Alleged Abduction of Labour candidate: Ebonyi Network sends strong message to IGP. Ebonyi Transparency and Accountability Network (E-TAN) has asked the Inspector General of Police to see that everyone responsible for the alleged kidnapping of Hon. Linus Okorie, a Labour Party candidate in Ebonyi State, be held accountable.
Okorie was taken away by men who were purported to be members of the State security apparatus, Ebubeagu, according to a story in the Daily Post.
He is the main opponent in the race for governor against Dave Umahi.
E-TAN denounced the actions of the Ebubeagu operatives in a statement on Wednesday that was signed by the President and Secretary, respectively, Okey Nwosu and Ikechukwu Igbo.
“We note with dismay the alleged kidnapping and torture of Hon. Linus Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives from Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency, Ebonyi State on Sunday night, October 16, 2022, on his way home in Abakaliki by members of the South East Vigilante outfit, Ebubeagu. We demand Hon. Okorie’s immediate release because we vehemently condemn the assault on him, which violated his rights and dignity as a resident of Ebonyi State and Nigeria.
We observe that such a horrible crime of intimidation, harassment, and threat to life under any pretext make fun of our constitutional democracy, in which security forces are supposed to ensure the safety of citizens’ rights and lives. Additionally, it disproves the fundamental motivations for founding Ebubeagu. If such an occurrence, which apparently has political overtones, is not addressed right once, it might heat up the political scene and have unfavorable repercussions.
“We also note with grave concern the alarm raised by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on its Deputy Gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Nkata Chuku, and other candidates and Party members who have allegedly been targeted for attacks by political rivals ahead of the upcoming 2023 general elections. Such violent threats and intimidation of the opposition are warning signs that free, fair, peaceful, and legitimate elections will not be held. Any type of retaliation against perceived political rivals in Ebonyi State is condemned.
“In light of the aforementioned, we call on the Ebonyi State Government and the Inspector General of Police to examine the situation with a view to:
“Charging those responsible for the atrocious atrocity committed on Hon. Linus Okorie;
“Discovering and neutralizing any political party’s and their operatives’ preparations for violent attacks and intimidation within the State, as claimed by APGA;
“Ensuring that the State’s law and order enforcement adheres to the rule of law and due process;
“Making sure that all political parties and the opposition have a level playing field in Ebonyi State, especially during this period of campaigning leading up to the general elections in 2023.
“It is essential that the Ebonyi State government commit to ensuring a secure and equal playing field for all political parties and activities inside the State.
The organization urged Ebonyi State residents to “maintain calm and uphold the law in the faith that the petitioned authorities will address the concerns presented herein.”