Many people were injured on Thursday as suspected thugs attacked the campaign trail of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edda, Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Among those injured was the former Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dorothy Obasi, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor David Umahi on House of Assembly Matters.
Edda is the hometown of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Sonni Ogbuoji.
Briefing journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital, on Friday, the campaign organisation of Mr Umahi alleged that the thugs numbering over 100 also attacked PDP supporters at the campaign ground.
The group said the attack happened on Thursday during the PDP governorship campaign rally in the local government
The Director-General of the Divine Mandate Campaign Organisation, Fidelis Nwankwo, accused the APC of instigating violence in the state.
He also alleged that the supporters of the party were behind the destruction of the campaign billboards of the PDP across the state.
“Just yesterday, Thursday the 7th of February, 2019, as a procession of the Divine Mandate Campaign Organisation headed for Edda for its local government rally, a bunch of APC thugs were mobilised and violently set upon the PDP procession which was lawfully going about their business.
“Law-abiding citizens were molested, beaten, and harassed by these mindless street urchins. Wanton destruction was also inflicted on vehicles and property of PDP faithful whose only crime was to express their freedom of association and political affiliation”, he added.
Meanwhile, Governor Umahi has ordered the police in the state and the State Security Services (SSS) to fish out the attackers.
He also urged the public not to take laws into their hands.
The governor spoke at the PDP campaign rally at Nguzu Edda primary school, Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state.
“Three persons are hereby declared wanted for obstructing the existing peace in Afikpo South, blocking people with guns and threatening to shoot them.
“The Commissioner for Internal Security, Mr Kenneth Ugbala, will submit their names to the Commissioner of Police (CP) Awosola Awotunde and the SSS,” Umahi said.
Mr Umahi expressed satisfaction with the more than 25 various projects executed in the area by the local government chairman, Eniduma Chima.
He further commended other stakeholders and party supporters for their contributions to the development of the area.
The South-east vice-chairman of the PDP, Austin Umahi, who spoke at the rally, tasked security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible election.