Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Monday, asked the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to arrest the Labour Party Enugu North Senator-Elect, Okechukwu Ezea for alleged statement endorsing political violence and for allegedly inciting electorate in the state against Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State.
HURIWA, in a statement read at a World’s Media briefing by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said Ezea’s alleged inflammatory and acerbic cum anti-democratic statements should not be swept under the carpet going by the widespread violence recorded in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls.
Ezea was last Saturday declared the winner of the Enugu North Senatorial District election by the Independent National Electoral Commission. INEC said Ezea scored 104,948 votes to emerge the winner whilst Ugwuanyi came second with 46,948 votes.
Ezea in a viral video was allegedly heard as saying the governorship election would be a do-or-die battle in the state. He was inciting the good people of Nsukka against the people of Nkanu, literally drumming up war on the day of the next election.
Many voices of reason have since berated Ezea over his inflammatory comment which is against the Peace Accord signed by all candidates in the state before last Saturday’s poll and ahead of the March 11, 2023 governorship and state assemblies’ election.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide called on senator-elect for the Enugu North Senatorial zone, Okey Ezea, not to set the state ablaze with his comment on ‘do or die’. While reminding him that it would be very dangerous to throw stones into a marketplace, as the victim cannot be known, the organisation advised him to withdraw that comment for the sake of peace in Enugu State.
Also, former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, condemned what he described as drums of war by Ezea, saying it was capable of precipitating bloodshed in the March 11 governorship election in the state.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “We at HURIWA strongly condemn the incitement to violence by the accidentally elected Senator for Enugu North who rode on the wave of charismatic popularity of Peter Obi to win under Labour Party platform even when he has now shown himself to be predisposed to political violence or at least espouses political violence.
“Persons elected for public office should operate with decorum and uphold the tenets of democracy which include civility and peaceful elections. Elections are not a do-or-die affair and the court should remain a legal option to explore to challenge the outcome of polls.
“We Call on Inspector General of Police to arrest him for questioning so as to prevent violence at the March 11th poll. HURIWA will thereafter as urgent as possible petition the IGP and the National Security Adviser so he can be called in for questioning to clarify his threats to use violence during the guber poll. HURIWA will be sending official petitions in this regard to the office of the Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba and the National Security Adviser to request that both offices conduct investigative interviews with Okey Ezea to ascertain why that clear statement calling for electoral reportedly attributed to him was made and this investigation must be conducted before the March 11th governorship election so the security agencies can prevent any possible breakdown of law and order on that election day.”