Unknown gunmen attack Fed Character Commissioner, shoot tyres in Anambra

Unknown gunmen attack Fed Character Commissioner, shoot tyres in Anambra

Unknown gunmen attack Fed Character Commissioner, shoot tyres in Anambra 

By Calis Mbadugha, Onitsha 

A Federal Character Commissioner for Anambra State,, Rev. Uche Ukadike Ibeabuchi, has allegedly escaped assassination bid by the whiskers on the eve of his Okuzu Oba community Igweship primary election, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State.

Rev. Ibeabuchi who is also the President General, PG, of his Okuzu Oba community, was said to be returning to his house after having a meeting in preparation for the election when he was attacked by  a yet to be identified armed men who shattered his vehicle tyres with bullets.

Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the armed men he disclosed that, "There was a heavy threat before that election that I will be beheaded and my head used as football in the field if I come to the venue of the election.

"So a day to that election my driver was driving me home after a meeting in readiness for the election which I will conduct as the PG of my Okuzu Oba community. On getting to a point some armed men on the road were pointing torchlight at us and flagging us down about 8pm on the fateful day.

"We had wanted to stop as I believed them to be policemen but the two DSS personnel guarding me asked the driver not to stop that those armed men were not policemen and the driver had to sped off and on the process they shot at the tyres, shattering them and we managed the vehicle to safety.

"I passed my house for safety into a hotel where on arrival we quickly removed the vehicle plate number and disappeared and few minutes later they stormed the hotel and asked workers if there was a vehicle that came into the hotel and they said no and they left while we were still panting in our hiding place.

"It was obvious that they wanted to assassinate me and in the morning at the election venue, (St Thomas Anglican church field), I was told it was flooded with all manners of security operatives who were armed to the teeth.

"Some with guns, machetes, pestle, charms and others masked their faces and the venue looked more of a war zone as palpable fear gripped voters.

"It is my responsibility to conduct the election but the Oba Patriotic  Union, OPU, President General, PG, Chief Anthony Uzor Ejiofor, because he is supporting a candidate, came in and started afresh the conduct of the election to ensure his candidate wins.

"I can't take this, Ejiofor did not conduct election in other communities like Isu and Aboji, that conducted their own election, because OPU can only be observers in election, so why must ours be different.

"As far as I am concern the election was flawed, the election can not be said to be free and fair when I was not there and one of the  candidates, Chief Samuel Odinamadu, was not allowed to vote. I didn't ask anybody to act for me as a proxy, it is my constitutional right to participate and conduct the election.

"The PG, Ejiofor, was aware of my presence and the attack on me. He is a liar to say he was not aware. I didn't come to the venue of the election because of the heavy threat on me. Again, the community town hall is where we have our meetings and whatever we want to do, it is illegal to conduct the election at St Thomas church. They did it there to be able to flaw the election in favour of their own candidate because the place is not secured .

"I have reported the case of plot to assassinate me to the DSS and the Oba police station, including the flawed election," he disclosed.

In a swift reaction when contacted, the OPU, PG, Chief Anthony Uzor Ejiofor, denied conducting the election in Okuzu Oba by himself adding that it was conducted by the electoral committee chairman, Mr. Christian Anazodo, produced by the three clans of Okuzu Oba.

Also on the venue of the election which the commissioner stated was billed to be Okuzu hall, Chief Ejiofor said that it was agreed by the three clans of Okuzu Oba that St. Thomas Anglican church should be used as venue not the Okuzu Oba community hall stating that the Federal Commissioner was aware of all these arrangements.

His words, "It was the Commissioner that even called me and told me that they have produced Mr. Christian Anazodo as the electoral committee chairman because for fairness OPU agreed that PGs of communities will not be electoral chairmen and the commissioner who is a delegate in the election even said he would not be present and that somebody should replace him and it was done.

"So for him to say I usurped his function of conducting the election he doesn't even have power to conduct the election, the election was free, fair and credible, was conducted by Mr. Christian Anazodo, peace has returned to Okuzu Oba where there was crises because of Igweship election. As the PG of all communities in Oba I can't keep my hands akimbo and watch any of the communities boiling," Ejiofor stated.

On alleged plot to assassinate the Commissioner he said, "Why must he be lying, you know when somebody starts lying it becomes a different ball game.I want to believe that he was not in town, that he didn't come down from Abuja. I didn't even see him a day to the election, during the election and a day after the election.

"At least he would have come to me as his PG and say this is what I experienced.and you went to the press to report. He is like a father to me, I don't know why he chooses to be lying, let him prove that he was in Oba on the day of the incident. At least I would have called the vigilante to his rescue. He should stop putting Oba in negative perspective," he pleaded.

In their various remarks on the election in Okuzu Oba, the secretary general of Okuzu Oba and Special Assistant to the OPU, PG, on security who are also from Okuzu Oba, Mr. Obinwa Onyebuchi and Hon. Nriama Ebuka, respectively, described the Okuzu Oba primary election as free, fair and credible adding that peace that eluded the people has finally been restored.

 Confirming the attack of the Commissioner, who was said to be in his Okuzo Oba house on the day  of the election, his driver, Mr Juaese Michael, and two people  from his village, Jude Okwudili and Muokwem, said the shattered tyres were enough testimonies to the fact that the commissioner was attacked and as such was not able to participate in the election coupled with the threats to his life. 

Contacted by our correspondent, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga, (SP), he said he was not aware of the attack.

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