Fear grips Ebonyians as two warring lords took to the street.
People in Abakaliki, the administrative city of Ebonyi state were yesterday gripped by fear and apprehension as supporters of two warring leaders in the Ohaukwu local government area of the state took to the street to protest against and support of the leaders; Hon. Clement Odah the Chairman of the local government and the member representing Ohaukwu south state constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedu Onah.
While the Onah supporters were at the Assembly complex in Nkaliki protesting against Odah and calling for his removal from office, the Odah supporters besieged government house declaring their unalloyed support for the council Chairman and exonerating him from any wrong doing.
The anti/pro protesters carried placards with various inscriptions to send their messages during the protests with heavy presence of security agents especially at the government house, Abakaliki.
Odah and Onah had issues at the state House of Assembly during screening of Management Committee Members nominees from Ohaukwu local government area sent to the Assembly by the state government for screening and confirmation.
It was alleged that Odah slapped Onah at the Assembly complex when the two leaders clashed.
The situation led to the Assembly calling for arrest and prosecution of the council Chairman over his action.
Leader of the Assembly, Victor Chukwu had moved a motion calling for immediate arrest and prosecution of the council Chairman over the incident. The motion was unanimously adopted.
But yesterday, supporters of Onah and Odah took to the streets of Abakaliki, government house and the state Assembly to protest for and against the incident.
At the Assembly Complex in Nkaliki, the protesters noted described the attack on Onah as deliberate move to distract the Lawmaker from performing his functions.
In a statement signed by Onwe Erastus on behalf of the protesters, the group said “we are worried that this deliberate attack by the council Chairman is a direct affront on the people of Ohaukwu south state Constituency whom the lawmaker represents, and as such, we may begin to experience another set of injustices and marginalization from the Chairman.
“We call on both the state House of Assembly and the Security agencies to quickly initiate all measures that will unravel both the immediate and remote causes of the attack and prosecute the offenders in line with the law of the land. this is a very bad precedence and may become a norm if not checked”, the Onah supporters said.
In their own protest, supporters of Odah led by Agena Benjamin Ogbu said they took to the protest to counter the insinuations that the Council Chairman beat up the member representing Ohaukwu south state constituency.
“We heard what people are saying that our Council Chairman attacked and beat up somebody at the Ebonyi state House of Assembly. He didn’t do that and he is doing very well in his duties and he doesn’t need any distraction and that is why we came to counter that. Our Council Chairman is a peaceful gentleman and he cannot do that”.
Deputy Chief of Staff government House and Deputy Principal Secretary to Governor Dave Umahi, Chief Okechukwu Nwapku and Emmanuel Obasi who addressed the two protesting groups at the government house, warned them against violence.