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*By David Uka, Abakaliki*

Following  the violent political  attacks by suspected political thugs in some communities in Izzi local government area  of Ebonyi State which led to the destruction of over 30 houses and several people injured, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Awosola Awutinde has appealed for calm among the residents over the attacks.

Awutinde who spoke to journalists after his assessment visit to  the area vowed to fish out perpetrators of the dastardly act.

The State Police boss who condemned the attacks warned against any
reprisal, adding that those involved in the criminal attacks will be brought to book.

“We appeal for calm and assure the public that police will spare no
efforts in ensuring that everyone who is involved in the dastardly act
is brought to book including their sponsors, so please accept my 
sympathy.

“The police further reassure the public of commitment to protection of
lives and property of every citizen of the state before, during and
after the elections,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the victims of the attack, Mr Donatus Nwofe who
spoke to journalists at Aguabata in Agbaja community of Izzi said that
he lost two of his buildings and property worthy several millions to
the attackers.

Narrating his ordeal, Nwofe, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of
Pensioners, Ebonyi Council said that the suspected political thugs
invaded his compound and shot sporadically before setting the houses
ablaze.

“I lost everything; even the boxers I am wearing was donated to me by a sympathizer, as you can see, no pin was removed from the burnt down houses.

“We now live in fear as no one knows when the hoodlums will attack
again with their AK 47 riffles other weapons.

“I am appealing to police to beef up security in the community and I
am also calling on state and Federal governments to come to the rescue
of the victims of the attacks,” Nwofe said.

Also, Mr Paulinus Onyike who spoke to newsmen on the attacks said that
the suspected political thugs invaded Izenyi, in Agbaja community and
set houses suspected to belong to members of the All Progressives
Congress, ablaze.

Onyike, APC chairman in Agbaja ward 3 said that the suspected
political thugs invaded the area, shot indiscriminately before setting
houses and other valuable property ablaze in the area.

He described the attacks as barbaric and called for proper investigation and arrest of the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the leadership of APC in the state has described the attacks on its members and supporters as unprovoked war and urged police and other security agencies to intensify security surveillance in the state.

The party at a press briefing by the state chairman, Chief Eze
Nwachukwu in Abakaliki  called for better measures by the security system to live up to their expectation and ensure that the vow of the state government to crush and grind any position that would make them lose is not implemented.

Nwachukwu who chronicled the alleged gruesome attacks to include; attack
on the senatorial candidate of the party in Ebonyi South Senatorial
District, Prince Nweze Onu, attacks on APC candidate for Ohankwu/Ebonyi constitueny, Hon. Peter OgodoAli.

Others include; attacks and disruption of APC local government rallies
by suspected political thugs at Ebonyi, Onitcha, Ohaozara local
government areas and destruction of APC campaign office in Ohaozara.

He also listed alleged attacks on the home of APC zonal publicity
secretary, Mr Chris Ogba at Ezzama, Ezza South on February 16 and
attack on members of the party at Ekoli-Edda among others.

“All these incidents have been duly reported to the Police in the
state and we call on the police to ensure that perpetrators are
arrested and brought to justice”, Nwachukwu said.

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