Says oppositions are under threat
The Acting Chairman Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC , and Accord Party chairman in Ebonyi State Hon. Ndubuisi Ani Pascal has condemned in strong terms the attacked on members of opposition parties and the destruction of billboards across the State.
Hon. Ani made this known while interacting with members of the press on his recent abduction in the State by members of Ebubeagu security outfit.
The Voice gathered that two weeks ago, there was an attack on Executive members of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at No. 22 Nsugbe street, Abakaliki.
Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) is an umbrella body housing all the political parties in the State.
It was scooped that Ebubeagu boys allegedly led by Ernest Nweze stormed IPAC meeting, shooting sporadically in the air, leading to members scampering for safety.
According to Ani “that day our members were harrased, injured and intimidated. Chief Mrs. Julius Nwinya collapsed and was resuscitated back to life when they poured water on her”.
“One of the boys kept on slapping me, after which I was bundled into their van to old government house”.
“They took me away from the scene and said they were taking me to the station to write my statement, but diverted to old government house , where I was held hostage for hours”.
“From 2pm in the afternoon to 10pm in the night, they kept me on illegal detention, for no reason” he stated.
He decried that opposition political parties are being threatened , as they are not giving the necessary environment to thrive.
“My concern is that the Governor might not be aware of the attacks, he should advice his boys to allow opposition parties to be free in their campaign and I am advising the candidates of the various political parties to do their normal political campaign on issue-based”.
“The destruction of campaign posters are not normal. I have gone to other states and I can see posters, billboards from different political parties”.
“That you are in a ruling political party today is not forever. Let us welcome other political parties so that the election will be violence free”, he stated.
The IPAC chairman, further tackled the State government on the Executive Order Number 3 of 2022, banning campaigns, describing it as anti-democratic.
Recall that Governor Umahi, had in the month of November signed an executive order banning the use of primary school premises, market places and parks for campaigns by political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The Governor insisted that political parties who want to use the school, market and park facilities must apply and after accepted should pay a sum of N5million to the ministry of education in the state.
Hon. Ani revealed that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba at the recent IPAC submit, has given order to the commissioner of police to dismantle campaign bottlenecks put in place by State Government to frustrate opposition parties.
Adding that the Commissioner of police are mandated to provide security for political parties embarking on electioneering campaign in all the nook and cranny of the State, and any commissioner who failed to comply would be removed.
According to Ani “we had a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, and he has giving us order that any candidate that wants to go on with his rally, should write to the Commissioner of police in respect to the rally, and the Commissioner of police would provide the needed security for the rally”.
“But if the Commissioner of police did not comply, the candidate should report the matter to Zone 9 in Umahia. Ebonyi is now in Zone 9 not 13 anymore,” he stated.
Ani further faulted the irregularities in IPAC, Ebonyi State.
Decrying constant interference by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter Party and Labour Matters, Mrs.Jennifer Adibe-Nwafor, stating this has led to crisis in the council.
He insisted that the State government should allow the council to be independent, free from interference.
According to him “we insist that we want the council to be independent, we finance our affairs within us, run our affairs within us.
“Whatever things we get within us, we manage it within us, without anybody’s interference. Even the oppositions, who is supposed to support us, we don’t need them. We want to manage ourselves within us. The government should be on their own and we on our own.
“The SA has never allowed the IPAC members to run their business the way the political business should be run.
“She determines who becomes the IPAC Chairman, and that alone has led to crisis in the council.”
“We don’t need interference in IPAC, we are a neutral body. The only interference we want is with INEC” he demanded.
When the Voice contacted Ernest Nweze as regards to the abduction allegations, his contact was unavailable at the time of filing this report.