Ward Congress: My supporters violently attacked – Ekweremadu

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From Magnus Eze, Enugu

Former Deputy Senate President and leading People’s Democratic Party (PDP) contender for Governor of Enugu State has alleged that orchestrated violence marred the party’s April 30 Ward Congress for the election of a three-man ad hoc delegates.

This is as an Enugu High Court on May 6, restrained the national and state leadership of the party from tampering with the outcomes of the ward congress.

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Ekweremadu claimed that the incident marked the resurgence of thuggery, political violence and banditry in Enugu politics.

The Ikeoha Campaign Organisation in a press conference in Enugu said that supporters of the senator were being attacked and assaulted in different parts of the state.

Director-General of the Campaign Ogbo Asogwa and Director of Manifesto Dr Austin Okolie stated that supporters and associates of Ekweremadu were savagely attacked on April 9, during the monthly meeting of the Aninri LGA Chapter of the party. The member representing Aninri state Constituency in the House of Assembly, Chinedu Okwu, was seriously injured and hospitalised in the process.

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‘Although we reported this matter to the Governor and security agencies, the trend took yet another dangerous dimension during the 30th April 2022 Ward Congress,’ he stated.

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‘At Oduma Ward 4, the Deputy Ward Chairman, Mr Boniface Egwu (aka Egwueji) led scores of political bandits, operating on motorbikes, to attack and disrupt the congress at Community Primary School, Ohafia Oduma, Aninri LGA, Egwu specifically told one of our supporters and an ad-hoc delegates’ candidate, Barr Ekpete Ejikeme that they came with an “order from above” to move him from the venue dead or alive. They descended on him with dangerous weapons. When the people tried to intervene, the bandits started shooting sporadically, pulled down the canopies, broke the chairs, and cause a stampede in the process. It was a narrow escape for Ejikeme.’

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According to them, similar incidents occurred at Awgu Ward 2 in Awgu LGA, Ugbaike, Enugu Ezike, Igboeze North LGA and Agba Umanna Ward, Ezeagu LGA, among others. They said that the party faithful in most places still went ahead to exercise their democratic right.

Urging the security agencies to fish out and prosecute all perpetrators of violence in the state, they called on ‘all lovers of peace and democracy to join hands to persuade the authorities to take the necessary and decisive steps to arrest the growing culture of political violence, cultism, and banditry to ensure a peaceful primary and 2023 general election in Enugu State.’

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