By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Baba Adamu
Ebonyi State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the National Assembly has accused the State Governor, David Umahi, of arming militias to attack the politicians of the opposition parties in the State.
Briefing journàlists yesterday shortly after the plenary, the Ebonyi PDP Caucus in the National Assembly, led by Senator Sam Egwu, said there is a wide scale distribution of pump-action and AK-47 rifles and ammunition to young men throughout the 13 Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State by the State Government under the guise of vigilante/Ebubeagu.
The Caucus said as it stands today in Ebonyi State, it is impossible to draw a line between the criminal activities of agents of the State Government, and that of other groups, alleging that today, Ebonyi is awash with weapons supplied and distributed by the State Government, to persons who are undocumented, nor trained in weapons handling ostensibly for use against perceived political opponents.
While drawing the attention of the relevant Security Agencies in the country to the deteriorating security situation in Ebonyi State, occasioned by the indiscriminate arming of known Cultists, and Agents of the Ebonyi State Government, the lawmakers said they are alarmed and concerned by the senseless killing of security personnel in the lawful discharge of their duties, which they said had been further compounded in Ebonyi.
“It is important to state here that Governor Nweze Umahi’s resort to arming thugs and Cultists across Ebonyi State is his response to the refusal of major political stakeholders in the State who rejected and refused to decamp with him from the PDP to the APC.
“For this reason, Governor Umahi has decided to procure and distribute arms and ammunition to thugs, cultists and some of his appointees under the guise of vigilante/Ebube-agu to intimidate and stifle the Peoples Democratic Party in Ebonyi State. It is for this reason that Ebonyi State has become the first and only state in the South East to inaugurate and arm the so-called Ebube-Agu.
“As law abiding citizens, we have written to the Inspector General of Police and heads of relevant Security Agencies on the deteriorating security situation in Ebonyi State. In those petitions, we have documented violent attacks, attempted murder and murder of Ebonyi citizens by agents of the State Government, in the most recent past”, the lawmakers said.
They also pointed out that the latest of these heinous crimes is the attempted murder of one Barrister Amos Ogbonnaya, a former coordinator of a Development centre in Ebonyi State.
“The said Barrister Amos on the 4‘ of May 2021 had appeared on an AIT live programme (JIGSAW) and spoke on the corruption and poor governance activities of the Ebonyi State Government. On the 13°” of May, 2021, Barrister Amos was kidnapped in his village, Okposi, by a gang led by the Personal Assistant to the Governor named Chinonso Obasi aka “CONSIDER” in broad day light, and operating in a State Government owned white Hilux vehicle. By sheer act of providence, Barr. Amos was not buried in a shallow grave which had already been dug, but remains incapacitated and at risk of losing both of his legs in a private hospital at Enugu.
“Only last week, Governor Umahi organised what he termed Town Hall Security meetings at the State capital Abakaliki. However, in those meetings, the Governor merely used the platform to issue threats and incite violence and public hatred against PDP members of the National Assembly and other perceived political opponents”, they said.
To this end, they said “(i) That the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi is misusing the Ebube Agu Security outfit to proliferate arms in Ebonyi State. The world needs to know that his target is not criminals but Political opponents.
“(ii) The Ebonyi State Government has distributed dozens of guns (Pump-action and AK-47 and ammunition across the state to individuals who are accountable to him. We have pictorial evidence of Development centre coordinators and his other staff clutching guns and other dangerous weapons. We also have audio evidence of the Governor’s younger brother, Mr Austine Umahi, addressing agents of the Ebonyi State Government on how to deploy their weapons on perceived political opponents.”