Senate Minority Leader and a governorship aspirant in Abia State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, was attacked at Isialangwa North Local Government axis of the state while on a consultation tour.
Abaribe, who is currently representing Abia South Senatorial District, was said to have been attacked while addressing PDP members in the LGA.
It was gathered that the Senator was challenged by the deputy chairman of Isiala Ngwa North LGA during his consultation leading to an uproar and subsequently physical attack by thugs allegedly hired by deputy chairman.
It was possible to get the reaction of his chief press secretary, Uchenna Awom as at the time of filing this report, but it was learnt that the scene of the attack is the home base of another PDP governorship aspirant, Prof Uche Ikonne.
Prof. Ikonne, former Vice Chancellor of the Abia state University Uturu (ABSU), is seriously in the governorship race and reportedly has the backing of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the 2023 governorship election.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Obingwa Local Government Council, Mr Michael Ibe Nwoke, has described as rascal behaviour, the attack on the Senate Minority Leader, accusing the deputy chairman of Isiala Ngwa North, Chuks Amaike as the brain behind it.
In a statement he issued on Tuesday, Nwoke who spoke on behalf of people of Obingwa, insisted that the assault on Abaribe will not be treated with kid gloves, pointing out that the right of every individual in a democratic setting to seek for votes in an election he or she is contesting for is an inalienable right. Abaribe is from Obingwa LGA
The statement titled “An Attack On Abaribe Is An Attack On Us” reads: “My attention has been drawn to the display of rascality by the people of Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area where the leader of the People’s Democratic Party in the National Assembly, the pride of Igbo land, the Senate Minority Leader, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was gruesomely attacked and insulted by some thugs and miscreants led by the Deputy Chairman of Isiala Ngwa North, Hon. Chuks Amaike, without recourse to his status, age and pedigree in the society, while on his consultation tour of LGAs for his governorship bid.
“As the home Chairman of the senator, I, Hon. Michael Ibe Nwoke, the Executive Chairman of Obingwa Local Government Area, will not stand and watch while our senator and leader is insulted in such manner with impunity.
“I hereby state categorically:
1. “That the Deputy Chairman of Isiala Ngwa North, Hon. Chuks Amaike should immediately let us know who his sponsors are, as we are aware he did not act alone
2. “That Obingwa, as a peace loving people call on security agencies in the state to, as a matter of urgency invite the Deputy Chairman of Isiala Ngwa North to explain why he has the temerity to disrupt Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s consultative meeting for his 2023 governorship aspirations, for which reasons he was at Isiala Ngwa North. This attack on a revered figure like Senator Abaribe, who is respected not just in Abia, but Nigeria, will not be tolerated and those behind this particular attack will face the music.
3. “That whereas it is the right of anyone in a democratic society as upheld by the constitution to seek to vote and be voted for, as evidenced with other Governorship aspirants consulting across the 17 LGAs of the state without disturbance including Senator Abaribe who has visited Abia North and other parts of the state. My question is, why should it be in Isiala Ngwa North that such rascality and insults is meted out on our own son? Is this how they want to take over leadership of Abia? It is quite unfortunate that my brothers from Isiala Ngwa North especially the Deputy Chairman has taken laws into their hands thereby infringing on the rights of our leader and father
4. “That the insult on Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, our leader, father and elder brother will not be treated with kids gloves and as such that Hon. Chuks Amaike is given on or within the next 24 hours to tender an reserved public apology to the Senator or have the people of Obingwa to contend with.
5. “That as a serving Local Government Chairman in the state, the actions of the serving Deputy Chairman brings the Local Government Administration to disrepute and would not be tolerated
6. “We call on the State working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party in the State to wade into this matter immediately and disciplinary actions taken on whoever is found guilty in order to protect our dear party in the state.
7. “That in the interest of peace in the state, the elders of the land should warn their young ones to desist from being used as thugs even as the electioneering period draws closer as nobody has the monopoly of violence.
“And I ask again, Hon. Deputy Chairman, Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, who sent you?
“While we await your response and that of security agencies in the state, be reminded that to be forewarned is to be fore armed”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.