19 February 2019

Nigeria: Over 30 Houses, Property Destroyed in Ebonyi

Over 30 houses have been destroyed in pre-election related violence in some communities in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

The two major political parties in the state, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progressives Congress, APC, have continued to trade blames over the political violence in the state.

This is even as Commissioner of Police in the state, Awosola Awotunde, yesterday, in Abakaliki, appealed for calm over the attacks allegedly carried out by suspected thugs in some communities.

Awotunde, who spoke to journalists after his assessment visit to areas affected by the violence, vowed that police authorities would ensure that perpetrators of the dastardly acts were arrested and brought to book.

Condemning the attacks and destruction of over 30 houses and property worth millions of naira in communities in Izzi Local Government Area, the police commissioner described the incident as barbaric and man's inhumanity to man.

He said: "We appeal for calm and assure the public that police will spare no efforts in ensuring that everyone who is involved in the dastardly act is brought to book including their sponsors.

"The police further reassures the public of commitment to protection of lives and property of every citizen of the state before, during and after the elections," Awotunde said.

Narrating his ordeal, a victim of the attack, Mr Donatus Nwofe, who spoke to journalists at Aguabata in Agbaja community of Izzi said that he lost two of his buildings and property worthy several millions to the attackers.

Nwofe, who is Chairman of Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, Ebonyi council, said the suspected political thugs invaded his compound and shot sporadically before setting the houses ablaze.

He said: "I lost everything; even the boxers I am wearing was donated to me by a sympathizer, as you can see, no pin was removed from the burnt houses. 'We now live in fear as no one knows when the hoodlums will attack again with their AK 47 rifles and other weapons.

"I am appealing to police to beef up security in the community and I am also calling on state and Federal governments to come to the rescue of the victims of the attacks," Nwofe said.

PDP, APC trade words over violence

Meanwhile, the leadership of the two major political parties in the state, APC and PDP. yesterday, traded words concerning the masterminds of the dastardly acts.

APC chairman in the state, Eze Nwachukwu, said his members bore the brunt of the attacks, describing the attacks as unprovoked war and urged police and other security agencies to intensify security surveillance in the state.

The party warned that it would no longer tolerate any attack on its members and urged police to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the violent attacks.

Nwachukwu chronicled the alleged gruesome attacks to include attack on the senatorial candidate of the party in Ebonyi South Senatorial District, Mr Nweze Onu, attacks on APC members, destruction of their houses and property in Izzi local government area.

Reacting to the development, the state Chairman of the PDP, Onyekachi Nwebonyi, denied the allegation that members of his political party were involved in causing violence in the state.

He said: "It is not true, they are the ones attacking our members. I had briefed you on the killing of two persons on Sunday who were attacked by political thugs while six others were injured.

"PDP has been very peaceful, despite the provocations. The governor, who is a man of peace, has continued to calm the party faithful down, urging them not to retaliate, despite the provocations."

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Others include attacks and disruption of APC local government rallies by suspected political thugs at Ebonyi, Onitcha, Ohaozara local government areas and destruction of APC campaign office in Ohaozara.

He also listed alleged attacks on the home of APC Zonal Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Ogba, at Ezzama, Ezza South on February 16 and attack on members of the party at Ekoli-Edda among others.

"All these incidents have been duly reported to the Police in the state and we call on the police to ensure that perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.

"We also call on all our members and supporters to remain resolute, refuse intimidation as we assure victims of the party's resolve to bring justice," Nwachukwu said.

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