From Fred Itua, Abuja
Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi and National Assembly members from the state elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have renewed their exchange of words.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, senators and members of the House of Representatives from the state alleged Umahi was arming militia groups in the state and threatening to unleash terror on them.
Chairman of the caucus and former governor of the state, Sam Egwu, who briefed on behalf of the lawmakers said Nigerians should hold Umahi responsible if any of them is attacked.
But Francis Nwaze, media aide to Ebonyi Governor dismissed the claim as false.
“The governor is too busy to listen to gossips from people who are idle and want to distract him. The governor is busy delivering dividends of democracy to the people. He won’t have time for this. Their claims are false and what they’re alleging is not true,” he said.
Egwu, however, alleged the governor was arming some persons to attack his political opponents.
“We are alarmed and concerned by the senseless killing of security personnel in the lawful discharge of their duties. This situation has been further compounded in Ebonyi State by the 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.
“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. Today, Ebonyi State 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.
“It is important to state here that Governor Umahi’s resort to arming thugs and cultists across Ebonyi is his response to the refusal of major political stakeholders in the state who rejected and refused to decamp with him from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC. For this reason, Umahi has decided to procure and distribute arms and ammunition to thugs, cultists and some of his appointees under the guise of vigilante/Ebubeagu to intimidate and stifle the PDP 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 Ebubeagu.
“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.”
They accused Umahi of misusing Ebubeagu security outfit to proliferate arms in the State. “The world needs to know that his target is not criminals but Political opponents,” he said.