The police command in Ebonyi has frowned at the lingering clashes between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters in some parts of the state.
ASP Loveth Odah, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Monday that the command was disturbed by the unwholesome political development in the state ahead of the polls.
Odah also confirmed that Chief Nweze Onu, the APC candidate for Ebonyi South Senatorial District, was attacked by unidentified hoodlums in the area.
“The candidate is currently receiving treatment in a hospital but investigations have commenced to apprehend and prosecute the hoodlums,” she said.
She said that the command felt worried by the political clashes because APC and PDP were among the parties that signed the peace accord for violence-free elections in the state.
Odah said that the dimension of the clashes showed that they were not political but criminal.
She said: “The clashes have reached the highest level, especially in Izzi Local Government Area, the home council of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
“These clashes occurred mainly on Friday and Saturday, the day that the presidential and national assembly elections were supposed to take place.
“At Ezinya-Agbaja community of Izzi, for instance, supporters of both parties set six houses decorated in APC and PDP party colours ablaze.”
The PPRO however could not confirm whether lives were lost in the clashes but said that no arrest had been made by the command.
She promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring the arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
“We have reinforced our patrols in the area. We are also holding dialogues with political stakeholders on how to put a permanent solution to the clashes.
“We have appealed to them not to engage in reprisal attacks but wait for the state government and police to take action on the matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state PDP in a statement signed by Mr Bethran Okulegu, its Publicity Secretary, condemned the alleged killings and wanton destruction of property.
Okulegu urged security agencies in the state to take urgent steps to put an end to the clashes.
“We urge our members to remain calm and law-abiding but never to succumb to intimidations or assaults on our members,” he said.
Chief Eze Nwachukwu, the state APC Chairman, faulted the police for blaming both political parties for the clashes.
Nwachukwu said, “The Police is definitely taking sides, if it blames both parties for the clashes after seeing the wanton destruction of lives and property of our party supporters.” (NAN)
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