The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and security agencies to stop attacks on opposition figures in Ebonyi before the issue degenerates into full blown violence.
“If the violent attacks and killings are not checked, the situation in Ebonyi may snowball beyond imagination and the blood bath may result in a chain of other terrible events,” the PDP governorship campaign warned in a statement signed by spokesman Abia Onyike on Sunday.
The party particularly told Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi to rein in political thugs believed to be working for his party the All Progressives Congress.
It called on the governor, as the Chief Security Officer of the state, to rise to the occasion and ensure that the forthcoming elections were not marred by violence and killings of political opponents before, during or after the elections.
“The political situation in Ebonyi which has resulted in unwarranted attacks and killings of members of opposition political parties has degenerated from bad to worse.
“We appeal to the governor to urgently intervene to save the state from needless violence.
“Hoodlums and suspected political thugs are on the rampage attacking opposition political leaders and candidates and even stopping opposition candidates and their political parties from freely campaigning and wooing voters ahead of the February and March elections.
“We, hereby unequivocally condemn in very strong terms, the latest attack on Sen. Sam Egwu representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District.
“Egwu, who went for a PDP rally on Saturday to address his constituents in the private residence of Senator Sylvanus Ngiji-Ngele in Amagu, Abakaliki Local Government Area was allegedly attacked by miscreants.
“The road to Sen. Ngele’s house was suddenly blocked by hoodlums suspected to be thugs working for some interests who later returned to Sen. Ngele’s house and started shooting sporadically with their AK-47 and pump actions assault rifles.
“We also regret to recall that on Wednesday, Feb. 1, Egwu successfully held a rally at Obegu Abba in Ebonyi LGA.
“At the end of the rally, Egwu left the venue only for suspected gunmen to invade the home of the PDP Chairman in the Council area, Mr Michael Nwebonyi.
“They started shooting intensively for more than 20 minutes; properties were vandalised and several people were wounded as they scampered for safety while others ran into the bush.
“Two days ago, Prof. Benard Odoh, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), was ambushed at Okpoto in Ishielu LGA by suspected political thugs where his convoy was subjected to a volley of bullets.
“Though Odo luckily escaped unhurt, his driver was instantly murdered and his backup vehicles were set ablaze,” the campaign said.
The campaign further alleged that the perceived intolerance to the opposition in the state was responsible for the spate of politically-motivated killings and disappearances in Onicha LGA of Ebonyi.
“In Onicha, where our principal, Chief IfeanyiChukwuma Odii hails from, six persons have been killed including the bodyguard attached to Odii while many have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Security Agencies and the National Assembly to intervene in the Ebonyi debacle,” it added.