A prominent chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State, Dr. Paul Okorie, was on Tuesday brutalized by suspected political thugs at Ugwulangwu area of Ohaozara Local Government Area of the State.
It was gathered that the thugs also attacked one, Mr. Nnachi Okoro, Ohaozara, APC Chairman and John Ogbonnaya, another member of the party.
The trio were attacked by thugs allegedly loyal to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, numbering over 50 and led by three Ebonyi government officials from the local government area.
Okorie who was the governorship aspirant in 2015 general election, while narrating his ordeal said the attackers invaded the venue where stakeholders of APC were holding a meeting preparatory for the visit of the APC State Working Committee (SWC), slated for Friday, Feb 9.
Okorie, a former Commissioner for Works and Environment in Ebonyi and other victims are currently receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA).
He described the unprovoked attack as callous, wicked and barbaric.
According to him: “We scheduled a meeting of a section of Ohaozara Local Government Area of APC for the
three wards in Ugwulangwu, preparatory for the visit of the SWC of our party for the Continuous Voter Registration sensitization.
“The meeting commenced peacefully at about 5p.m. yesterday (Monday, Feb 5), the meeting was going on smoothly when midway, some hoodlums, came in and disrupted the meeting.
“So, at a point they went back; we thought they had gone and continued with our meeting when suddenly
they came in with over 30 boys in three branded buses, all heavily armed with different types of dangerous weapons.
“They shot sporadically and we were thoroughly clubbed and beating as you can see the cuts and bruises all over our body.
“They escaped in their vehicles, and also took our mobile phones, money and other valuables.”
The APC chieftain urged the electorate to be on guard and assured that no threat or intimidation would make the party to back down on its resolve to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He urged the Police, Army and other security agencies to provide adequate security for every citizen of the state.
He called for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
When contacted, the Ebonyi state Police spokesman, Mrs. Lovett Odah, said no formal report on the alleged incident had been received by the Command Headquarters.
She said the Police would react appropriately only when the matter had been officially reported and preliminary investigations made.
She, however, said she would liaise with appropriate authorities to ensure that the Divisional Police Officer for Ohaozara Local Government Area, visited the scene of the crime.
“The Police are yet to receive any report on the alleged attack
either at the Command or in the Division.
“However, we shall detail the DPO in Ohaozara after due consultations to visit the scene of the crime to commence investigation,” Odah said.
She restated resolve of the Police to effectively provide protection and adequate security to every citizen of the state.
She urged the public to always report promptly to the police any breach of law and
order in their areas or threats to their lives.
Meanwhile, the state Chairman of APC, Mr. Eze Nwachukwu, has condemned the attack and vowed that the party would explore every legal avenue to bring the perpetrators to justice.
He further reassured of the party’s commitment to peaceful and violence free elections in 2019, and urged politicians not to make the election a do-or-die affair.
He said the party has lodged a formal report at the Police Command in
“We got the news of the barbaric and brutal attack on our party members while in a peaceful meeting at Ugwulangwu yesterday, and we have taken the necessary action including lodging a formal report at state Police Command.
“The attack is condemnable and we promise the perpetrators that APC will explore every available legal means to bring them to justice.
“We are law abiding and wish to reassure the electorate and Ebonyi residents that APC is committed to peaceful and violence free elections in Ebonyi in 2019″, he said.
In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Onyekachi Nwebonyi denied the involvement of his party members in the attack.
“I am just hearing about it now from you, nobody from my party attacked them, they should go and find the people who attacked them”, he said.