Ebonyi PDP Tussle: Udeogu, Nwebonyi factions engage in fisticuffs

* Faction accuses Ebonyi Police of escalating crisis

By Chinwe Onwosi

The two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led be Elder Fred Udeogu and Bar. Onyekachi Nwebonyi Monday, engaged in fisticuffs after plans of the Udeogu faction to take over the secretariat was foiled.

The secretariat which had been under lock and key for months due to the factionalisation of the party was besieged by members numbering hundreds in a bid to enter but the Security Agencies arrived and dispersed them.

The Voice gathered that the scene was chaotic as the security agencies with an Armoured Personal Carrier were seen firing shots into the air which led to the PDP members running away in different directions.

It was gathered that the security agencies arrested some of the members including the Youth Leader of the Udeogu faction, Obinna Iteshi.

The Udeogu led faction frowned at the inability of the police to enforce the Federal High Court order restraining factional Chairman of the party, Barr. Onyekachi Nwebonyi, to desist from parading himself as the chairman and member of the party.

PDP publicity secretary Silas Joseph Onu in a statement stated “Upon a valid Court order which restrained Nwebonyi and his urchins from parading themselves as leaders or even members of the People’s Democratic Party, we duly notified the police of our intention to access our Secretariat today.

“Upon arrival, the police were obviously ordered to frustrate that effort and they swung into action. Firstly, the Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Operations asked that we go and obtained a “Enforcement Order” as if the case is one requiring further order (s) to give validity to the initial order.

” The Police came and began to arrest our members on a spurious claim that the already vandalised Secretariat is now being vandalised today

” It is very interesting how the police is now being used to play out a script that promotes disorder and fuels crisis in Ebonyi State.

“it is now up to the Police to ensure law and order and also enforce a valid Court order. Anything other than that is double standard and a clear call for disorder.

Reacting to the development, the factional Chairman of the Party, Barr Nwebonyi described the incident that occurred at the secretariat as unfortunate claiming that the other faction of the party went violently to destroy the secretariat.

“If not for the intervention of the security forces, they would have set my office ablaze. I am a young man and I don’t believe in violence. I went to court to prove my case. Udeogu should wait till 2024 when my tenure will elapse.

“He needs to be told the legal end of this matter. I was duly elected. It’s only NEC that can query me whenever I err. I challenge our national chairman to brief the world on what he discussed with Governor David Umahi before the defection took place.

“I have detailed my lawyer on this matter. I won’t respond to them through violence. I am a child of God. Let the court determine the matter.

When contacted, the police public relations officer, Loveth Odah reacted to claims by the Udeogu-led faction that the police acted biasly, by not enforcing the court order on the Nwebonyi led faction.

She said “That’s not what happened, actually they came to the office with a court order from the federal High Court through the office of inspector General of Police on Monday morning.

“Administratively, they are not the ones that are supposed to have issued any letter from the inspector General of Police to us because we have our own channel of disseminating information.

“On Monday, they came wanting us to accept the letter so the CP Aliyu Garba said how do we know the authenticity of this letter when the beneficiaries is the one dispatching it to us.

The commissioner was still addressing them in his office when the youth wing of the Udeogu led faction marched to take over the secretariat.

You should know that there have been a court order restricting both parties from going to that place to maintain law and order and forestall further destruction of the property and the police officers have taken over the place for some months and cannot allow them access.

Odah confirmed the arrest of 3 persons during the clash stating that their going there is illegal. “They were arrested and charged to court and their leaders are not happy about what happened.” she stated.

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