- David UmahiEbonyi Council poll: APC Elders allege plans to impose suspected killer
Ahead plans to conduct elections into the 13 Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State in July by the Governor David Umahi-led administration, eminent elders across the seven autonomous communities in Afikpo North Local Government Area have addressed an Open letter to the Governor over purported plans to impose his loyalist who was facing trial for killing his cousin during a PDP primary election.
The elderstatesmen, under the aegis of Afikpo North APC Wise Elders Caucus gave the warning in a release made available to journalists in Abakaliki yesterday.
The letter, addressed to the Governor and signed by it’s leader, Chief Gabriel Oko Egwu Etu, representing Amasiri Community, Essa Aja Ekoh Eluu, representing Itim Community who is the group’s Spokesperson,
Elder Anthony Isu Egwu, representing Ohaisu Community who doubles as the Caucus’ scribe among other representatives from the rest of the five main autonomous communities comprising the council area, the group said it solemnly appeal for the timely intervention of the Governor and indeed, all men of good conscience and morality within his cabinet as plans for the July 2022 Local Government election which has been disclosed by the State’s Electoral body, EBSIEC heats up.
While Commending the Governor for his numerous infrastructural facelifts in Afikpo North especially the dualization of the Timber-Shed/Eke market road, construction of Ogbebi and Mater/Ozizza road, the ongoing construction of Amasiri flyover among other numerous projects, the group also commended the Governor for his wisdom and sincerity in setting up a micro-zoning committee which indeed, visited the council area and afforded the Party’s leaders, elders and stakeholders, including those who may not be members of our Party to ventilate their opinions, angers and frustrations regarding the occupation of political offices in the Local Government council.
“The committee’s findings, which we ofcourse believe is already at the desk of the Governor as an important Memo are very timely, apt, instructive and strategic especially as politics and political permutations heighten across political Parties in our State.
In other words, the findings and recommendations as we literally say in Afikpo, nay African parlance is like a sharpened two edged knife; it can be used for useful and purposeful domestic reasons just as it can also be used very destructively, hence, our reason for passionately appealing that Your Excellency finds judicious time out of your busy schedule to see to the implementation of the recommended rotational principles as unearthed and vehemently recommended by the
The various communities and even sub-communities that make up the entire Afikpo North Local Government Area, numbering five in all and located in 12 electoral wards are patiently waiting for the overall outcome of the promised implementation of the memo to the letter in order to ensure fairness, equity and justice in the 2023 general elections in the council”, the maintained, adding;
“As our Afikpo people always say; pari rikote bu ejo oke, interpreted to mean that when one is asked to take all portions of a shared meat or property and consume all, he should know he must have shared very badly and denied some or others their right to ownership. We pray and hope this will not be the portion of some communities against the others!”
They however warned that “as elders, we have also heard about a rumoured plot by some of your kitchen cabinet members to unilaterally impose one Uchenna Ibiam Ekwe, popularly known as ‘Uchman’ as the next Chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area come the July Local Government election.
They alleged that, “Some quarters also claim that if the election does not hold, there are strong moves to appoint the above-mentioned ‘notorious killer’ as the Care-taker Chairman of our Afikpo North council area going into the all important 2023 general election.”
The group further observed that, “it is a fact that many stakeholders have been of the strong and compassionate view, even in the micro-zoning committee’s memo that wisdom demands that hence Amasiri will be completing it’s occupation of the office of Chairman after two term in office (appointive and elected)- which they had never occupied before now, it is only morally needful and binding that another large community which has never tasted of the seat should occupy it, hence the preference and decision of the stakeholders to consider another large community with two federal wards that were yet to occupy this important position to be the most favoured to produce the successor of the current council boss.”
The elders said, “however, we as APC elders who are desirous of a successful outing by the Party in the 2023 general elections are very uncomfortable with the romance and signals emanating from your kitchen cabinet members who are said to have clandestinely settled for the above-named character to head a council area which has many very enlightened and nationally cum globally-recognized enlightened citizens.
As we reliably gathered, the reason for the preference of the said Uche Ibiam- a known ‘killer’ who brought his former PDP the sorrow of shooting his cousin in public glare in a fight-to-finish war between him and his younger brother in the last council election primaries and had remained remanded in prison custody while facing trial till recently is because some of the our Party’s stakeholders are thinking of ‘someone who (in their obscure reasoning) would have the capacity to contain and wedge war against the PDP and its leaders in Afikpo North council area’, they alleged.
The group further appealed while recalling, “Your Excellency sir, our people have not forgotten in a hurry the very fact that the said Uchenna Ibiam as a serving Coordinator of Ubeyi Development Centre shot and killed his cousin, Enyinnia Ibiam who was a staff of the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana during the February 2020 primary election of the Party ahead of the Council election that year. The victim, was reported to have been felled after the trigger pulled by Uchman against his own biological brother, Ibiam Ibiam Junior hit their cousin, Enyinnia Ibiam who was standing behind the later after he dodged the said bullet.”
The letter further read, “That very shameful and damaging conduct by a public officer was not only widely reported in the media but you promptly yielded to public opinion first by disengaging him from office and also allowing the security agencies and the law to take its full course but not until allegations filtered in that your same kitchen cabinet members who are now prodding him to power as ‘the next council boss’ come July this year waded in to intervene and a ‘peaceful truce and settlement’ (so-termed) was reached between them and the victim’s family.
The letter further opined that, “It is germane we also let Your Excellency know that as far back as the 2023 election of the PDP for which Chief Irem Oka Ibom was contesting, the same Uchman allegedly shot and killed one John Agha from Amangwu Edda during the said National Assembly election”, they alleged, warning that;
“Such a character like Uchenna Ibiam who is very questionable and therefore cannot attract victory to our Party in the 2023 general elections as some of your aides are wishfully thinking should not be considered at all.
“The deceased victims have all been buried and their families still writhing in pains over their losses, but our people have not forgotten. Across the council area, it is only his fellow ‘cult members’ and of course, some very unpopular politicians who still believe, despite the newly amended electoral act that has made political thuggery, ballot-box snatching and stuffing very unfashionable who still believes that Afikpo North Council Area needs someone with such a stained, disreputable and bloody record like Uche Ibiam.”
“We have founded fears that our Party- the APC would be deserted by many of Party supporters for the PDP which is still very strongly on ground in Afikpo North if the said character and your kitchen cabinet members should have their way”, they warned.
The group said, “as elders who have taken time to study both the political trajectory of Afikpo North vis-à-vis the new electoral act and the projections of what lies ahead of the Party therefore, “we wish to advise Your Excellency to rather act expeditiously thus, request sincere stakeholders of our great Party like us, (not the sycophants and bootlickers who are seeking for their daily bread) to recommend for you at least two characters respected across board and Party line from the said Unwana community (comprising of Ward and B) for you to make your choice of the next council boss, putting into strong considerations, their contributions to community developments and your political successes in the area so far.”
It therefore concluded by urging the governor to, as a matter of urgency, “Convene a town hall meeting with elders, women and youth groups of Unwana community and also the three affected wards yet to occupy the State’s House of Assembly position to allow them democratically suggest names of those who are loved and have the requisite capacity and laudable credentials to lead the Council area and our great Party to victory in the 2023 general elections.
Finally, we urge Your Excellency to carry the old APC members and stakeholders along in your decisions concerning the Party in Afikpo North. That way, you will be enriched with the sincere wisdom you need to make right decisions particularly ahead of the 2023 general elections”, they pleaded.