A text of Press Conference addressed by the Ebonyi State PDP Chairman on Wednesday, 26th January 2022.
Gentlemen of the press, I am saddened addressing you today as an Ebonyi man, I am saddened as a Nigerian, I am saddened as a democrat, but I am consoled because power is transient and we all have recognized our civic duty to continue the struggle to entrench democracy and democratic ideals in our country, and especially in our dear state Ebonyi.
For more than one year now Ebonyi State, a hitherto free state, where people love one another irrespective of creed or belief, have become a stifling society, a killing field only comparable to North Korea.
The people of Ebonyi State have been under siege, a siege imposed by a government that all Ebonyians joined hands together to create. It is no longer news that the All Progressive Congress (APC) government of Governor David Umahi has declared war on the hapless people of Ebonyi State, specifically targeting anyone seen or perceived to have a different opinion from that of the governor or his cronies.
In the last one year, more Ebonyians have died from Ebonyi State government induced causes than the COVID-19 and its various mutations put together in the state- in effect, an Ebonyian is more likely to die in the hand of the government of Ebonyi State than any other cause.
The Ebubeagu security network, an illegal private militia created by Governor David Umahi has become an albatross for the people of Ebonyi State. Businesses in Abakaliki metropolis have closed down as the Ebubeagu boys constantly and consistently unleash terror on innocent traders and business people.
It is now common place to see Ebubeagu checkpoints on every nook and cranny of Ebonyi State where the only thing they do is to harass and extort money from Keke operators and okada riders, woe betide anyone that refuses to “settle” them as such person may not be alive to tell the story.
The twin incidents in Akpoha community in Afikpo North and Akaeze in Ivo local government areas respectively where Ebubeagu militia unleashed Boko-Haram like violence on innocent, unarmed and hapless Ebonyi citizens are classic examples of the savage sadism that the Ebubeagu militia employs against hapless Ebonyi citizens.
Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its members have remained the prime targets of the Ebubeagu militia. It is no longer news that Ebonyi State government, in Gestapo style unleashed violence on innocent travelers along Abakaliki-Enugu Expressway on Sunday….2022 and subsequently brutally abducted the State Publicity Secretary of our party, Comrade Nwoba Chika Nwoba, popularly called NCN. Comrade Nwoba was tortured and eventually blinded in one eye, and as if that was not enough, the government colluded with the Nigeria Police, Ebonyi State Command to drag Comrade Nwoba who was at the point of death to a kangaroo court in Abakaliki even when Comrade Nwoba was unable to stand or sit. Comrade Nwoba’s whereabouts remains unknown till date.
Just yesterday the Ebonyi State government in its tradition of flagrant and despotic abuse of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) once again arrogated none existent powers to itself to declare a prominent Ebonyian and one of the leading lights of Ebonyi State and the PDP, Hon. Linus Okorie wanted.
This again is an eloquent pointer to the grave danger Ebonyians now face.
The Nigeria constitution and the various criminal justice statutes clearly outlines the procedure for declaration of any accused person wanted, and there is nowhere in the laws of Nigeria that state government or its officers are given such powers.
This particular declaration as announced by Mr. Uchenna Orji the state commissioner for information as has been widely noted by Ebonyians is an active Fatwa declaration on Hon. Linus Okorie. In effect, the Ebubeagu militia has just been unleashed on him, his associates, businesses as well as other members and supporters of PDP in Ebonyi State.
We, therefore, as Ndi Ebonyi, Opposition political party and concerned citizens of the state who believe in constitutional democracy and the rule of law call on President Mohammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and Security agencies to immediately step in and avert the collapse of Nigeria’s democracy by the action of one man whose inordinate quest for power is capable of sinking the ship of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria.
The illegal, obfuscatious and unconstitutional Ebubeagu and “Ebonyi Cybercrime law” which the government of Ebonyi State has deployed against law abiding citizens and residents of Ebonyi State be thrown away immediately and Governor Umahi called to order.
The PDP despite the retrogressive, manipulative, despotic and barbaric violent stance of Governor David Umahi’s government, is now more than ever determined, focused and ready in the existential struggle to rescue Ebonyi State from the claws of a greedy, power-drunk and despotic maniac.
It is appalling that despite the fact that all southern states in Nigeria have established security outfits to assist the traditional security agencies to respond to emerging security issues in the region, it is only in Ebonyi State that the state’s security outfit has rather turned its guns on the people it is actually meant to protect.
We are not tired, we are not deterred , Ebonyi rescue is a collective duty.
Hon. Tochukwu Okorie
Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party