The caretaker chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ebonyi State chapter, Chief Fred Udeogu, on Monday accused the police and soldiers of connivance with the sacked former chairman of the party, Onyekachi Nwaebonyi to inflict injuries on their members while trying to access party secretariat located along Enugu/Abakaliki expressway.
The members of Udeogu’s led PDP in the State had gone to take over the Secretariat following a court judgement that restrained Barr Onyekachi Nwebonyi’s-led factional state executive from parading themselves as the officials of the Party.
But on getting into the premises of the party’s secretariat, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and a team of soldiers came and dispersed them.
Members of Akubaraoha Youth Assembly, a youth group loyal to Governor David Umahi and headed by the Governor’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Internal Security, Mr Mark Onu, were alleged to be there in their large numbers to assist the security agents in dispersing the members of Udeogu-led PDP from the Secretariat.
The development resulted in a fracas that led to sporadic shootings by the police operatives and the arrest of some persons.
Reacting to the development, Udeogu accused the police of working with agents of Ebonyi State government to frustrate them from gaining access to their Secretariat.
Udeogu-led PDP had in a statement signed and forwarded to DAILY POST alleged that the police were being used to play out a script that promotes disorder and fuels the crisis in Ebonyi State.
“Today, we are deeply saddened to report that the lives of Ebonyi people are no longer valuable to those mandated to protect them.
“Upon a valid Court order which restrained Nwebonyi and his urchins from parading themselves as leaders or even members of the People’s Democratic Party, we duly notified the police of our intention to access our Secretariat today.
“Upon arrival, the police were obviously ordered to frustrate that effort and they swung into action. Firstly, the Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Operations asked that we go and obtained an “Enforcement Order” as if the case is one requiring further order (s) to give validity to the initial order – this is laughable!
“The Police came and began to arrest our members on a spurious claim that the already vandalised Secretariat is now being vandalised today (scripted cover up for Nwebonyi).
“It is very interesting how the police are now being used to play out a script that promotes disorder and fuels the crisis in Ebonyi State.
“If the Ebonyi Police Command is no longer the Nigerian Police, it will be good for us to be notified as we can no longer trust a public institution that is clearly working to create division, crisis and disorder through the overt act of subverting a valid court order and encouraging a renegade to cover his crimes.
“Now, we are only left with the option of pleading with the DSS to do the needful and restore Order in Ebonyi State as this little spark is not a healthy sign. It may appear innocuous, but only God knows how such a senseless attack ends. The lives of many people are at stake here.
“We are calling on the Police to immediately change their way and return to the path of honour by standing with the people – Governors come and go, but the people remain.
“Finally, we are calling on all our members to remain law abiding. Do not be lured by this clear call for provocation. We are a civilised party. Violence is not our modus operandi.
“It is now up to the Police to ensure law and order and also enforce a valid Court order. Anything other than that is double standard and a clear call for disorder.” He noted
In a swift reaction, Barr Onyekachi Nwebonyi accused Chief Fred Udeogu-led PDP of invading his office, and commended the security agents for ensuring that the Party’s Secretariat was not set ablaze.
Nwebonyi alleged that Udeogu’s group broke the key of the entrance gate of the Party’s Secretariat in a bid to burn down his office, save for the quick intervention of the security agents, even as he urged Udeogu to toe the path of peace as an elder and desist from causing crisis.