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The Governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Enugu State, Barr. Chijioke Edeoga has raised the alarm of alleged plans by the Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu State, to use armed thugs to frustrate efforts at free and fair Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the State.
He appealed to the Federal Government to conduct an urgent audit of the guns approved for vigilante security services in the state to avert what he describes as ‘a war’ on the people of the State.
In a press statement that he personally signed, which was obtained by The Eastern Updates, Edeoga accused the State Government and the PDP of distributing to hired party thugs, the arms, which were approved for procurement by the Federal Government for use to augment the efforts of the conventional security services in the state, also accused the PDP of attempts to steal the Saturday, March 18, 2023 elections by violent means.
He asserted that if urgent steps were not taken to arrest the thugs that have allegedly been imported into the state to destabilise the elections, those he accused of trying to steal the elections are determined to make the voting process a bloody process.
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He accused the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of allegedly conniving with the PDP and officials of the Enugu State Government to cause delays in the distribution of electoral materials and urged the Federal Government to mandate the electoral umpire to move all electoral materials from its storage at the Enugu branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria to all the LGA Headquarters in the state.
Edeoga who was also a journalist and member of the House of Representatives, said; ‘From the look of things, what the Peoples Democratic Party is preparing for is not an election, but a war. It is a war against the people of the state, a war against democratic progress in Nigeria, and a war against the popular will of the people. We are making this call because we are also aware that these men are being armed and prepared to operate freely, appearing in Police, Army, and Civil Defence uniforms, a decoy that would enable free movement across the state and to all areas targeted for their planned attacks’.
Going into specifics, the Labour Party Governorship candidate, said the areas allegedly being targeted include Isi Uzo, Uzo Uwani, Igbo Eze North, Igbo Eze South and Udenu Local council areas and some parts of the state capital, urged the security agencies to take steps to protect the integrity of the elections.
“Areas being specifically targeted for attacks and delays in the deployment of materials by thugs include in Enugu metropolis include Okpara Square, School of Dental Technology, Achara Layout Primary School, Idaw River Primary School and Igbariam Primary School, all in Enugu. For Isi Uzo, Uzo Uwani, Igbo Eze North, Igbo Eze South and Udenu Local Government Areas, we have been reliably informed that the Council Chairmen for these council areas have all hired thugs and already harbouring them in some hotels and residences of senior party officials in their respective areas, Edeoga stressed in the statement.
He accused some highly placed people at the top echelon of government and the PDP of being behind the plans, alleging that the Labour Party victory during the presidential elections has driven the ruling party in the state into desperation.