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Election Violence: Political thugs burn down 30 houses in Ebonyi

About 30 houses have been destroyed in pre-election related violence in some communities in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state. ...


About 30 houses have been destroyed in pre-election related violence in some communities in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state.

But the two major parties- The People's Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC) have continued to trade blames over the destructions.

Commissioner of Police Awosola Awotunde on Monday in Abakaliki appealed for calm among residents over the attacks.

Awotunde, who spoke with journalists after assessment visits to areas affected by the violence, vowed police authority would ensure that perpetrators of the dastardly acts were arrested and brought to book.

The police chief described the incident as barbaric and man's inhumanity to man.



Awotunde decried the wanton carnage warned against any reprisal.

He said that those involved in the criminal attacks on the communities, including their sponsors would be arrested and prosecuted.

"We appeal for calm and assure the public that police will spare no efforts in ensuring that everyone who is involved in the dastardly act is brought to book including their sponsors.

"The police further reassure the public of commitment to protection of lives and property of every citizen of the state before, during and after the elections", Awotunde said.

He also sympathised with victims during the assessment visits.

Narrating his ordeals, a victim of the attack, Mr. Donatus Nwofe who spoke to journalists at Aguabata in Agbaja community of Izzi, said he lost two of his buildings and property worthy several millions to the attackers.

Nwofe, who is the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) Ebonyi council, said that the suspected political thugs invaded his compound and shot sporadically before setting the houses ablaze.

"I lost everything; even the boxers I am wearing were donated to me by a sympathizer, as you can see, no pin was removed from the burnt down houses.

"We now live in fear as no one knows when the hoodlums will attack again with their AK 47 riffles and other weapons.

"I am appealing to police to beef up security in the community and I am also calling on state and Federal governments to come to the rescue of the victims of the attacks," Nwofe said.

Another victim, Mr Paulinus Onyike said the suspected political thugs from a major political party invaded Izenyi, in Agbaja community and set houses suspected to belong to members of the opposition ablaze.

He said the suspected political thugs who invaded the area, shot indiscriminately before setting houses and other valuable property ablaze in the area.

He described the attacks as barbaric and called for proper investigation and arrest of the perpetrators.

Ebonyi APC chairman, Eze Nwachukwu, said his members bore the brunt of the attacks.

He described the attacks as unprovoked and urged police and other security agencies to intensify security surveillance in the state.

Nwachukwu chronicled the alleged gruesome attacks to include; attack on the senatorial candidate of the party in Ebonyi South Senatorial District, Mr Nweze Onu; attacks on APC members, destruction of their houses and property in Izzi local government area.

Others, according to him, include: attacks and disruption of APC local government rallies by suspected political thugs at Ebonyi, Onitcha, Ohaozara local government areas and destruction of APC campaign office in Ohaozara.

He also listed alleged attacks on the home of APC Zonal Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Ogba at Ezzama, Ezza South on February 16 and attack on members of the party at Ekoli-Edda among others.

But Ebonyi PDP chairman Onyekachi Nwebonyi denied the allegations.

"It is not true. They are the ones attacking our members. I had briefed you on the killing of two persons on Sunday who were attached by political thugs while six others were injured"

"PDP has been very peaceful despite the provocations. The governor, who is a man of peace, have continued to calm the party faithful down and urging them not to retaliate despite the provocations".

He decried the attacks and called on security agencies to fish-out the perpetrators and bring them to book.

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