The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi State, Professor Benard Odoh escaped assassination narrowly on Thursday.
During the attack, the candidate’s personal driver was killed while five others sustained high degrees of injuries.
Report has it that Odoh was allegedly attacked near Rest House, Okpoto community in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by armed men suspected to be hired assassins.
The candidate was also attacked days ago in Iboko community, Izzi Local government Area of the state, the home town of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, by hoodlums, suspected to be members of Ebubeagu security outfit, on his way to commission a campaign office in the area.
In a statement in Abakaliki, the state capital, Director, Media and Publicity, APGA Campaign council, Mr. Charles Otu, said Odoh and his team were allegedly ambushed by the suspected militia belonging to the Ebubeagu operatives.
He said: “An unmarked silver-coloured Sienna, loaded with suspected Ebubeagu with not less than 8 persons parked at the left flank of the road and opened fire with AK-47 as soon as they sighted the leading pilot vehicle of the team.
“The pilot vehicle was shot at not less than 8 times before they cordoned off the governorship candidate’s vehicle and riddled his Prado jeep with bullets.
“In the process, his driver was shot at and as he bled profusely, the ADC swiftly drove off the vehicle with all tyres already punctured and flat down till he managed to get to Pele Filling station.”
Otu alleged further that no fewer than five persons were feared missing, while two others sustained serious gunshot injuries.
When contacted, Ebubeagu commander in Ebonyi State, Mr. Friday Nnanna Ujor denied knowledge of the alleged attack and warned that the opposition parties in the state should refrain from accusing Ebubeagu of masterminding the attacks.
According to him: “Tell them that it is a lie. Ebubeagu did not attack anybody. They should leave Ebubeagu alone, not when they have a problem, they will start calling Ebubeagu.
“Last week, another party shot one Ebubeagu to death and nobody talked about it.
“Tell them that the Ebubeagu commander said, ‘no Ebubeagu attacked anybody yesterday’. This thing that the opposition is doing, the day that they killed one Ebubeagu at Onicha LGA, they said it is because they are dragging one thousand Naira but when we did an investigation, we found out that it was not true.”
According to APGA, the incident occurred barely 48 hours after governor David Umahi called on security agencies to withdraw security personnel attached to candidates of opposition parties.
When NewsExpress visited the emergency unit of the federal teaching hospital, Abakaliki, the injured persons were still receiving treatment.
Efforts made to reach the state Public Relations officer (PPRP), SP Chris Anyanwu to comment on the attack were unsuccessful as of the time of filing this report