The National Chairman of the Labour Party (AP) Comrade Barrister Julius Abure has directed Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi to secure the release of its Senatorial Candidate who was kidnapped on Saturday night by the South East Vigilante outfit called Ebubeagu.
Calling out the security agencies and the State Governor to assumed their constitutional duties in a press statement, Barrister Abure said the incessant attacks on the Labour Party and its candidates across board is a threat to democracy and freedom of association.
“It has come to my notice that our senatorial candidate in Ebonyi South, Hon Linus Okorie has been kidnapped on his way to his house, in Ebonyi state this evening (Sunday October 16) allegedly by the personnel of the South East Vigilante outfit, Ebubeagu.
“It is no longer news that some political actors in some South Eastern states particularly, Ebonyi and Enugu have vowed that Labour Party and its candidates will not be allowed to campaign freely in the zone. This is evident with incessant attacks on members and supporters of the Labour Party and that of our candidates, particularly, our presidential candidate.
“This night attack is viewed by the party as a furtherance of the determination of these political hirelings to frustrate the progressive incursion of the party across the nation and particularly in the South East.
“I therefore call on the Ebonyi state governor, His Excellency, Dave Umahi and the hierarchy of the security agencies particularly, the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State to immediately effect the release of our senatorial prospect, Hon Linus Okorie.
“The frequent attack and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians, particularly the political class could have a major consequences in the coming general election. This is quite unfornate and it is not good for democracy. We see it as a threat to our democracy and it should not be allowed to progress or institutionalised.
“I want to recall what happened to our party in Anambra State last year when our governorship candidate, Hon. Obiography Agbasimalo was kidnapped at the heart of campaign and as I speak, nothing has been heard about him. Sadly, this is happening again.
“We therefore call on Inspector General of Police and other agencies responsible for the protection of life and property to rise to the occasion and ensure that Hon Linus Okorie is released.
“As alleged, the Ebubeagu Vigilante security in Ebonyi State is under the strict overlordship of the state authority and is known to carry out orders of the state government, deploying brute force on the people and residents of the state. We therefore demand that His Excellency, Governor Dave Umahi must rein in on this Vigilante or any other of the government agents to ensure that intimidation of perceived political opponents ceases, and that political rights of every Nigerian as enshrined in the constitution is respected.
“Finally, we urge the government to give directive for Hon Linus Okorie’s unconditional release from these criminal elements”, Abure said.