PDP decries Killing, indiscriminate arrests of members by state actors in Ebonyi

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…Expresses worry over passive posture of security agencies to these heinous crimes and infringement on the constitutional rights of members

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Peoples Democratic Party has decried the killing and indiscriminate arrest and harassment of its members by state actors in Ebonyi state trailing the “lives will be lost” threat issued by the Governor David Umahi.

The party also expressed worry over alleged passive posture of security agencies to these heinous crimes and infringement on the constitutional rights of its members in the state.

The party stated this on Tuesday in a statement signed by the Acting National Vice Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Southeast Zone, Chief Ali Odefa made available to Sundiata Post.

According to the statement, the Party noted with serious concerns the ugly developments in Ebonyi state in the last few weeks which has led to the deaths of several innocent citizens of the state.

The party recalled that on November 27, 2020 the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi in a Press Conference at the Government House Abakaliki made wild allegations against the leaders of our great party including the former President of the Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governor of the State, Senator Sam Ominyi Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba and the Acting National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Southeast Zone, Chief Ali Odefa.

Governor Umahi in his wild allegations specifically declared that “I needed to raise an alarm because lives will be lost”!
True to his threat, barely three days after that televised open threat to members, supporters and leaders of the PDP in Ebonyi State, on November 30th, 2020 our member and loyal supporter, Mr. Shedrak Nwode a native of Umuezoka alongside his fiancée were shot dead-execution-style by a senior official of Umahi’s government. Late Shedrack Nwode’s crime was that he refused to shout “APC –Change” at a wedding ceremony!

As if that was not enough provocation, three days after the killing of late Shedrack Nwode on Friday December 4, 2020, three prominent supporters of our party in Ugwulangwu community in the governor’s home local government, Ohaozara were arrested on trump up charges of being sponsors of cultists and the IPOB, they were handcuffed both their hands and legs like condemned criminals and shipped to Ebonyi State Police Command Headquarters, Abakaliki in the middle of the night. It took serious interventions including a threat to protest naked in Abakaliki by old women of Ugwulangwu Community for them to be released.

Ever since, Governor Umahi in carrying out his threat of “lives will be lost,” has continued to sponsor violence in different parts of Ebonyi State, specifically targeting the members and supporters of the PDP.
Just last week members of Ebele and Anyi Chuks Foundation (a non-partisan and well known philanthropic organisation) gathered at the Home Galaxy Hotel, Isu, the Headquarters of Onicha Local Government Area to deliberate on their planned philanthropic reach out to the less privileged in the spirit of the Christmas season (as is their custom for over a decade now) were brutally attacked by armed thugs led by a well known senior appointee of Chief Umahi’s government. Members of the NGO suffered various degrees of injuries including machete cuts on the flimsy excuse that they were PDP members, the party said.

“Also, on Sunday December 20, 2020 law abiding members of the PDP who gathered at the home of a prominent figure in Okposi Community and a supporter of our great party, Chief Ajim were again brutally attacked by armed thugs led by a prominent member of governor Umahi’s government.

“Our members yet again suffered serious injuries with cars vandalized and many of them lost their valuables including money, phones and other personal properties.
Despite these unwarranted, evil, unnecessary attacks and grim provocations, members of the PDP in Ebonyi State have remained calm and law abiding, yet the security agencies in Ebonyi State have remained passive and seemingly unconcerned by these heinous crimes and infringement on the constitutional rights of our members by known state actors.

The PDP said it is at loss at this point as to why the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Ebonyi State have found it very difficult to rise up to the occasion and do their statutory duty of protecting the lives and properties of law abiding citizens of Ebonyi State whose only crime may have been expressing their constitutional right of freedom of association.

“We are constrained to ask, could it be that the security agencies in Ebonyi State have been compromised by the “crushing and grinding” machineries of Ebonyi State Government? Or are the security agencies in Ebonyi State incapable of protecting the lives and properties of Ebonyians?

The PDP therefore stated clearly that as Nigerian citizens, they are not unaware of their rights and the basic principles of democracy which guarantees their rights to exist and belong to any lawful association of their choice. Adding that they have chosen to be members of the PDP and no form of intimidation can change that.

The party however said it will henceforth deploy all lawful means to protect members, businesses, properties and supporters anywhere in Ebonyi State and called on members to remain steadfast, unmoved, unshaken and resolute and go about their normal lawful businesses including deliberating collectively for progress and growth of our great party at various levels as we shall henceforth deploy all the necessary legal avenues to ensure their protection at every point in time.

Nigeria remains a multi-party democracy and we implore His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi to respect his oath of office by protecting and adhering to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and face his duties as the governor of Ebonyi State, Odefia said.

Ebonyi State Belongs to all of Us! Enough is Enough, he stated.