IMO STATE PDP ALLEGES GRAND PLOT BY THE APC TO DISRUPT 2023 ELECTION IN THE STATE
The Imo State Chapter of the People’s Democratic party has expressed fear of planned attacks on the State to discourage indigenes from voting in 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The information was contained in a press release obtained after Imo PDP World Press Conference on Friday 17th of February, 2023, captioned “Threats to the 2023 General Elections In Imo State, Sponsored Armed Attacks On PDP Candidates and Members, and Abuse of State Power by the APC-led Regime In Imo State”, signed by the Imo PDP Publicity Secretary, Collins Opuruzor, and made available to the media.
The statements read , “Good morning, Gentlemen of the Press. Welcome to the Secretariat of the PDP in Imo State, and thank you for your prompt response to our invitation.
The People’s Democratic Party in Imo State has been upfront with you as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm about the threats and challenges which bedevil our democracy in Imo State. Today’s briefing is in furtherance to our abiding commitment to strengthening democracy and ensuring that this reign of iron-fist tyranny in Imo State is not allowed to consume the State.
In the past three years, Imo State has been under the rulership of an APC regime which emergence till date remains a mystery to the people. Through a judicial coup, a man who came fourth in the 2019 governorship election became the Governor of the State. And since this travesty occured, there has been a sustained effort by the unelected and anti-people regime to dismantle all democratic institutions in the State.
Just recently, Imo people woke up to hear that the State House of Assembly had been railroaded by the Executive into voting against the autonomy of the local government system, the judiciary and even the legislature! This brings home the reality of a conscripted political space in Imo, where the innermost intentions of the Governor is to erect an empire for himself and convert free citizens of the State to his conquered vassals and serfs. Imo State today occupies the top positions in all the indices of social misery in Nigeria.
To achieve this, political dissent has now been criminalized. Rule of law has been stifled, and Imo people today live in the throes of dictatorship, horror and pervading atmosphere of the unknown.
As the 2023 elections draw closer, the harrowing situation in Imo State has only become worse.
Candidates, vocal members and prominent leaders of our Party have been targeted and attacked in the most gruesome ways.
In the last one week, the Chairman of our Party in Ogbaku Ward in Mbaitoli LGA has been shot by gunmen who laid ambush around his residence and opened fire at him upon his return in the evening. A Judge has been dragged out of the courtroom and slaughtered like a goat. Another court building has been razed. The member representing Orlu State Constituency in the House of Assembly, who also is the Candidate of our Party for that Constituency, has had his house burnt down. All these happened just in the past one week.
Gentlemen of the Press, for the third time in less than two months, there was another armed attack on February 7th, 2023, at the residence of our candidate for Ideato Federal Constituency, Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere.
Recall that on December 23, 2022, the convoy of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere was attacked in Ideato as he returned home from Abuja, and he narrowly escaped death. When this happened, we took appropriate steps to ensure that justice was done. We wrote the security agencies. But to our shock, no arrest has been effected till date. We are not even certain if the authorities ever open an investigation into that matter.
On January 14, 2023, Ikenga’s residence in Umukegwu-Akokwa witnessed a bloody attack that left three persons, including his uncle, dead, about thirty-two vehicles burnt to ashes and buildings levelled to the ground with explosive devices. In the aftermath of that, we wrote the security agencies again, took a protest to the Commissioner of Police in the State and called off all political activities to draw attention to the infamy and get the authorities to act. But till this day, we are not aware if that attack, in which innocent Imo citizens were murdered, was ever investigated. And no arrest has been made. Not even a single statement has been issued by any of the security agencies in the State about that attack.
Yet again, on February 7, 2023, the terrorists who, according to eyewitnesses, rode in a convoy of vehicles that included an armoured personnel carrier, returned to the very same residence of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere with even more audacity, all in the desperation to kill our Candidate.
It becomes unacceptable and reprehensible that till this moment, no security agency in Imo State has reacted to these attacks.
All of these have enriched our suspicion that the attacks on Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere are masterminded by agents of the APC regime in Imo State. The falsehoods, incoherent tales and contradictory stories being peddled by Senator Hope Uzodinma and agents of his decadent regime only strengthen our conviction.
Gentlemen of the Press, let us now play for you the CCTV footage of the last attack at the Akokwa residence of our candidate, so that you could come to terms with our position that when the witch cries at night and the baby dies in the morning, it is unnecessary to ask who killed the baby.
About seven days ago, a lady conveying campaign materials of our candidate, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, was intercepted at the airport and arrested along with the airport taxi driver on accusation of being in possession of INEC materials. They are still in the dungeon of the Imo State Police Command. It is important we display the campaign materials in question, so that Nigerians can see the level which the APC-led regime in Imo State has descended in its fight against our candidate.
DISPLAY THEM! ALSO SHOW OTHER CANDIDATES IN IMO WHO HAVE SIMILAR CAMPAIGN MATERIALS!
What Nigerians must know is that these wicked attempts to eliminate Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere by all means began immediately after he exposed the widespread and mind-boggling compromise of the INEC voter register. This is what is now known as the Omuma Magic. An appointee of Senator Hope Uzodinma, particularly one Chinasa Nwaneri, had telephoned Ikenga and threatened to deal with him whenever he would be sighted in Imo State. Since then, Ikenga Ugochinyere has come under attacks which have gulped human lives and consumed assets valued in billions of Naira.
For us as Imo PDP, it is deeply worrisome that despite our demand for the arrest and prosecution of Chinasa Nwaneri, who earlier betrayed the intention of the APC-led regime of Senator Hope Uzodinma to attack Ikenga through telephone threats, the Federal Government and security agencies have never budged.
More worrisome is the fact that despite our calls for the disbandment of Ebubeagu security outfit, which has been implicated in most of the attacks in the State, nothing has been done by the Federal Government and security agencies.
It is now clear that PDP members and candidates are generally endangered in Imo State, and the current security leadership in the State cannot provide a neural and fair atmosphere for a democratic electoral contest to take place. Already, our party has intercepted intelligence about a plot to whisk away most prominent leaders, members and candidates of the party ahead of the elections.
In view of that, we demand the immediate redeployment of all heads of security agencies in Imo State.
Further, the Federal Government should establish an independent panel of inquiry to unravel the Imo killings and unearth the real identities of those behind the so-called Unknown Gunmen in the State.
Imo State has now become like the Hobbesian pre-political state, in which life is nasty, solitary, brutish, poor and short. Our Party is greatly pained by this situation.
Therefore, we call on the Chief of Army Staff, Inspector General of Police and Director General of the State Security Service to intervene without further delay. The sponsors and perpetrators of the attacks on Ikenga Ugochinyere must be arrested and brought to book with the urgency of now!
President Mohammadu Buhari should realize that his promise of free and elections to Nigerians has become a mirage in Imo State in view of the existence of state-backed militia groups and state-sanctioned attacks on opposition figures.
Finally, we urge Ideato people, PDP members and overwhelming supporters of Ikenga Ugochinyere to stand strong and never allow forces of darkness prevail over their land. They should never yield to the threats and intimidation of the enemy. They should mobilize and come out en masse on February 25th to vote Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, so as to give Ideato Federal Constituency the quality and enviable political representation it deserves.”