Dave Umahi APC decries increasing rate of crime in Ebonyi

The APC chairman said the spate of violent crime,  including armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, rape, murder, in the state were worrisome.

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Gov. Dave Umahi

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi in Abakaliki on Monday  expressed concern over the increasing rate of crime in the state.

The Chairman of the party, Mr Eze Nwachukwu, said the spate of violent crime,  including armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, rape, murder, in the state were worrisome.
Nwachukwu condemned the resurgence of violent crime in the state, especially the recent attack on two journalists in Abakaliki on Friday.

He described the development as `ugly and unacceptable’ and called on the police and other security agencies to brace to the situation.
“Our attention has been drawn to the deplorable security situation in Abakaliki and other parts of the state, especially on the recent attack and assassination attempt on two journalists in Abakaliki.

“The abduction of Mr Charles Otu, reporter with the Guardian Newspapers, as well as assassination attempt on Mr Samuel Nweze, publisher of the People’s Leader, a local tabloid in Abakaliki, on the same day attested to deplorable security situation.
“Protection of lives and property is the primary responsibility of any government and raison d’ etre for the establishment of modern government.
“The party condemns this ugly development in the state and calls on the police and other law enforcement agencies to rise up to the challenge,”
he said.
Nwachukwu alleged that the attacks on the two journalists were carried out by a youth organisation, known as Ekubaraoha Youth Assembly.
He accused the organisation of involvement in series of nefarious criminal activities that undermined peace, law and order.

Nwachukwu called on the state government to call the group to order in the interest of peace and safety of residents of the state.
“The activities of the group pose great danger to development of democracy and threat to opposition groups in the state.
“The actions of these militants in the coming months will continue to degenerate to more intolerable level as we count down to 2019 general election if unchecked,”
he added.
The chairman called on the police and other security agencies to proscribe the organisation.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi Command, Mr Jude Madu, said the command had launched investigation into the attacks on the journalists.

He said that it was unethical for the police to blame or link anyone or group to the attacks without a concrete evidence.

“Much as the police condemn the barbaric attacks on the two journalists in Abakaliki, we will not be hasty to blame anybody or group of being responsible for the attacks until we conclude our investigations.
“Our investigations are on-going and I can assure you that those behind the criminal attacks will in no time be unmasked,”
Madu said.

He said the rate of crime in the state had drastically reduced and urged residents to report criminal activities in their areas promptly to the police.

Reacting, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Dave Umahi, Mr Emma Anya, dismissed the allegation of sponsorship of the organisation by the state government.

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Anya said the governor was media friendly and could not have sponsored any group linked to his political party or any government official to carry out attack on any journalist working in the state.
“The governor of Ebonyi is a refined gentleman and believer in press freedom and one open to constructive criticism.
“There is no truth in the APC’s allegation that the government is providing protection and cover for the youth organisation to “perpetrate” their nefarious activities.
“The youth group, in the first place, is a peaceful socio-political organisation committed to promoting good programmes and policies of the government as well as mobilising the youth to actively participate in governance, ”
Anya said.
Mr Mark Onuh the President of the Ekubaraoha Youth Assembly could not be reached but an officials of the  organisation, Mr Ephraim Onwe, denied the involvement of the group in the attacks.

Otu, the Guardian reporter, was beaten on Friday evening along Vanco Junction in Abakaliki.

He said he was later taken to the ‘Cabinet Office’, Abakaliki, by thugs suspected to be members of Ekubaraoha Youth Assembly.

Also, Nweze said that about 7p.m.  on the same day he survived an assassination attempt in his office at No. 2, Awolowo Street, Abakaliki, when two men on a motorcycle shot at him.

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