…May seek declaration of state of emergency
By Steve Oko
Labour Party has cried foul over the incessant destruction of the campaign billboards of its Abia State governorship candidate, Dr Alex Otti; and other candidates of the party, threatening to push for a declaration of state of emergency in the state if the worrisome tred does not stop.
Former House of Representatives member and the State Campaign Coordinator of the party, Hon. Acho Obioma, who raised the alarm at a press briefing in Umuahia, accused agents of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of masterminding the act.
This is coming barely one week after the State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Mohamed Bala, warned that security agencies would not tolerate the destruction of opponent’s billboards by any party.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, has also warned that the Federal Government would soon come after Governors whose thugs destroy billboards of the opposition parties in their states.
Obioma who claimed that the rising popularity of the Labour party had made it the major target of sponsored attacks, called for cessation of hostilities against their members.
He also demanded immediate release of LP chieftain allegedly arrested for resisting agents of Government perpetrating the destruction of the opposition billboards in his domain.
“Sadly, after repeatedly destroying our gigantic billboard located around Umuikaa junction at the Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, the Government and her agents yesterday arrested one of our party chieftains from Isialangwa South, Elder Dr. Nwaigburu after he and other party faithfuls prevented them from carrying out another act of destruction of our billboard a few days ago.
“Abia state government has not been able to establish any single lawful reason for the destruction of our campaign billboards, except that our presence in the election contest in Abia has thrown the failed government into a panic mode, hence the resort to violence”, he said.
Labour party urged the State Government to rein in its agents from further destruction of the opposition billboards as such is a precursor to anarchy.
“We call on the federal government of Nigeria, the Police, the DSS and indeed all law enforcement agencies saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring peace and order to call Ikpeazu and the Abia state government to order before they set the state on avoidable fire.
” Labour Party and her candidates will not hesitate to prevail on the APC led Federal government to declare a state of emergency in Abia if this trend continues as the safety of lives and property of our people are of paramount importance to us.”
The party challenged Government to channel the resources used in fighting the opposition to pay the accumulated salary arrears of workers and pensioners.
When contacted, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Eze Chikannayo, a lawyer, denied the allegations.
He, however, added that ” any billboard that bears a language inimical to public peace will be brought down without hesitation”.
The Commissioner advised politicians to “play their politics with caution because politics will come and go but Abia will still remain”.