2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Enugu Guber: Group releases statement alleging plans by Edeoga, other LP chieftains to mobilise thugs to storm INEC; asks security agents to forestall breakdown of law and order
…Prof Bart Nnaji debunks allegation, says hired group trying to soil his reputation
A pro-democracy group, Enugu Good Governance Group (E-3G), has alleged plots by the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga; his in-law, Chief Nnia Nwodo; and former Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, to mobilize thugs to stampede the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu on Monday to scuttle the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah, as the winner of the March 18 governorship election.
The E-3G revealed this in a statement released by its national coordinator, Comrade Odinaka Okechukwu, in the early hours of Monday.
The group said it intercepted an SMS sent by Edeoga to some groups and another message mobilising Odenigbo Warriors, a group alleged to be promoted by Prof. Nnaji, urging them to march on INEC tomorrow and hold the agency to ransom until they stop Peter Mbah’s declaration as the winner and announce Edeoga instead.
The E-3G said message circulating Umu Odenigbo, which is entitled “Open Letter to the Odenigbo Warriors”, incited the group, telling them that Edeoga’s victory is to them an opportunity to produce Chijioke Edeoga’s successor in 2031.
“You have matched them in the voting polling Units and won them. The people have given us their mandate. Our duty is to safeguard the voters’ mandate.
“What is at stake is our freedom. It is the opportunity to produce Senator in 2023. To produce Enugu Governor in 2031 after Isi-Uzo and next time when it rotates to Nkanu.
“Let fight them on air, on sea and on land. But we must win. This movement of Jah People must be completed”.
Meanwhile, the pro-democracy group also asked Edeoga and the LP to explain how the score of the party in Nsukka LGA, which stood at 17,000 in the morning of Sunday jumped to 30,000 in the evening of the same day.
“We also wonder what is difficult in Peter Mbah polling 30,000 votes in Nkanu East LGA where he hails from when Edeoga of the LP polled 30,294 votes in Nsukka LGA which is not his home LGA.
“We wonder what makes the LP, Edeoga and co celebrate their victories in Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and other PDP strongholds, but are bent on setting Enugu State on fire rather than accept Dr. Mbah’s deserved victory”.
While urging the LP leaders in the state to emulate the PDP senatorial candidate for Enugu East senatorial zone, who congratulated the LP winner almost immediately the result was officially announced, the group called on the security agencies to maintain law and order to enable INEC to complete its assignment.
Our correspondent reports that at exactly 1:24am on Monday, March 20, 2023, the LP guber candidate sent in a message through his known phone number to a whatsapp group named “Politics of Enugu State” which reads: “PLEASE LET US OCCUPY INEC OFFICE THIS MONDAY MORNING TO PROTEST THE ATTEMPT TO FRUSTRATE THE DEMOCRATIC CHOICES OF A MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN ENUGU STATE”.
While some other participants of the whatsapp group likely sympathetic to the PDP condemned his call which they saw as an attempt to incite violence, a few believed to be sympathetic to the LP candidate said nothing was wrong with his call.
Our correspondent sent in an sms to the LP guber candidate, Barr. Chijioke Edeoga, to get his response to the allegations by the E-3G group. He’s yet to respond as at the time of this report.
Speaking to our correspondent on phone, Prof. Bart Nnaji denied the allegation stating it was the handiwork of hired groups trying to dent his image.
“How can I hire thugs when I’m not even on the ballot? Do I have thugs? People know me in this country and this is an attempt to smear my name and image.
“If anyone believes such report against me, it means the person doesn’t know my character personally. You can be rest assured that I have no business with those allegations”, the former Power Minister responded.
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