BY CHARLES KUMOLU
THE New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, has raised alarm over alleged intimidation of its candidate in the November 16 gubernatorial election, Chief Leonard Uchendu and called on the state governor, Mr. Peter Obi to urgently intervene in the matter to ensure fair play and equity.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, NNPP National Chairman, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said the state government had in a letter dated September 18, 2013 and signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Dr. G.N. Muotolu, requested Mr. Uchendu “to humbly step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu pending the conclusion of investigations being carried out against him over a petition that he was using the community’s vigilante outfit to molest, intimidate and harass people in his community.” Aniebonam alleged that the letter requesting Uchendu to step aside as President-General of Umuawulu was a deliberate move to witch-hunt their candidate.
The party leader explained that the matter of being a president-general of Umuawulu is presently before a court of law and wondered why a public officer in the calibre of Muotolu should be involved in such a brazen action.
“For the Special Adviser in charge of town union matters to act in such a brazen and disrespectful manner to the court of law is not only illegal but constitutes a contempt of the court.”
It will be recalled that shortly after Mr Uchendu declared his intention to vie for the governorship position, some people from his community wrote petition against him alleging that the embattled community leader was using the vigilante group to harass, intimidate and threaten the indigenes of Umuawulu.
Meanwhile, the party in a letter dated October 3, 2013, to governor Obi has called on him to wade into the matter and direct his aide, Muotolu to immediately withdraw the letter of suspension given to Uchendu and restore the Umuawulu vigilante group which he disbanded.
“We want to crave the indulgence of His Excellency to urgently call the officer in charge of Town Union matters to order. In the interest of peace and tranquillity, we call on you to urgently look into this matter and cause the immediate withdrawal of the letter advising Chief Leonard Uchendu to step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu, as the allegation against him are merely trumped up and did not offer him any chance to defend himself.”