RESCUED: First published by SaharaReporters on April 5, 2011
- The Goodluck Jonathan government’s delay in arresting General Ihejirika and ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff is to enable the culprits destroy evidence
Despite the stance of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika that the military will not be used to intimidate or harass politicians as well as electorates during the elections, the reverse has been the case in his own community, Ovim in Isuikwuato L.G.A. of Abia state as his younger brother, Okey Ihejirika is alleged to have been on the loose with the batch of soldiers attached to the community for security, attacking, threatening and beating up those who are said to belong to other political parties other than the PDP.
Inside sources in the area confirmed that the younger Ihejirika who runs a Guest House said to be owned by his brother is obsessed with power since the appointment of the COAS , as such he is leading the campaign for the return of the state governor, Theodore Orji and other PDP candidates in the area. The communities around are said to be under siege as the opposition is almost being stifled. The major opposition parties in the area include PPA, LP, APGA,CPC AND ACN.
Reports have it that Okey Ihejirika has been seen campaigning alongside his kith and kin who claim that President Goodluck Jonathan may terminate the appointment of the COAS if another political Party wins in the area. Prior to the failed Saturday elections, Okey was on a campaign train urging the people to cast their vote for the ruling PDP in other to protect his brother’s appointment. He has repeatedly ordered soldiers to beat up anybody who does to the contrary. This was also evidenced on Saturday during the NASS elections where soldiers stationed in his ANCCO Guest House, Ovim were said to have beaten up the agent of the Labour Party who had insisted that the actual number of persons accredited should be recorded. The young man, Nnanna Kanu who also hails from the same community with the Ihejirikas was thoroughly beaten by the soldiers who were told he was working for Noel Okorougo, the Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Abia North who also hails from the same Local Government with the COAS. In the next LGA where the PPA seems to be upstaging the PDP, story is the same as soldiers again on the orders of Hon. Nkeiru Onyejeocha and Senator Uche Chukwumerije also beat up agents and supporters of the PPA candidate for the House of Representatives, Chris Odinaka Igwe.
The opposition Parties seem to be posing for war with those who are said to be riding on the back of the COAS. Though it is not yet certain if the relations of the Army Chief are acting on his orders, but there are confirmed reports that his residence has in the past weeks played host for PDP chieftains including the state governor who is alleged to be parting with a reasonable percentage of his security vote in order to secure the military backing. Gov. T.A. Orji is said to be backed by armored military tankers and personnel while on campaign in the state and that is said to have angered the people of the state who have vowed to push him out of office.
Meanwhile, the Ovim community is said to have witnessed an unprecedented number of strange youths referred to as thugs and are said to be kept at the ANCCO Guest House alongside the dreaded Bakassi cult group known as Abia State Vigilante Services who are under the payroll of the state governor. Some of the hired thugs are also said to have been brought in by the Transition Chairman of the Local Government Council, Timothy Onwuka who is said to be working for Gen Ike Nwachukwu, a chieftain of the PDP in the area and a native of Ovim. He also provided logistics and housing for the thugs in a desperate bid to stop the rival PPA former governor Orji Uzor Kalu who is running for the Senate in the area as well as another daughter of Ovim, Oby Ndukwe who is also flying the flag of the rival PPA for the Isuikwuato Constituency in the State House of Assembly. The PPA candidate though is a cousin of the COAS but she is said to be opposed by Gen Ihejirika and the immediate family members who see her alliance with the PPA as an affront to the PDP government of President Jonathan that appointed Ihejirika into office.