On the excesses of Labour Party in Udenu, Enugu state

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The presidential and parliamentary elections held throughout the country on February 25, 2023 have come and gone with a lot of poignant take-home lessons. But what transpired in Udenu local government area of Enugu state was social malice taken too far, with the opposition, Labour Party, LP engaging in all sorts of dirty politicking to smear the integrity of our electoral process.

Five days to the elections, the campaign vehicle of the party was unfortunately burnt to ashes by an alleged unknown gunmen ostensibly enforcing sit-at-home order on a Monday along the Enugu – Ezike road, which is endemic with such insurrection. Without a single evidence, Labour Party falsely accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of commiting the arson. This malicious piece of propaganda was sponsored by no less a figure than a respected senior citizen from the local government area.

The Campaign Office of Hon Solomon Izuchukwu Onah (Jack Solo) published a rebuttal, in which it condemned the incident, and commiserated with their brothers and sisters in the Labour Party, while setting the record straight on the matter. Despite having every right to prosecute them for such libelous defamation of character, Hon. Onah kept his cool in the interest of public peace, to avoid further politicisation of the security of our people.

Yet, the bullies in Labour Party led by their candidate Obinna Ijere didn’t rest. They planted another malignant wave of accusation, under which they would hide to perpetrate evil. Forty eight hours to the election, they started circulating spiteful piece of false news that Hon. Solomon Onah has imported ‘cult boys’ to truncate peaceful elections in Udenu. This piece of vitriolic falsehood made Hon. Onah to shed tears. As a gentleman, imbued with virtue and character, he could not wrap his head around such unfounded baleful punch from people he has been protecting since he took over as executive chairman. It hit his bones. Again, his campaign team came up with a disclaimer against it.

No one knew it was a decoy set by Udenu chapter of Labour Party in their clandestine plan to intimidate our people on the eve of the elections. And so at about 15:00 hours local time, a band of armed cult men assembled at Umuosigide Obollo Orie, releasing gunshots in the air sporadically. People were scared as these miscreants kept spraying bullets for no just cause. They were chanting war songs threatening to kill anyone who won’t vote for Labour Party, or tries to support PDP. Mr. Obinna Ijere as you know is the Labour Party candidate for Enugu State House Of Assembly election, Udenu Constituency. He is among some political opportunists who are hoodwinking our people hiding under the goodwill of Mr. Peter Obi to win election.

As the news of this criminal display reached the chairman of the local government, he ordered a segment of the Nigerian Army along Obollo Afor — Obollo Eke road to mobilise to the scene. When they got there, those men ran away, while Obinna Ijere was accosted by the personnel. Hon. Onah had earlier directed the soldiers not to be harsh on Obinna so as not to hit up the polity, on an election eve. But to warn him to desist from such threat of violence, and intimidation against our people. Jack Solo, who is flying the flag of PDP in the same state assembly election, warned that no one should be allowed to infringe the right of our people to make their choices freely at the polls.

Despite having all the arsenal at his disposal to get Obinna arrested and prosecuted, Jack Solo, who has never played politics with bitterness, chose to look the other way for peace to reign. But they mistook his meekness for weakness.

As the governorship and state Assembly elections are around the corner, one of the usurpers of Peter Obi’s goodwill, who conned our electorate to become senator-elect has been caught on camera, threatening fire and brimstone against anyone who will vote PDP on March 18.

These wolves in sheep clothing, parading as wearers of Obi’s character, have been tolerated excessively. And they’re now turning our hometown into “terra nullus” (no man’s land).

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, true to his title as “Eze Udo”, allowed the will of the people to prevail without any interference, despite the fact that he knew the electorate were mislead into thinking that a man like Ideke is up to any good at the National Assembly, just because he rode on the phantom Labour Party integrity mantra. Ugwuanyi, like Jack Solo, preached before, during and after the elections. But since Obinna Ijere and his cohorts in Labour garbs continue to truncate public peace with threat of violence, government should rise up and do the needful.

Ideke has been on viral video clips making such incitive comments ahead of the governorship and state assembly elections rescheduled for this Saturday. Obinna and his cohorts are allegedly hatching plans to intimidate or suppress voters again.

On 28th February, a spare parts dealer in Nsukka, who hails from Obollo Eke, released a horrific WhatsApp voice clip, that has gone viral. In the ill-advised voice note, he threatened to kill any election presiding officer who for any reason could not upload results to INEC portal instantly at the polling unit. He also threatened to kill anyone who doesn’t vote along the lines of Labour Party candidates, saying that they are on a crusade to remove PDP from the entire state, either by hook or crook.

The voice clip has been reported to the Obollo Afor Police Division for investigation.

Udenu LGA is not known for such unsavoury politics. And they earlier Udenu chapter of Labour Party stopped their notoriety the better for them.

Nduka Nnadi,
Obollo Afor, Enugu state
[email protected]