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APGA Thugs Assault Opponents In Governor Obi’s Hometown

Several sources, including a police officer, have confirmed to SaharaReporters that thugs hired by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra and led by one Ejike Imoka intimidated voters in Ward 3 in the governor’s hometown of Agulu, making it impossible for supporters of the ACN to cast their votes in today’s elections.

Several sources, including a police officer, have confirmed to SaharaReporters that thugs hired by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra and led by one Ejike Imoka intimidated voters in Ward 3 in the governor’s hometown of Agulu, making it impossible for supporters of the ACN to cast their votes in today’s elections.

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Two of the sources said Mr. Imoka led a group of thugs who gave a thorough beating to Bosah Azodo, the representative of the ACN. A police source said Mr. Imoka and the hoodlums under his command destroyed a car belonging to Mr. Azodo and stole the money with which the ACN representative was to pay his party’s polling agents.

A source close to Governor Obi, who has become unpopular all over the state because of his lack of performance, said that the governor was determined to use blackmail and intimidation to boost the chances of his handpicked candidates, including former Information Minister Dora Akunyili, a sacked member of the House of Representatives, Chuma Nzeribe, and controversial female legislator, Uche Ekwunife.

“Governor Obi has been stating openly that any community that doesn’t vote for his candidates would be denied access to government projects and political appointments,” said a source.

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 Mr. Obi met yesterday with civil servants in the state to order them to support his slate of candidates or face serious consequences. At the end of the meeting, the governor gave the civil servants 5 million naira to share. However, a source told SaharaReporters that the bribe created more political headaches for the governor when a few top civil servants made away with the cash, leaving most of the workers disappointed and furious.

“What we wanted to hear from the governor was about our minimum wage and unpaid salaries,” said one of the civil servants who attended yesterday’s meeting. “If he thinks that a bribe of N5 million is an assault for those questions, then he doesn’t know anything,” the source added.

A man from Agulu, Obi’s hometown, told our correspondent that the governor had always used physical attacks against his political opponents in the town. The source said that Mr. Obi had also ordered his thugs to beat up one Dr. Ogbuka during the governorship election that held on February 6, 2010. Mr. Ogbuka was a supporter of former Governor Chris Ngige in that governorship election.

“I hope that Professor Jega will not let Ejike Imoka and his sponsor, Governor Obi, to get away with beating the representatives of other political parties,” said one of the witnesses of the mayhem in Agulu, calling on the INEC chairman to cancel the election in Ward 3.

In the run-up to the election, Governor Obi resorted to ethnic politics to discredit Mr. Ngige. He published huge billboards showing APGA candidates with the late President of Nigeria Nnamdi Azikiwe and ailing former Biafran leader Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu whilst Mr. Ngige is shown in posters with  the late Obafemi Awolowo and former Governor Bola Tinubu. A political activist from Anambra condemned Governor Obi’s manipulation of ethnic sentiments. “Look, Nigerians from all parts of the country supported Governor Obi in his epic battle to take back the governorship both from Dr. Ngige and Chief Andy Uba, who was installed by Obasanjo. So why is he trying to discredit Ngige by sending a message that Dr. Ngige belongs to a Yoruba party? It is a shame.”

 

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