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Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has alleged that the victimisation of political opponents is seriously unsettling the polity of Ebonyi State.
In a statement, MASSOB’s Director of Information, Edeson Samuel decried the situation whereby people with contrary views are hounded and arrested, even as he urged Governor Dave Umahi to rise to the occasion for sustained peace.
The group insisted that the rising political tension, attacks, intimidations, killings, and detention of political opponents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government in Ebonyi could derail democracy if left unchecked.
It added: ‘The governor should know that in less than eight months, he will be out of office. If his predecessor did the same to him, he may not have been the governor of Ebonyi. It is very unfortunate that an Abakiliki-based journalist, Godfrey Chikwere, was arrested and detained in October 2021 by the state government because he wrote on his Facebook page that politicians could pay youths to murder political enemies, but could not empower the youths to be useful.
‘Mr. Peter Okutu, a reporter with Vanguard newspaper and Mr. Agwu Chijioke of Daily Sun newspaper were both arrested in April 2020 by the same government because of their unbiased newspaper reports, which the government was not pleased with.’
According to MASSOB, the political witch-hunting in Ebonyi has shifted to political opponents, citing the Labour Party (LP) senatorial candidate in Ebonyi South, Linus Okorie, who was allegedly arrested by state-sponsored Ebubeagu security outfit, tortured and handed over to the police on the order of the government.
‘The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate, Bernard Odo, was attacked by the same Ebubeagu, but he managed to escape unhurt. MASSOB wonders why the opposition voices should be subjected to such.
‘We are, therefore, advising Governor Umahi to release all the political prisoners of conscience in Ebonyi, as Ndigbo have suffered enough political subjugation from the APC-led Federal Government.’
The Government of Ebonyi State is yet to react to the claims.