The Abia Rebirth Initiative, ARI, has warned the APC governorship candidate in Abia State, High Chief Ikechi Emenike, against bringing thugs from neighboring states to the rally on Tuesday, January 24 in Umuahia, IgbereTV reports.
According to the group, High Chief Emenike has finalized plans to bring thugs to the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s, rally in order to wreak havoc on some political figures in the state and their supporters, with dire consequences.
ARI, through its National Coordinator, James Nwaokike, said in a release on Tuesday that it has been at the forefront of advocating for a peaceful campaign in the state, warning political figures against reversing gains made in building a culture of peace and tolerance in the state.
“We have it on good authority that High Chief Ikechi Emenike and his cohorts have imported at least 1000 thugs from Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, and parts of Akwa Ibom to storm the venue of APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s campaign rally in Umuahia,” the statement read in part.
“Information available to us indicates that his prime target is the Chief Whip of the Senate and leader of APC in Abia State, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu and his supporters numbering more than 60,000, such as the Reality Organization, OUK Movement etc.
“High Chief Emenike has shown unnecessary and unjustified animosity toward his party leaders. This latest attempt is an attempt to sow discord and avoidable chaos in a politically volatile environment such as Abia.
“He wants to unleash his foot soldiers and imported thugs against Sen. Kalu and those loyal to him at the campaign rally. This is not in anyone’s best interests and must be avoided,” ARI stated.
The group also urged the Commissioner of Police in Abia State, CP Mustapha Mohammed Bala, the Director of the Department of State Services, and other relevant security agencies to intervene and prevent bloodshed in Abia.
It also urged Sen. Orji Kalu and his supporters to stay away from the campaign venue for the sake of Abia’s peace and stability.
Instead, ARI advised Sen. Kalu to continue canvassing for Tinubu’s support while avoiding the rally, which he claimed was populated by imported thugs out to terrorize innocent Abians.