All Ebonyians in Diaspora acknowledge, with utter dismay, the attack of Prof. Benard Ifeanyi Odoh, APGA governorship candidate in Ebonyi State during one of his campaign consultations, allegedly by operatives of Ebubeagu Security Network, at Iboko in Izzi LGA of the state on 20th October, 2022.
This alleged gun attack on Prof. Odoh came on the heels of the reported abduction of a former federal legislator and Ebonyi South senatorial candidate of Labour Party, Hon. Linus Okorie; as well as statewide ban on public gatherings and reported online threats against opposition party campaigns even at a time when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has lifted ban on electoral campaigns. We adjure that this is worrisome, and demands the wading in of all, and sundry.
We also note that the APGA campaign attack was allegedly led by Izzi Development Center coordinator, Paschal Obiya, who had on assumption of office announced through his social media handles that opposition (Non-APC) political parties in Ebonyi State, are no longer allowed to campaign anywhere under his coordinatorship, either in form of posters, billboards or meeting. As Ebonyians in different parts of the world where true democracy is practiced, we view this as a deliberate attempt to stifle our democracy. More instinctively, it is a calculated attempt to stifle the opposition, circumvent democratic rights of the people, heat up the polity and frustrate peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections in Ebonyi State.
As such we condemn, in its reprimandable entirety, such acts from Ebonyi State government officials maintaining that such divisive tendencies should not be allowed to incubate, as they would blossom into an untold conflagration that we might not be able to control.
We equally charge those viewing the attack on Prof. Odoh and his team from clannish perspectives to desist henceforth. As brothers in the same family of Ebonyi, we emphasize that no tribe or clan is superior to the other in Ebonyi State. Hence, we must work in unity and love. We commiserate with our brethren in Iboko Izzi that sustained varying degrees of injuries, or lost their properties to the attack. More so, we commend all Ebonyians for their equanimity, even as we view these unwarranted provocations as part of efforts of a failed few to derail our march towards prosperity.
Furthermore, we insist that every Ebonyi son or daughter has the legitimate right to campaign in any part of the state without any intimidation, or fear. More importantly, as we head into the general elections, we are keenly watching every happenstance in our dear state to ensure that all contending factions of the polity are given due freedom to operate. On this ground, we state unequivocally that only Ebonyians and God can determine who leads Ebonyi from May 29, 2023. Imposition of candidate(s), or use of state apparatus to hound perceived oppositions are by this missive, discouraged and derided.
We kindly request that Ebonyi state government, led by Gov. Engr. Dave Umahi, would do all that is legally required within the ambits of our laws to ensure that Hon. Linus Okorie, previously mentioned, gets a fair trial, or acquitted as legally required. This should be done urgently as justice delayed is justice denied.
Considering the unequivocal retinue of complaints that have greeted the activities of Nigerian Police and EbubeAgu in Ebonyi State, we solicit that the Inspector-general of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, and the Ebonyi State governor, Engr. Dave Umahi swiftly review the actions and constitutions of both outfits with the aim of ensuring a more people-centered security even as we approach the elections.
Finally, Ebonyians in Diaspora, hereby, charge security agencies in Ebonyi State and Ebonyi State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Engr. David Umahi, to brace up to their responsibilities of securing the lives, properties and democratic rights of all Ebonyi people; and to ensure a hitch-free 2023 general elections where Ebonyi people are allowed to freely choose the leaders they want from the impressive array of Ebonyians offering themselves for service to Ebonyi people in various leadership capacities via the 2023 general elections.
Daniel D. Nwibo (PhD, MSc, MBA) (UK)
Global Coordinator & President, All Ebonyians in Diaspora
Dr. Martin Itumo (UK)
President, Ebonyians in Diaspora Consultative Assembly
Joshua Ekoyo (Canada)
Leader, Ebonyians in Canada, & the United States
Engr. Tony C. Amadi (UK)
Coordinator, Ebonyians in United Kingdom, UK
Mirabel Nwibo (Japan)
Coordinator, Ebonyians in Japan Assembly (EIJA)