Women and youths from different communities of Ezza clan in Ebonyi State at the weekend, protested the alleged assassination attempt on the life of their illustrious son and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Professor Benard Odoh, by unknown gunmen.
The convoy of the governorship hopeful was ambushed near Rest House, Okpoto, in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by hoodlums who killed his driver.
Two persons in the convoy also sustained gunshot injuries, five persons were declared missing while his backup Hilux van was set ablaze by the hoodlums.
Professor Odoh and many others in his campaign train, however, escaped unhurt.
Odoh was returning from a campaign engagement alongside his supporters at Ezzaegu community in Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State around 7 pm on Thursday when the attack occurred.
The attack has received wide condemnation, even as many accused the state’s security outfit, Ebubeagu of perpetrating the attack, but the Ebonyi State government has countered the claim, describing it as a fabrication.
The women and youths who came out in large numbers protested around the Onueke urban, headquarters of Ezza South LGA, to demonstrate their anger and condemnation of the attack and warned that nothing should happen to Odoh.
They carried placards with various inscriptions such as “Disband Ebubeagu from Ebonyi State, we say no to political intimidation, no to political violence, Odoh is our Governor, don’t touch, APGA women are against the attack on Odoh, Don’t attack Professor Odoh again, attack on Odoh is an attack on Ebonyi people,” among others.
The leader of the group, Mrs Beatrice Nkwuda described the incessant attacks on Professor Odoh which she said, have occurred more than three times in different parts of the State since the 2023 political campaign started, as undemocratic and barbaric.
“Odoh should be allowed a level playground to go about his campaign. We’re asking the Federal Government to ban Ebubeagu in Ebonyi State, they have done more harm than good. We call on civil society groups and people that matter to come to the aid of Ebonyi people”, she said.
Others who spoke including Mrs Elizabeth Nworie, Mrs Cynthia Nwokpoku and Mrs Victoria Nwali, also condemned the attacks on innocent people going about their lawful campaigns in the State.
In an earlier protest in Omege Umuezeokaohu community in Ezza North LGA, the hometown of Professor Odoh, some youth from the area and other Stakeholders including Messrs Benjamin Nwafor, Augustine Awaza, urged the State government to allow every political party a conducive environment to test their popularity before the electorate.
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