By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
The alleged kidnap of the former Coordinator of Anuagata Development Centre of Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by suspected hoodlums, Thursday evening has continued to generate lots of ripples and mixed reactions across various segments of the State.
The development further degenerated into various forms of accusation and counter-accusations from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, All Progressives Congress, APC, and politicians in the State.
It was gathered that the victim who is one of the key leaders of the G64 that appeared on AIT last week was allegedly abducted on his way back from a Parent Teachers Association, PTA meeting that took place in Government College, Okposi, in Ohaozara LGA of the State.
The PDP, in a statement, accused the State Government and State Commissioner of Police of complicity in the matter.
“If Amos is not released, then we all know that the need for self defence has become eminent and the Commissioner of Police is incapable of protecting lives and properties of Ebonyi people. Only his removal can restore confidence in the police as he has become a politician.”
But in a quick reaction, the State Commissioner for Information, Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji described the purported kidnap saga as the PDP Publicity Secretary’s “grand design by his syndicate of political howlers to cause tension in the state and incite public hatred on a government they hold in a very high esteem.”
According to him: “We have it on good authority that millions of Naira have been voted to these conscienceless fellows to hatch and execute unprintable atrocities and to keep social media and other media platforms busy with unthinkable fabrications against the State Government, with a view to attacking the hard-earned reputation of our dear Governor and the testimonials of his great accomplishments.
“We therefore dissociate and distance ourselves as Government from the thoughts and claims of these PDP officials, who for pecuniary and political reasons have covenanted with the opposition forces to unleash falsehood on the State Government. ”
The APC and the Commissioner for Information further accused Hon. Linus Okorie, the former member who represented Ohaozara/Onicha/ Ivo Federal Constituency at the House House of Representatives (2011-2019), of getting involved in the move to run down the image of the Governor for pecuniary purposes.
Reacting, Hon. Okorie denied the allegation of his involvement and and “challenge the Ebonyi APC and its Publicity Secretary to go public with evidence substantiating its various allegations against me and the Ebonyi state chapter of the PDP in this heinous crime.”
“I wish to state unequivocally that the allegation is false, concocted, childish, unfounded, unintelligent, imbecilic and, evidently, a hollow decoy intended to divert the attention of the public and security agencies from otherwise credible leads pointing strongly in the direction of the APC, its members and authorities in the state.
“I challenge the Ebonyi APC and its Publicity Secretary to go public with evidence substantiating its various allegations against me and the Ebonyi state chapter of the PDP in this heinous crime. As the ruling party in the state, it beggers reason that it has so much evidence of the motive and details of a kidnap yet has done nothing to rescue the victim so he can narrate his story to the police to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
“Without preempting the eventual outcome of ongoing investigations by the police and other security agencies, I am convinced that whoever authored or authorized that jaundiced press release of the APC knows the abductors and whereabouts of Amos Ogbonnaya, and should be held to account.
“Finally, I hereby make myself available to the police and other security agencies at any time in the course of their investigation of this heinous crime. At the same time, let me sound a clear note of intention to pursue my right to protect my name and hard-earned integrity against the purveyors of this criminal allegation, should it finally be proven that it is false and unfounded. ”
Also, the All Progressives Congress, APC in a statement through its Publicity Secretary, Ogbuatu Chidi Simbad accused PDP of being the mastermind of the alleged kidnap of Barr. Amos.
“The general public should also be put on notice that it is the PDP that kidnapped their own man and tortured him, and turned round to accuse the Ebonyi State Government to conceal their crime by shifting culpability, but they have failed.
“The security agencies too should arrest and interrogate the persons mentioned in the kidnap saga with a view to extracting more information that could lead to the whereabouts of the so-called Amos.
“Let us make it categorically clear that bringing the good name of our hardworking and Progressive Governor in their endless gimmicks to deceive Ebonyians to whip up sentiments and undeserved sympathy is what we won’t tolerate.”
Contacted via the Police WhatsApp platform, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah called on the family of the victim to make useful information available to the Police concerning the abduction.
“Yeah the Police is always been accused and we are not worried about that; the most important thing is for the family of the victim to do needful by providing useful information to the police, for possible rescuing of the victim and apprehension of the Perpetrators.”
As the move for the release of the victim is being intensified in the State, it is believed that the victim would soon be released in no distant time.