Thursday’s armed attack on the campaign team of the Abia governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Alex Otti, by armed thugs, allegedly on the orders of the Peoples Democratic Party-led government, was the third since February 25, when the political parties and their candidates for the upcoming general elections were made by the Abia police command to sign a peace accord to be of good conduct and to shun acts that could engender violence before, during and after the elections.
The first attack took place barely 48 hours after the signing of the peace pact in Umuahia. It was targeted at women who accompanied Otti to the burial of the late Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Aba, Most Rev. Valentine Ezeonyia, in Aba.
The women, numbering 11, were driving in an APGA branded bus, dressed in uniforms embossed with Otti’s picture, when they were attacked and wounded by the PDP thugs.
A similar attack also occurred on Monday, March 9 at Oboro in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia state, when Otti with his campaign team visited the area for town hall meetings with some communities. The meetings were truncated after the one in the first venue.
The last attack took place at Ntigha Junction on the Umuahia end of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway and again, the PDP thugs were in the offensive.
They had ambushed Otti’s motorcade at the junction en route to Mbawsi in Isialangwa North Local Government Area of the state.
Earlier in the day, the thugs had gone to Mbawsi town hall, venue of the meeting, chased away the people dressing up the place and locked up the hall with their own padlocks. They also proceeded to Ntigha, where a second meeting was scheduled to take place, pulled down the canopies and vandalised the public address system mounted on a vehicle that moved round, playing Otti’s jingles.
Determined to foment trouble, they converged on the Mbawsi Road and laid in wait for Otti’s motorcade. As soon as the team arrived at the Ntigha Junction, the thugs, led by the Transition Committee Chairman of the LGA, Chief Ginger Onwusibe, opened attack on the team, throwing stones and sticks on them.
The motorcade pulled by the side of the highway, following the stampede that ensued from the attack. Unsuspecting motorists on the expressway, commercial motorcyclists, passersby and bystanders at the junction ran helter-skelter, when the thugs shot randomly into the air.
The situation was brought under control when youths of the area, who were anxiously waiting for the arrival of the campaign team, mobilized themselves and repelled the thugs with the assistance of the security personnel attached to the campaign team.
It was therefore surprising that the Commissioner of Police could tell journalists in Umuahia on Friday that the trouble was caused by APGA.
The questions that beg for answer are:
(1) What did APGA do to deserve blame in all the said attacks?
(2) What have the police done to stem the tide of attacks on Otti’s campaign team, which have been reported to the command on each occasion?
(3) Are these PDP thugs above the law, untouchable and elusive?
(4) What is the outcome of police investigations, if any, in the first and second attacks on the team?
(5) The general public will like to know those who have been arrested by the police over these series of attacks.
Obviously, the CP sounded biased and judgmental and one wonders whether he was compromised by the cabal that is bent on foisting its surrogate on the good people of Abia.
It is beginning to dawn on the people that CP Habila is priceable and may not withstand the pressure and mouthwatering bribe by Gov. Theodore Orji.
He should note that the money offered to him to pave the way for Orji and his son, Chinedu, to have their way in this all-important election is blood money. It is cursed by civil servants, teachers and pensioners, among others, who have been suffering untold hardship and dying by installment, while their salaries were hijacked and stashed away for the elections.
Habila, be careful lest you will also incur the wrath of God. You should leave Orji and his family to face the battle ahead. It is a battle for God, it is spiritual and not carnal. Be warned, Habila!
The views expressed in the article are strictly those of the author.
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