By Steve Oko
The giant billboard bearing the images of President Muhamnadu Buhari; and Leader of the All Progressive Congress APC in Abia State, Chief Ikechi Emenike, was destroyed as hoodlums attacked the State secretariat of the party in Umuahia.
According to eye witness, the hoodlums numbering over 20 stormed the APC State Secretariat located at Uyo Street Umuahia, around 1:00am Friday morning and attempted to gain entry into the two storey building housing the office but could not.
The security personnel guarding the premises said the attackers were armed with dangerous weapons and chanted war and anti-Emenike songs.
According to the security guard who said he saw the hoodlums from his hiding place explained that when they could not gain access into the building, they resorted to cutting the flag poles and destroying the giant flex billboard.
The security man said that the attackers threatened to burn down the secretariat in their next visit.
Confirming the attack, the Administrative Officer, Mr. Stanley Chidi, told newsmen that he was shocked when he arrived at the office on Friday morning and discovered that only the stumps of the 10 flag poles hoisting APC and Nigeria flags remained.
His words: “The flags were no where to be found while the giant flex billboard bearing the images of our state party leader, Chief Ikechi Emenike and the national leader, President Muhammadu Buhari were pulled down and torn to shreds.”
When contacted, the state Organising Secretary of the party, Mr. Obinna Atuonwa said that the attack could be a way those who were unhappy with the outcome of the just- concluded APC congress which was swept by the loyalists of Chief Emenike.
He noted that since after the congress they had been receiving threats as Emenike’s congress was one recognised by the national leadership of the party.
“We have been receiving threats since our congress was recognised by the national leadership of our great party.
“Now that the threats have started manifesting in vandalism, the Abia APC leadership will, without delay, perition the police and ask for protection before things get out of hand”.
Chief Emenike who is the husband of the Nigeria Ambassador to the United States of America is also the Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Nigeria Nsuka.
He has since after the congress taken over the control of APC in Abia, a development that may have led to the rumoured defection of other big wigs of the party not in his camp.
Some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP led by the in-coming National Secretary of the party, Senator Samuel Anyanwu met with the Senate Chief Whip, and former governor Orji Uzor Kalu, to woo him back to PDP.
The fate of other APC chieftains in the state especially those with governorship ambition seem to be hanging in the balance.