Members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Thursday, threatened to drag chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State to court over alleged defamation of character.
The party’s threat is sequel to media reports emanating from a press briefing by the Enugu State chairman of the APC, Barr. Ben Nwoye, where the party accused the Enugu State commissioner for transport, Hon. Vitus Okechi and the Igbo-Eze South Vice-Chairman elect, Hon. Sunday Ajogwu of kidnapping the 2015 APC guber candidate, Barr. Okey Ezea.
The APC had alleged that the two PDP members led over 50 armed thugs who kidnapped Ezea after inflicting serious injuries on him during the November 4 local government election in Enugu State.
However, at a joint press briefing by the Igbo-Eze South PDP stakeholders, they described the said attack on Ezea as “attention-seeking, stressing that the bandages on his body were also “fake and meant to curry favour and attention from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC federal government.”
The lawmaker representing Igbo-Eze South in the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Mathew Erochukwu Ugwueze spoke on behalf of others at the media parley, which had in attendance the immediate past chairman of the PDP in Enugu State, and Chairman, Enugu State Universal Primary Education Board, ENSUBEB, Hon. Ikeje Asogwa, the Senior Special Assistant (Intergovernmental and Electoral Process), to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Mr Vincent Egechukwu Obetta, the chairman elect of Igbo-Eze South LG and his Vice, among others.
They described the allegations against the PDP members as “contrived, kindergarten and spurious, ostensibly sponsored by All Progressives Congress, the APC and their former governorship candidate, Mr. Okey Ezea.”
According to the PDP stakeholders, “the allegation of torture and kidnapping of Mr. OkeyEzea is likened to the proverbial ‘kettle calling a pot black’. As PDP stakeholders in Igbo-Eze South local government, our experience in the hands of Mr. OkeyEzea is better imagined; we shall relay some of the mafia brutality of a man obsessed with Machiavellian style of power grab in the subsequent paragraph.
“In the said Media Briefing, the Honourable Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Vitus Okechi and Hon. Sunday EmekaAjogwu, the Vice-Chairmanship-elect of Igbo-Eze South Local Government was mischievously linked with Mr. Ezeas’ unfortunate and self-inflicted injury of 4th November, 2017.
“We, stakeholders, majority of whom were within the ENSIEC secretariat in Igbo-Eze South on the fateful day vehemently refute this allegation and hence describe it as another hoax from a pro-propaganda party, APC. Neither Hon. Okechi and Hon. Ajogwu nor any member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party or her faithful’s were involved in any attack on Mr. Ezea before, during and after the election.
“There was no need for any scuffle with Mr. Ezea especially against the backdrop that, as ‘PDP associate’, he, along with other PDP stakeholders in the area nominated the current Chairman- elect of Igbo-Eze South and the PDP Councillorship-elect of his ItchiUwani ward 1, respectively.
“But as bad losers, the APC have not rested on their oars in their quest to contrive a controversy that will dent the image of the ruling PDP in the State.
“However, it must be stated that the November 4, 2017 local government elections commenced in earnest and peacefully until Mr. OkeyEzea invaded the ENSIEC office with four buses loaded with over 50 able-bodied youths/thugs who were chanting war songs. They first attacked the bus conveying election materials to Echara-Ishiegu ward, vandalized the vehicle and carted away election materials. Mr. Ezea personally beat up and wounded three PDP loyalties.
“Thereafter, he left for ItchiUwani Ward I, (his ward of origin) where he personally attacked one Mrs. Victoria Ukwueze the ENSIEC, Supervising Presiding Officer, SPO, for distributing election material in his absence. Mrs. Ukwueze is currently in a hospital in Abuja where she is been treated for various degrees of injuries arising from Chief Ezea’s attack on her.”
They further alleged that “the November 4, 2017 attack on PDP members by Mr. Ezea is not an isolated case as the people of Igbo-Eze South have suffered under the siege of his ‘thuggery’. A few relay of his ‘Machiavellian’ antecedents may suffice here:
“In 2008, during a local government election exercise in Igbo-Eze South, Mr. OkeyEzea sponsored his thugs, to cut off the left ear of late Master ChijiokeOnoja who until his death lived with only one ear. In the same elections, Mr. Ezea at the Igbo-Eze south Police Station brutally attacked a PDP Cheftain, Chief Dominic Ezema for decamping from Labour Party to the PDP. Chief Ezema survived by the whisker.
“In 2011, one Mr. Ambrose Ugwuoke (Appear) a youth leader in PDP was kidnapped, tied to a stake, tortured and left to die in the bush by Chief OkeyEzea and his roguish thugs.
Sometime in 2012, Chief Ezea personally led his thugs to the residence of Chief Barnabas OkechukwuAgbaji at Unadu, Chief Agbaji was beating to a pulp and his home vandalized for decamping from Labour Party to the PDP.
“In 2008, Mr. Harrison Ogara, the Editor of Starlite Newspaper, who used to be Mr. Ezea’s political ally, was attacked by Mr. Ezea’s thugs during a local government election in 2008. In the ensuing rage Mr. Ogara nearly lost his left eye. His offence was that he decided to join the PDP in the election. Members of the press kindly find attached a copy of the story as reported in the vanguard of December 1, 2009.
“During the 2011 general elections, Mr. Ezea came with thugs armed to the teeth to burn down INEC office at Ibagwa-aka in Igbo-Eze South LGA. In the ensuing battle, he caused his thugs to arrest Hon. Okey Eze, a former transition Chairman of Igbo-Eze and one Hon. PaulinusAgbo, the incumbent Transition Chairman. But for the prompt intervention of security personnel, his thugs would have burnt down the INEC office.
“During the 2015 general elections, Mr. Ezea caused his thugs to attack one Mrs. Esther Aleke, a PDP supporter who nearly lost her right eye to the gruesome attack.
Members of the press some of these victims are here in this Conference hall to testify to these facts.
“And so, the latest violent attack on Mrs. Victoria Ukwueze, Regina Ugwuja Esther Aleke and Chief Christopher Omada all of ItchiUwani I & II ward was not an isolated case, but we must let the world know our plight in the hands of a man whose ambition to acquire power is by hook or crook.
“Mr. Okey Ezea for over a decade has orchestrated violent attack against the people he seeks to govern. He is known to be serially violent and rash, even within his party. It is against this backdrop that we urge the APC leadership in Enugu State to design a better strategy than employing kindergarten style of propaganda to tarnish the image of the PDP in Enugu State.
“The party should be grateful to the Igbo-Eze South PDP leadership for saving Mr. Ezea from the fangs of angry youth who could not stand his cowardly serial act of violence and cruelty against a helpless innocent women.
“We also categorically state that Chief Ben Nwoye’s cry on behalf of Mr. Ezea is an afterthought considering the fact that over two weeks since the alleged incidence no formal report was lodged anywhere.
“We, the members of Igbo-Eze South PDP stakeholders, hereby reiterate our resolve to have recourse to a court of law if Mr. Ezea and his cohorts do not desist from the unwarranted act of defamation of character against any of our members.”
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