Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Tuesday, explained the reasons Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State can never be involved in attacks on political opponents in the state.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said it is established that Governor Ugwuanyi is a man of peace who has consistently committed Enugu into the hands of God and whose peaceful mien has been lauded by numerous persons of influence.
The group, therefore, disregarded reports or insinuations that the governor has any hand in disrupting Labour Party’s meetings in the state, whereas other parties like the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance have been holding meetings peacefully in the state.
As campaigns officially start on September 28, 2022, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, HURIWA cautions politicians who stoke the embers of violence by recruiting youths as political thugs to cause havoc in the state.
According to reports, gunmen suspected to be political thugs over the weekend disrupted the meeting of the Labour Party in Nomeh Unateze, Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, weeks after they disrupted the meeting of the party in Awgu Ward 1. However, the PDP, APC, APGA, and other parties in the state have been holding meetings without any form of attack or interference from thugs.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The peaceful mien of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is non-negotiable. This has been attested to by so many personalities, including veteran footballer Kanu Nwankwo who described the governor as God-fearing, peaceful and kind-hearted leader who has made a lot of sacrifices and frantic efforts to keep the state peaceful and progressive.
“Similarly, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, this year said, “Enugu has remained the most peaceful State in the South-East geo-political zone” whilst the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, attests to the fact that Governor Ugwuanyi remains the most peaceful governor in the country.
“Of note, aside from a very peaceful leader, Governor Ugwuanyi has also demonstrated very rare tolerance with other parties in the state to the extent that his appointees are now joining other political parties aside from the PDP, and he has not sacked or witch-hunted them because of their decision because he understands freedom of democratic choices.
“For instance, one of his appointees, the Chairman of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Josef Umunnakwe Onoh, is at the moment the South East Campaigner for the presidential bid of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress after he lost PDP governorship primary in Enugu.”
“One of those who have openly disagreed with the governor is a former member of the PDP and ex-governorship aspirant who is now in the Labour Party, Chijioke Edeoga.
“These are people who are the governor’s appointees but have openly disagreed with him, yet the governor did not take any offence nor take their jobs from them though he has the power and right to do so.
“On the side of Chijioke Edeoga, he exited the cabinet of Enugu State to jostle for the governorship ticket of the PDP. When he lost out, he equally walked away and embraced labour party inspite of the fact that he made a commitment in writing to abide by the outcome of the PDP’s governorship primary.
“Chijioke Edeoga recently granted interviews on why he dumped his agreement to support the PDP and said some unacceptable things about the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in which he served as commissioner for seven years.
“But Governor Ugwuanyi in his notable characteristics as a man of peace and someone who tolerates plurality of opinions even from amongst his close aides, has neither done any interview or directed any of his foot soldiers to do a counter interview to correct the wrong impression created about the credibility of his administration by his immediate past Environment Commissioner Mr. Chijioke Edeoga.
“However, agents of instability bent on foisting mistrust, and bad blood against Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi have continued to stage violent attacks to discredit the Enugu State’s administration of Governor Ugwuanyi.
“These agents of disorder and violence did also carried out sporadic attacks during the primaries of the PDP in Enugu State, which led to the deaths of some members of the ruling party.”
“In all ramification, Governor Ugwuanyi is not and cannot be part of the attacks on political opponents as the chief security officer of the state. Rather, these are the works of his rivals who want to paint his government as intolerant of opposition. The governor is tolerant because he is one if the finest apostles of political pluralism and divergent views,” HURIWA affirmed.
HURIWA has therefore charged the heads of security institutions in Enugu State to rise to the occasion given the rapport and strong institutional, funding, and logistical support that they have continued to receive from the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to arrest those responsible for the spate of violence targeting Enugu State natives and law-abiding residents attending political meetings in the state, so the peaceful nature and status of Enugu State is sustained.