… Coordinator Suspended and Arrested
… LGA Chairmanship Aspirant Assaulted
… Fumes, Calls for Cancellation, Repeat of Primary
By Ruth Oginyi and Agnes Igwe
A middle-aged man, Mr. Enyinnaya Ibiam from Ndeminyi Ubeyi, in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi said to be a staff of Federal Poly Uwanna has been allegedly shot dead by his cousin brother, the coordinator of Ubeyi Development Centre, Uche Ibiam Ekwe during People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ward congress last Friday.
Meanwhile, the suspect is currently in the police cell while police is investigating the allegations.
The suspect, coordinator of Ubeyi Development Centre, Uche Ibiam Ekwe while threatening to shoot his brother during the PDP ward congress for councillorship mistakenly shot the man on his nose and he died immediately.
It was gathered that the coordinator of the DC, arrived the polling unit venue for the congress with over 30 boys in 4 Sienna buses fully equipped with all manner of arms.
That when he came in, he started shooting sporadically during which the bullet hit the man on his nose while 4 other persons including a police officer sustained bullet wounds.
The coordinator was said to have supported an unpopular candidate for the councillor but the community contributed money and bought form for the candidate of their choice, during the ward congress when the coordinator realized that his candidate may not win the election, he started shooting to scare his opponents but unfortunately shot the man.
An eye witness who spoke to Journalists on the condition of anonymity had it that the coordinator who was embattled on who will produce the councillorship for Unwana ward “A” wanted to shoot his younger brother Ibiam Ibiam , popularly known as Terror.
He said, “We were all waiting for materials for the primary election to arrive from Abakaliki till around 4pm when the coordinator and his boys arrived in about 4 Sienna buses.”
“As they arrived, they were bringing out their guns and the coordinator first released a shot on the ground after which he aimed at his younger brother “Terror,” who dodged the bullet and it hit the Enyinaya on the nose and he died on the spot.”
“The coordinator and his group wanted one Omaiko to go for the councillorship of ward A” but the people refused and contributed money and bought form for another person simply known as Mayor. Instead of “Terror” supporting the coordinator who is the elder brother, he opposed him and his colleagues and supported Mayor for the councillor.”
“Seeing that Terror and his group were having upper hands in the mobilization, and was opposing him the coordinator decided to deal with him which unfortunately ended up killing an innocent man who was making peace among them.
“Others affected by the sporadic gun shot from the coordinator and his groups were 2 policemen, one was shot in the leg and the other in the mouth. A woman was also shot in the leg, the other in the hand.”
“Since then, the coordinator and his cohorts have been on the run, but I learnt that police arrested him on his way to Abakaliki” the source said.
It was gathered that a bag containing locally made pistols, with some live ammunition was recovered in his vehicle.
Two pump actions were also said to be in the vehicle but before police could recover the vehicle, the suspected hoodlums have already made away with the two pump action guns.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Ebonyi State, DSP Loveth Odah confirmed the incidence but said police is investigating the allegation.
DSP Odah said, “Somebody was shot and killed but police is investigating, the alleged suspect, the coordinator of Ubeyi Uchenna Ibiam Ekwe has been arrested and his Sienna bus also recovered and he made useful statement to the police.”
“The CP has ordered district investigation should be carried out and everyone involved in that incidence should be arrested.”
“He is in the cell, he carried about 30 boys to the venue and he said it was a mistake that he foresaw that his candidate will lose so he decided to use the gun to scare the opponent away and return his candidate as the winner.”
Meanwhile, Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi has ordered immediate relief from duty of the accused coordinator.
Citizens’ Advocate learnt that the coordinator was a boy to someone influential in Ebonyi state, but every intervention by the godfather to stop his sack and arrest proved abortive.
A statement from the office of the Secretary to the State Government, also announced that the coordinator’s younger cousin who was SA to Governor on security should vacate his office.
The Statement, “The Governor of the State has directed the immediate removal from office and arrest of the Coordinator, Ubeyi Development Centre, Hon. Uche Ibiam and Mr. Ibiam Ogbonnaya Junior, (a.k.a Terror), Technical Assistant (TA) to Governor on Security, for alleged involvement in a murder case.”
“His Excellency further directed that security agencies should carry out investigation and prosecute all those found guilty in accordance with the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“The Governor assured Ebonyians of their safety and readiness to sustain the peace and tranquility reigning in the state.”
In another development, the alleged disenfranchised and assaulted Ishielu local government chairmanship aspirant, Barr Emmanuel Nwite has called on the state Governor, Engr. David Umahi and other PDP stakeholders to order for cancellation and repeat of the just done party delegate election in the local government with a claim that it was characterized by irregularities.
Barr Nwite made the call while addressing newsmen shortly after allegedly being assaulted and chased out of Ishielu local government headquarters Ezzillo, venue of the primary in preparation for April 2020 local government election.
Barr Nwite who accused the incumbent chairman, Hon Henry Eze of instigating his boys to beat him up and ensure he did not enter the LGA headquarters till after the primary, advised the party stakeholders in the state to intervene urgently as the anomaly is a dent on the party’s public image.
He urged the security agencies to arrest and prosecute the perpetuators of the act to serve as deterrent to other political thugs.
He insisted that PDP as a party of high integrity and repute should show good examples to other political parties by cancelling and repeating the primary election of Ishielu local government area in a peaceful atmosphere void of violence of all sorts.
The Aspirant who wondered why political thugs should dominate delegate election arena called for total overhauling and reformation of political practices in the country for the sake of posterity.
His words in part, “My name is Barr Emmanuel Nnabuike Nwite. I am from Ogboji Ezzaegu in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state and a chairmanship aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party in 2020 ongoing LGA primary election.”
“I was at the LGA headquarters Ezzillo, the venue where the primary election was supposed to take place according to guideline and schedule as published by our party. Unfortunately, when I got there, I saw larger crowd, mobs who started beating me, having known me as an aspirant and chased me out of the local government headquarters premises.”
“This assault happened in the presence of policemen, who just watched me been attacked by the assailants. The DPO was not there but as he got there I told him what happened, he directed that we go back to the headquarters again so that he can ascertain what happened but the mobs told him clearly that they are the incumbent chairman’s boys and cannot allow me into the LGA. There and then they started attacking my younger brother who accompanied me to the venue of the election. You can see his cloths torn into pieces.”
“You can see the level of injury in all parts of my body. Am addressing this conference of journalists to draw attention of our party, the people of Ishielu, Ebonyi state, Nigeria and the world at large about the level of impunity being perpetuated in the LGA by the incumbent chairman who feels he does not want free and fair election. If he actually worked, he wouldn’t be afraid of any rival because his works would have spoken for him.”
“I call on the party’s stakeholders for posterity sake to cancel the said primary election for gross irregularities and conduct a fresh one. If the primary is conducted in a peaceful atmosphere void of violence and I fail, I shall accept the result with my whole heart and support whoever wins because power belongs to God. I would take it that my people did not want me now, but not to be disenfranchised and assaulted by political thugs at the order of their pay master.”
Responding, the incumbent chairman of Ishielu Local Government Area, Hon Henry Ezeh in a phone interview denied instigating and having any knowledge of what happened at the gate as alleged by his rival aspirant.
“I did not instruct anybody to beat anyone. In short, I am not aware that Barr Emmanuel Nwite was assaulted on entering the gate as he alleged. You can ask those present at the LGA headquarters Ezzillo venue of the primary election that day, I was at the pavilion during the exercise, which is far from the gate”, Hon Henry explained.
Meanwhile, Friday and Saturday 21st and 22nd February, 2020 was Ebonyi state PDP primary election in preparation for April local government elections which was characterized by series of crisis which led to death of one and assault of a female aspirant allegedly stripped naked.
One Enyinnaya Ibiam was reportedly shot dead on Friday during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) councillorship primaries in Ebonyi state, at Unwanna axis of Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state by a serving Coordinator of Ubeyi Development centres in the area.
It was gathered that the victim, Ibiam, died on the spot, the incident was said to have occurred when opposing factions clashed over possession of election materials and consequent control of the council ward.
Sources in the area revealed that the incident had caused serious tension which brought the election to an abrupt end.
One of the sources said, “Before the man was shot, there was serious problem between the factions, but police came and released tear gas and many of them fled the place.
Also in Ezza North area of the state, one Mrs. Ogochukwu Nweke, an aspirant for the councillorship of Ogboji Ward was beaten to stupor and stripped naked by some thugs allegedly working for her opponents.
Her husband, Mr. Chukwudi Nweke, a staff of Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC) who confirmed the incident to newsmen also alleged that the thugs equally collected all her credentials, her laptop, handset and N100,000 cash from her.
However, all the incumbent chairmen in the 13 local government areas in Ebonyi state were announced reelected as PDP party candidates for the April LGA elections, after the primary elections with exception of the chairman of Ezza South LGA who was replaced by Hon Ken Ezeh.