From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said the residents of the state are under siege because of the activities of the Ebubeagu security outfit.
Chairman of the party Chief Tochukwu Okorie, who stated this at a press conference shortly after stakeholders meeting in Abakaliki, decried the activities of the outfit, saying residents of the state were now suffocating in silence.
Okorie claimed that in the last year, more Ebonyians have died from Ebonyi State Government induced causes than the COVID-19 and its various mutations put together in the state.
He alleged that the APC led goverment of Ebonyi State has declared war on Ebonyi people using Ebubeagu in its quest to suppress the people in order to continue to mortgage their collective patrimony.
He condemned what he described as harassment and intimidation of PDP members in the state especially the recent declaration of the former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Linus Okorie, as a wanted person by the state government.
He further alleged that the APC-led goverment of Governor David Umahi was growing increasingly despotic and retrogressive and called on President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies and the National Assembly to quickly intervene and save the state from the anti-democratic tendencies of the state governor.
‘For more than one year now Ebonyi State, a hitherto free state, where people love one another irrespective of creed or belief, have become a stifling society, a killing field only comparable to North Korea.
‘The people of Ebonyi State have been under siege, a siege imposed by a government that all Ebonyians joined hands together to create. It is no longer news that the All Progressive Congress (APC) government of Governor David Umahi has declared war on the hapless people of Ebonyi State, specifically targeting anyone seen or perceived to have a different opinion from that of the governor or his cronies.
‘In the last one year, more Ebonyians have died from Ebonyi State government induced causes than the COVID-19 and its various mutations put together in the state – in effect, an Ebonyian is more likely to die in the hand of the government of Ebonyi State than any other cause.
‘The Ebubeagu security network, an illegal private militia created by Governor David Umahi has become an albatross for the people of Ebonyi State. Businesses in the Abakaliki metropolis have closed down as the Ebubeagu boys constantly and consistently unleash terror on innocent traders and business people.
‘The twin incidents in Akpoha community in Afikpo North and Akaeze in Ivo local government areas respectively where Ebubeagu militia unleashed Boko-Haram like violence on innocent, unarmed and hapless Ebonyi citizens are classic examples of the savage sadism that the Ebubeagu militia employs against hapless Ebonyi citizens.
‘Just yesterday the Ebonyi State government in its tradition of flagrant and despotic abuse of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) once again arrogated none existent powers to itself to declare a prominent Ebonyian and one of the leading lights of Ebonyi State and the PDP, Chief Linus Okorie wanted. This again is an eloquent pointer to the grave danger Ebonyians now face. The Nigerian constitution and the various criminal justice statutes clearly outline the procedure for the declaration of any accused person wanted, and there is nowhere in the laws of Nigeria that the state government or its officers are given such powers.
‘This particular declaration as announced by Mr Uchenna Orji the state commissioner for information as has been widely noted by Ebonyians is an active Fatwa declaration on Linus Okorie. In effect, the Ebubeagu militia has just been unleashed on him, his associates, businesses as well as other members and supporters of PDP in Ebonyi State.
‘We, therefore, as Ndi Ebonyi, Opposition political party and concerned citizens of the state who believe in constitutional democracy and the rule of law call on President Mohammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and Security agencies to immediately step in and avert the collapse of Nigeria’s democracy by the action of one man whose inordinate quest for power is capable of sinking the ship of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria,’ Okorie stated.