By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC in Saturday’s controversial election in Enugu state, Sen. Ayogu Eze has lamented that the man allegedly killed by the police during the exercise was one of his supporters and not an election observer as erroneously portrayed by some interested partisans.
Sen. Eze who stated this while paying a condolence visit to the family of the deceased also promised to take care of the deceased’s four children.
Condoling the family, Sen. Eze assured them that everything will be done to ensure that the four children left behind by the slain supporter do not suffer on account of their father’s untimely demise.
A statement issued Sunday in Abuja by the Sen. Ayogu Eze Governorship Campaign Organization and signed by his Media Aide, Clinton Umeh said the senator regretted the unfortunate incident and assured them that he will make sure that the death was avenged.
“He told Okwudili Odo, senior brother of the deceased and house of assembly candidate for Igbo Eze North Constituency One that he will also take care of the funeral rites for the deceased whenever the family decides to give him a befitting burial.
The governorship candidate also informed Mr. Odo that the police officer who shot his brother has been apprehended by the police, assuring him that the police has promised that all relevant rules will be applied in dealing with the matter”, Umeh said.
Mr. Odo, in his response, thanked Sen. Eze for coming to console the family the same day the incident happened, noting that his family was impressed by Sen. Eze’s humility and kind disposition.
Earlier reports had quoted the police in Enugu as confirming that a man believed to be a domestic observer was shot metres away from the home of Sen. Eze on Saturday, but in the statement, Umeh said while the false stories were making the rounds, his principal was in the village for the governorship and state assembly elections.
The true story according to the statement is that “Sen. Eze’s residence was stormed by two vehicles with Enugu State Government registration numbers, claiming to be carrying election observers. While one of them drove inside the senator’s compound, the other stayed outside the gate.
“The vehicles had their numbers masked, rousing the curiosity of our supporters who unmasked them only to reveal the Enugu State number plates.
“The crowd numbering nearly 10,000 people saw this as unwarranted intrusion, especially as they saw the face cap of the PDP governorship candidate for the election in one of the vehicles and sought to quiz the occupants of the vehicles on their mission.
“The atmosphere expectedly turned rowdy suddenly, forcing one of the police officers in the premises to shoot into the air to disperse the crowd. His hand obviously slipped, according to eyewitnesses, and he shot one of the All Progressives Congress, APC, supporters, who passed on while being conveyed to the hospital.
“The affected police officer has also been handed over to law enforcement agents who are currently handling the matter in accordance with their service rules.
“The so called observers whose identities were questionable were released to the Igbo Eze North Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Samuel Ngwu Attah following the intervention of Sen. Eze immediately his attention was drawn to the incident.
“No observer was killed in our principal’s house or anywhere near it. What is circulating in the social media is pure fake news, obviously fabricated by those who sent the team to the house of the governorship candidate.
“We see this fake story as part of the coordinated assault on the democratic rights of our principal, who has remained calm in the face of severe provocation.
“We hope that with this clarification the authors of this willfully spurned tales by the moonlight will see the need to leave Sen. Eze alone.”