The leadership of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State are on a verbal war over the alleged attack of NNPP supporters in Abakaliki South State Constituency during its consultation and campaign rally, by thugs suspected to be loyal to the APC in the state.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Friday in Abakaliki, the NNPP House of Assembly candidate for Abakaliki south state constituency, Hon Godwin Okemini, alleged that suspected APC thugs invaded the constituency during a constituency grassroots consultation of the party.
Okemini claimed that the party supporters had trooped to the venue of the consultation programme in their numbers awaiting the arrival of the governorship candidate, Prophet Adol Awam when the thugs invaded the place.
“While our party faithful were peacefully seated at the venue, we saw a group of APC thugs invade the premises, started harassing women and men and out of fear of further attack, many fled to safety while the thugs took time to dismantle all the canopies and public address systems already mounted for the event.
“A reprisal from the NNPP supporters would have escalated the situation but the leadership of the party on ground urged the party’s youths not to engage the APC hoodlums in a fight as the party is known for peace and was built on strong democratic principles which also reflects the God-fearing personality of its governorship candidate in the state,” he said.
The governorship candidate of the party, Prophet Adol Awam, condemned the violent attack and accused the ruling APC of making attempt to muscle the opposition parties in the state and urged the state governor to keep his people in check by ensuring that the APC go about politicking in line with the dictates of the constitution and not by coercing the people and instilling fear in them to vote for the party.
Awam said it was a sign that the Ebonyi APC had lost the goodwill and support of the people and, as a result, had only resorted to anything heinous to intimidate supporters.
“We had enough arsenal in our armory to match them toe-to-toe, but we clearly have different ideologies, and we represent light and must not conform to the principles of darkness. Ebonyians know that we are the only party with the capacity to deliver them from their bondage,” he added.
But in a swift reaction, the State Chairman of APC and security consultant to the state government, Chief Stanley Emegha described the alleged attack as the figment of the imagination of the NNPP.
He said the party is not in contention for the Governorship position and other elective positions ahead of the general election in the state with any other political party adding that there is nothing like NNPP in Ebonyi State.