) The June 2nd 2017 shooting of journalist Samuel Ovuoba, a publisher and journalist at Ebonyi State University.
(v) The infamous March 18, 2018 abduction and attempted murder of social critic Nwoba Chika Nwoba at his home in Abakaliki.
(vi) The more recent case of Prince Anyigor Methuselah who was abducted by agents of the State Government and tortured for days in a government –run dungeon and many more.
2. At this point, it is also important to point out that the Ebonyi State Government has deliberately, for political gain, instigated crisis in many town union organisations across the state. Town Union Presidents have been deposed by the State Government in Unwana, Ishiagu, Ishielu etc. It is on record that the crises that ensued has claimed many lives. More recently, and with the creation of the Ebubeagu Security outfit, and the concomitant need to arm them with pump action guns and other automatic weapons, occasional boundary disputes have now transmuted into very dangerous armed conflicts, often spearheaded by known agents of the Ebonyi State Government. The recent Izzi-Ikwo and Ezza-Effium conflicts with deadly consequences to lives and properties of peace loving Ebonyi people, easily come to mind.We make bold to state that we have abundant pictorial and audio evidence, that the procurement and distribution of pump action and other automatic weapons has become a policy backed by Executive action in Ebonyi State. With the creation of Ebubeagu Security outfit in the State, the possession and open display of firearms by street urchins has become common place. What is most worrisome about the Ebonyi variant of Ebubeagu is that the recruitment, deployment and rules of engagement, including their command structure, is shrouded in secrecy. It is difficult, therefore, to hold them accountable for their crimes. However, what is more dangerous is the fact that since they operate in mufti, it is difficult to separate their activities from that of unknown gunmen and other criminals. This must be particularly challenging for our security agencies whose constitutional duty is the protection of lives and property of the ordinary citizens.
Finally, we are alarmed to report that it has come to our knowledge that the Ebonyi State Government has covertly established special detention centers in the state, where kidnapped political opponents are kept and tortured in the name of “interrogation”. The recent case of journalist Prince Anyigor Methuselah easily comes to mind. As confessed by Prince Anyigor himself, he was abducted by agents of the Ebonyi State Government, kept in an underground detention facility, and forced against his will to type and send messages with his phone supposedly professing support for the State Government.
Worthy of mention also is the kidnap and torture of Barr. Amos Ogbonna by agents of Ebonyi State Government. Barr Ogbonna, who has been lying critically ill in the hospital until recent, escaped being buried alive in a hurriedly dug shallow grave by special divine intervention. He is now using crutches and is scheduled for more surgeries in the near future, even as he continues to frequent the hospital for regular check-ups and medication.The cases of kidnap and murder all over Ebonyi State are legion. Rather than protect its citizens, the Ebonyi State Government is known for eating its own children. In other to cover his tracks, Governor Umahi remains in denial and continues to peddle atrociously false petitions against PDP leaders.
3. We call on the security agencies to investigate the secret detention centers set up by the Ebonyi State Government, and release the dying occupants immediately to re-join their families and loved ones. We also call on the relevant security agencies to investigate the following crimes:
(i) Attempted murder of Barr. Amos Ogbonna
(ii) Murder of Mr Chukwudi Daniel
(iii) Murder of Mr Onu Francis
(iv) Murder of Mr Kelechi Nwozaku
(v) Forgery of Ebonyi Police Command press release by an agent of the state government called Engr. Damian Okafor
(vi) Forgery of Arise TV video clip involving Senator Obinna Ogba by a staff of the Ebonyi State Government.
We thank you for attending.
Signed:1. H.E. Distinguished Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON.2. H.E. Sen. Sam Ominyi Egwu3. Sen. Micheal Amah Nnachi4. Sen. Joe Obinna Ogba5. Hon. Iduma Igariwey6. Hon. Makwe Livinus7. Hon. Anayo Edwin8. Hon. Nwazunkwu Chukwuma9. Dr. Hyginus Nwokwu10. Sen. Igwe Nwagu11. Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo12. Chief Mrs. Rosemary Emmanuel 13. Chief Boniface Ofoke14. Chief Fredrick Once15. Onwe Joseph Onwe16. Rt. Hon. Onwe S. Onwe17. Hon. Felix Mgbada (BoT)18. Barr. Silas Joseph Onu 19. Chief Harrison Onwe20. Chief Amaechi Okeh21. Hon. Mrs. Amaka Igboke22. Hon. Chidi Libara23. Barr. James Onah24. Hon. Chukwu Monday25. Hon. Barr. Luke Nkwegu26. Hon. Ali Okechukwu27. Hon. Victor Aleke28. Hon. Lilian Ngou Ezeulo29. Hon. Engr. Humphrey Nwuruku 30. Hon. Chris Usulor 31. Hon. Dr. Oliver Osi32. Hon. Barr. Ndubuisi Isu33. Hon. Joseph Onwe34. Hon. Godwin Ude35. Barr. George Ukpai 36. Hon. Mrs. Okpo Franca