Police have waded into the reported illegal arrest, abduction, brutalization and humiliation of some Social Democratic Party(SDP) members by hired thugs of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) at Nnobi, Idemili South council and Abatete, Idemili North council areas for displaying posters of their party candidates side by side those of Ifeanyi Ibezi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA).
The ugly scenarios was coming barely three weeks after a House of Representatives candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) and chieftain of the party in Anambra state attacked and abducted a journalist from his Enugu home, a similar ugly incident has been recorded in Idemili North Council of the state.
Narrating the ugly experience, an SDP chieftain Mr Cheta Okafor in a media briefing at Awka, noted that a team of six (6) Social Democratic Party(SDP) members who were pasting posters at Nnobi late evening on Dec 28,2018 at about 10pm that were accosted by thugs numbering 25 who arrived the scene in a convoy of vehicles.
Wielding all manner of dangerous weapons and in a commando fashion seized and brutalized the rattled SDP members who were too surprised to understand what was happening.
Thinking it was armed robbers attack, ran into the bush, while three were abducted, brutalized, injured and commandeered the SDP branded vehicle, bundles of posters and other personal and party items.
According to one of the victims, Mr Paul Onwughalu, they were mercilessly beaten up and ordered into the van or ‘we set it ablaze’.
“We were taken to the home of Chief Ifeanyi Ibezi, the APGA candidate for the Idemili Federal constituency, who ordered another round of beating and flogging with water hoses.
“He actually blamed the thugs for not setting us ablaze with our party vehicle.
“But said he will teach us and our leaders whose posters were use to challenge him- Tony Chukwuelue, SDP senatorial candidate and Uche Annie-Okonkwo (the SDP candidate for Idemili Federal Constituency).
“That he want the message to be clear that they should never challenge his political aspiration again…”, Mr Onwughalu stated.
He said they have been to hospital for treatment and general assessment from the trauma and brutality.
Another victims, Mr Friday Itam said the hoodlums came in 7 vehicles and blocked them. They seized, beat and kicked us around on the ground.
They humiliated us, pouring dirty water on us and forced us under gunpoint to roll in it while they flogged us mercilessly.
When contacted, the state police command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Haruna Mohammed confirmed that the matter was already under investigation. He appealed for peace, urging every stakeholder to remain law abiding.
Ibezi reacted through the state Publicity Secretary of APGA, Chief Chinedu Nkwonta described Chief Ibezi as a refined democrat who cannot be associated with anything untoward.
“The event is unheard of about our candidate. We will conduct deep investigation, because APGA is not known for violence.
“In fact we have consistently appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to set up mechanisms to discourage election violence in our polity.
Chief Godson Igwe, a member of the All Progressives Congress in the state called on Governor Willie Obiano to call his party men to order as they appear to believe erroneously that it’s only APGA that should exist in Anambra, or the person would be visited with violence.
Chief Chukwuelue in his reaction disclosed he would explore the courts to seek redress. That his men who had been conscientiously working for the party could not be so maligned.
Uche Annie-Okonkwo described the event as “unacceptable for any candidate to kidnap, abduct or brutalize persons who profess contrary political beliefs.
“It must be condemned by all and has to stopped,” he said.
He saw the incident as “morbid fear of SDP as a big embarrassment and let down to the political aspiration of the alleged sponsors and the state governor.
“And if anyone who is approaching the people for their votes can do this, what will be their attitude when such gets to the National Assembly,” he noted.
A journalist – Mr Chigozie was few weeks ago abducted by four heavily armed policemen and some other thugs who allegedly drove from Aguleri, the countryhome of the APGA chieftain to Enugu where they stormed the home of the journalist and abducted and took him to the boss.
On delivery of the poor journalist, the political godfather then ordered mindless beating that lasted days before he panicked the hapless man could die and moved him to a nearby police station.