By Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki

The Divine Mandate Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State has commended the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, and other opposition party stalwarts for backing the equity principle in determining next governor of the State.

The commendation was part of outcome of a briefing by the Directorate of Information of the council on Monday 13th March,2023.

The Divine Mandate Council is the campaign platform of the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, and his deputy, Patricia Obila, in the State.

Addressing newsmen in Abakaliki, the Director, Directorate of Information of the council, Uchenna Orji, maintained that the vantage stance of the APC and its governorship candidate has continued to win the support of stakeholders across political party lines in the State.

Orji noted that the party’s recent consultations revealed that the stakeholders have unanimously collapsed their structures in favour of the APC and its candidate preparatory to the March 18 election.

While commending the stakeholders for looking beyond party to promoting equity, fairness and peace of the State, he admonished remnant opposition party members to eschew violence and play by the rules in the coming elections.

Orji explained: “We are glad to note the enthusiasm of stakeholders of opposition political parties in the State who have seen reasons to support the candidature of Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru.

“Honestly, since after the first election, it has been either massive political alignment in favour of APC or mass defection to APC or open support for the governorship candidate of APC by the bigwigs of opposition political parties including Labour Party, PDP, APGA etc.

“History will be kind to prominent leaders of opposition political parties in the State, including Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Senator Sylvanus Nguji Ngele, Senator Obinna Ogba, Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, Sir Edward Nkwegu, Hon. Peter Ede, Engr. Livinus Makwe, Hon. Anayo Edwin Nwonu, Chief Boniface Ofoke, Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga and many others too numerous to mention, for upholding the Divine Mandate zoning arrangement for the governorship seat, which is equitably the turn of Ebonyi North, Izhi in particular.

“Their stand for truth, justice and good conscience and their decision to support the candidature of Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru is a record that shall be honoured by posterity.”

Orji, also the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, further condemned recent violent attacks, which he alleged were targeted against supporters of the APC in some parts of the State.

He called on security agencies to employ all available legitimate means to nip the attacks and bring perpetrators to book so as to guarantee the safety of voters during and after the elections.

He added: “As the tempo of political activities is rising ahead of the March 18th, 2023 Governorship and the State House of Assembly Elections, we are mindful of the growing tensions generated by a few desperate opposition elements and their Governorship candidates who are frustrated by the turn of event and have resorted to raising dusts, instigating tensions and creating insecurity in some parts of the State.

“We have it on good authority that the opposition elements particularly APGA and PDP, having seen their imminent disgraceful failure in the coming election of 18th March, 2023, are doing everything possible to charge the atmosphere and distort the peace and security enjoyed in the State before, during and after the elections.

“We therefore warn that these enemies of the State be called to order by security agencies.

“The killing of one of the finest Traditional Rulers who was until his death, the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council in Ezza North, His Royal Highness, Eze Igboke Ewa, by gunmen suspected to be working for the Governorship Candidate of APGA is one of the recent unprovoked attacks that were meted against our people for no just cause.

“We understand that some culprits have been arrested and they have made confessional statements and yet, their sponsors are still moving freely and raining fire and brimstone against authorities.

“Just yesterday, 12th March, 2023, an APC member and Councilor of Achara Ward 2 in Okposi, Ohaozara Local Government Area, Hon Ogbonnaya Ugwu was gruesomely murdered and set ablaze in his car.

“There was also an attack on the Commander of Neighborhood Watch, Mr. Dickson Solomon on same Saturday last week wherein rains of bullets were thrown at him and God rescued him as he tells his ordeals.

“We also heard of the ugly incident that happened a night before the Presidential Election at same Court Area wherein another known Supporter of APC was gunned down.

“One would be left to conclude that the targets are APC Supporters and unsuspecting members of the public….

“We strongly call on Security Agencies to please rise to their duties and work on the available information and bring to justice all the persons who are directly or indirectly involved in this needless attack to our people no matter how highly placed they are or the political party of their affiliation.”

Recall that opposition parties in the State, including the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Peoples Democratic Party, and their candidates had earlier condemned the attacks.

APGA spokes person, Charles Otu, had described the killings as failure on the part of the State gGovernment whose responsibility it is to guarantee the safety of citizens across the State.

The opposition parties also urged security agencies to brace up to the challenges of the insecurities currently ravaging the State.

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