APC, PDP accuse each other over abduction of govt’s critic in Ebonyi

Even when the whereabout of Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya is still unknown following his abduction on Thursday by gunmen at his country home when he was coming back from a PTA meeting he chaired, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) have never stopped accusing each other of masterminding the abduction of the former coordinator.

Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya is the Legal Adviser to the former 64 Development Centers coordinators that petitioned the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on 11th January 2021, alleging that governor David Umahi-led government diverted the Ebonyi local government funds of 6,756,800,000.00 (six billion, seven hundred and fifteen six million, eight hundred thousand).

According to the G-64 former coordinators in their petition, it reads: “For the period under review, the development centres were largely denied their monthly statutory allocations, and as a result, their statutory impresses and allowances appurtenant to their offices as coordinators pursuant to Section 11 of the Ebonyi State Local Government Councils and Development Centres Regulations and Remunerations for Public and Political Office Holders (Amendment Law), 2008 (made pursuant to section 15 of Ebonyi State Local Government Councils and Development Centres (amendment Law) No. 7 of 2007), were denied our clients.”

The petition added, “By the same law, each development centre coordinator is entitled to a monthly imprest and allowance of N400,000.00 which includes security allowance, car maintenance allowance, office maintenance, imprest, etc.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, neglected or refused the release of allocations to the development centres from October 2015 to December 2020. As a result, our clients were denied their statutory imprests and allowances.

‌“Thus, for a period of about 63 months, from October 2015 to December 2020, our clients were largely denied their statutory remunerations with which to run their offices (including handling all security challenges in their development centres, office and car maintenance) with the paltry monthly salary of N101,000.00, after-tax deductions.”

Since after this petition, media houses have been engaging the G-64. Coordinators and the state government in a chat until a few days back when the legal adviser of G-64 Bar. Amos Ogbonnaya and the state government appeared again in Africa Independent Television (AIT) which may not go down well with the state government as Barr. Amos complains that governor Umahi, his brother and others threaten to deal with him if he continues destroying the image of Ebonyi State government.

After his abduction on 13th May 2021, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State chapter, accused Governor David Umahi, his brother Austin Umahi of plotting the kidnap of their member Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya at his hometown.

According to them. Amos was abducted for appearing on AIT to expose the alleged atrocities of the state governor.

The party made its stance known in a statement titled, “BARR. AMOS OGBONNAYA HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED BY AGENTS OF THE EBONYI STATE GOVERNOR,” and made available to newsmen in Abakaliki by its publicity secretary, Barr Silas Joseph Onu on Thursday night.

According to Onu, since the victim, Amos’s television appearance has been inundated by calls and outreaches from the Governor, his younger brother Austin, to desist from his expository mission or be dealt with.

Onu, however, called on Governor Umahi to ensure that nothing untoward happens to Barr. Amos, who has remained resolute together with his colleagues, in continuation of their effort to set the record of corruption in the state straight.

Onu further recalls that after Amos revealed a bombshell corrupt activities of the Governor on live AIT programme (Jigsaw), the Governor branded him an informant of herdsmen without a rational basis.

Reacting to the allegations levelled against Governor Umahi and others by PDP and G-64 coordinators, the Publicity Secretary, APC, Ebonyi State, Mr Ogbuatu Chidi Simbad in a statement said PDP members abducted Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya for attending a reconciliation meeting with an aide to Ebonyi State government.

“Silas Onu, the false alarmist of Ebonyi PDP has shot himself on the leg again by alleging that the kidnappers of the so-called Barr. Amos are agents of the Ebonyi State Government.”

“Let it be on record that the real kidnappers, and Silas Joseph Onu, the rabble-rouser knows about them but chose to accuse the state government as a diversionary tactic,” he added.

In their own reaction, the members of the G-64 Coordinators in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Chief Agu Chigozie Agu, while condemning the abduction of their legal adviser gave the state government 24hours to release their abducted member.

“Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya is the Legal Adviser of G-64 that appeared on AIT last week to demand the right attitude to governance from the Governor of Ebonyi State. Since that television appearance, he has been inundated by calls and outreaches from the Governor and his aides, especially Mark Onu who is also called Chopper, to desist from his expository mission or be dealt with.

“We have no doubt to believe that the governor of Ebonyi State has commenced the implementation of his earlier threats of clamping down on every voice, especially, of anybody that opposes to his style of governance in Ebonyi State.”

However, the Commissioner for information and State Orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji said PDP members kidnapped the victims for playing a double standard with APC.

Orji said, “It has come to our knowledge that some officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, particularly Barr. Silas Joseph Onu, Hon Linus Okorie and Ali Odefa have resorted to dirtier intrigues in their desperate but regrettable move to run down the name of our dear Governor, His Excellency, Chief David Umahi and the image of the state government.

“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.”

Orji, call on the general public to note that the press release of PDP Ebonyi State Chapter on the alleged kidnap of Amos Ogbonna, is part of the grand design by his syndicate of political howlers to cause tension in the state and incite public hatred on a government they hold in very high esteem.

“We therefore dissociate and distance ourselves as the 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.

“From the information available, it is obvious that Amos Ogbonna was last seen with Hon. Linus Okorie and Chidiebere Egwu( Alias Hulala). We, therefore, demand that Security Agencies should hold them accountable on the whereabouts of their co-traveller as circumstantial evidence points compellingly to their complicity in their allegation.

“We reaffirm our commitment to the core values of our administration and the prophetic proclamation that guides our actions. We leave our battles in the hands of God as we are sure that the enemies of our modest achievements shall be disappointed in the evil deeds of their agents,” he said.

When contacted, the Police Spokesman in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, who said she is not aware urged the family of the victim to provide useful information to the police, for possible rescuing of the victim and apprehension of the perpetrators.

Recall that Amos Ogbonnaya is the former coordinator of Anuagata Development Center Okposi in Ohaozara LGA.

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