The All Progressives Grand Alliance, Ebonyi State chapter, on Friday, raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the Ebonyi State Government in connivance with security agencies to arrest the governorship candidate of the party in the 2023 general elections, Prof. Benard Odoh, on Monday.
APGA alleged the reason behind the plot is to ensure its candidates were prevented from participating in Match 11, 2023 governorship polls.
Recall that the traditional ruler of Umuezeokaoha community, in the Ezza North Local Government Area of the state, HRH (Eze) Igboke Ewa, was gruesomely murdered by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in his Umuezeokoha community home at about 8:30 pm on Monday.
The party stated this at a joint press briefing by its senatorial candidate for Ebonyi Central Zone, Dr. Emmanuel Onwe, and the Director of Media and Publicity, Ebonyi APGA Governorship Campaign Council, Charles Otu, on Friday.
Addressing journalists in Abakaliki, Onwe expressed worry and disaffection over the myriads of attacks and assassination attempts made on the life of the governorship candidate, Odoh, by suspected political hoodlums in the state.
He condemned the development and urged security agencies to work assiduously towards curtailing the menace.
He further sympathised with the families of the traditional ruler of Umuezeokaoha community, in the Ezza North Local Government Area of the state, HRH (Eze) Igboke Ewa, who was murdered on Monday night, by yet-to-be-identified persons.
According to him, “The oppression and harassment of the governorship candidate of APGA is unacceptable. We have heard of the death of the Monarch of Ezza North LGA. Some people have written a petition indicting the APGA Governorship candidate, who is innocent of such a dastardly act.
“I want to sympathise with the APGA candidate. This is indeed a condemnable act, for people to try to rope Odoh in this case. Recall that on six different occasions, there have been attempts to assassinate him.
“My appeal to the people of Ebonyi Central and Ezza North is for them to remain calm. The IGP has been notified. And for those security agencies that want to eliminate him, they should desist from it.”
He observed there were massive irregularities, ballot box snatching, and monetary inducements, that occasioned the February 25th, 2023 elections in Ebonyi Central Senatorial district of the state, during the elections.
He assured his supporters that the results of the election will be contested in Court and his mandate reclaimed.
“The election was characterised by ballot snatching, overvoting even as INEC went ahead to announce the results. APGA candidates will do everything possible within the law to reclaim their mandate. On 11th March, we call on the Citizens of the State, to come out and vote for the liberation of Ebonyi State.”
On his part, Otu reiterated that there was a grand plot by the ruling-All Progressives Congress government to arrest candidates of the party, especially the gubernatorial candidate, Prof. Odoh ahead of the March 11, 2023 polls.
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“We have it from reliable sources that the state government plans to arrest Prof Odoh and other key stakeholders of the party, on Monday. They want to make sure they come up with all manner of allegations to perpetuate this move. And they have detailed security agencies to this and, we warn that the police and other security agencies in Ebonyi State should not be allowed to execute this plan,” Otu said.
Reacting, the Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Media and Strategy, Chooks Oko, who stated that APGA has boxed itself to a clannish corner, added that it was only the guilty that should be afraid.
“The problem with the party called APGA is that it is always overrating its relevance among political parties in the state. Why would anyone waste its time plotting against a party that has boxed itself to a clannish corner?
“Security agents here do their job without government interference and thus cannot elicit connivance of any sort. They have been charged to do their job which we hope they will do without fear or favour. It is only the guilty that should be afraid,” he said.