As President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday stormed Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital for his campaign tour and endorsement of the candidates of the APC for the coming elections, the state gubernatorial candidate, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji has said that the party and the entire opposition in the state live under threat and fear.
He made this known when he addressed the president during the campaign trip that had a massive turnout of supporters, party members and others who filled the Abakaliki Stadium venue.
This was after the national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had handed the party flag to Ogbuoji and other candidates of the party as final endorsement of their candidacy.
He had told the president that although the laws of Nigeria guarantee a multiparty democracy and political system, such seems and is treated as crime in Ebonyi.
He noted that the manner the state government attacks, hounds, harasses and intimidates the opposition, especially the APC and the supporters, the federal government needs to intervene and save the situation.
‘Mr. President, we live and campaign under siege as the state has sewn uniforms of security agencies for thugs that would be unleashed on the APC and the entire opposition on the election days to have their way.
Mr. President, our state has seen, tasted, feasted, dined and hobnobbed with maladministration, misrule, mismanagement, reckless and wanton anti-democratic culture in the past four years and will die and phase out unless we rescue it now. Thank you for coming here to lend us support to rescue Ebonyi, especially the Ebonyi workers who have endured poor or no pay or gratuities for the retired workers, and whose rights of freedom have been eroded and they reduced to near slaves that don’t deserve promotion.
This state also has become the hotbed of impunity, security breach and the wanton violation of the rights of the citizens through very unconventional state bodies such as the Neighbourhood Watch armed to the teeth to browbeat the people. That has become our new normal
We still wonder when military training left the military base in Abakaliki to the Unity Square and somewhere in the Ochudo city here in Abakaliki. Here and now, because of desperation, we battle the highest form of political intolerance where your posters and billboards and the entire APC haven’t the right to be seen as marauding bands of government take them down and beat up our members. We have a governor that brooks no opposition and vows in public to destroy any party or persons that contest with him, and some have already been crushed according to his blood-cuddling slogan
We have reported tens of times to the security agencies to a point of helplessness. The radio and TV stations of the state are for the government alone in breach of the laws as APC campaign jingles are never accepted or played. Just two days before you came, all your campaign billboards on the Enugu highway and the entire city were pulled down by someone that pretends to be your friend.
We also know they have gathered so many influential traditional leaders to prostrate to you and ask that you allow Governor Dave Umahi to continue in office. That is not the correct position or wish of Ebonyians. Ebonyi wants APC and the masses want that desperately. Mr. President, the PDP in the state scorns you and your party and crushes the masses with hardship and we urge you not to listen to any hired persons pleading for Umahi to continue
In his address to the state, President Buhari assured the people that his government will always be considerate and make Ebonyi a part of the nation that will never be forgotten in the development and advancement of the nation.
He ha also promised that his policy is to do better if voted into power again and advance the nation, while not leaving Ebonyi behind.
Also in his address, Oshiomhole urged the people of the state to vote massively for the party at all levels of elections to ensure that Ebonyi is truly an APC state and at the mainstream of national politics.
The highlights of the event was President Buhari raising Ogbuoji’s hands as final endorsement as the gubernatorial standard bearer of the state.