Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Barely two weeks after hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests set the Aba South Local Government headquarters popularly known as Aba Town Hall on fire, another council secretariat, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government headquarters has been set on fire by suspected political thugs.
The suspected political thugs whose camp may have been schemed out in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairmanship primaries for the December 18 Local Government election in the State may have been responsible for inferno which started in the early hours of yesterday.
It was gathered that the fire affected the political block housing the offices of the chairman and Deputy Chairman at the secretariat.
‘We resumed work and saw a part of the Local Government secretariat on fire. The fire may have been ignited at the early hours of the morning. It affected the political block at the secretariat.
‘We suspect that the fire may not be unconnected with the ongoing PDP primaries. Some persons were not happy over the nomination of candidates. Maybe, supporters of the aggrieved aspirants may have carried out this action,’ said a staff of the council who refused his name to be mentioned.
When Daily Sun visited the secretariat, security agents were seen guarding the area.
A politician from the area who gave his name simply as Nwogwugwu said this was the fourth time facilities in the council headquarters would be touched during elections.
Nwogwugwu said during previous elections, INEC office in the area had been burnt twice, while the chairman’s office was vandalized during another election.
Nwogwugwu who claimed to be a member of the PDP said all the problems that had erupted in the area during elections were as a result of impunity and imposition of candidates by the ruling party in the State.
However, the Abia State Government has reacted angrily to the development.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem, government condemned the act and directed law enforcement agents to investigate and arrest those behind the dastardly act.
The statement read in part, “Government also strongly condemns in its entirety such act of wanton destruction of public property and will leave no stone unturned in bringing those behind such act to book.
‘It is pertinent to state that Government does not wish to expend public fund in rebuilding the burnt facility so as to serve as a stark reminder to those behind the arson of their folly.
‘Let it be stated clearly that if the intention of the arsonists was to hinder or stop today’s (Thursday) PDP LGA Chairmanship primary, they have failed abysmally as the primary will go ahead as scheduled. Government will not give in to the antics of destructive elements.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, Government wishes to State that no other development will be carried out in the affected LGA until the structure is restored.’