- BY STANLEY AHUKANNA in Abakaliki•
Two persons are now guests of security operatives in Ebonyi state for allegedly planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), on Idembia Bridge in Ezza South Local government Area of Ebonyi state. The bridge connects Ezza South and Ohaozara LGAs of the state.
Governor David Umahi who disclosed this during a special security situation broadcast to the people of the state on Friday, said the arrest followed intelligence reports that some members of a political party were planning to bomb bridges and other installations in the state.
He said villagers living close to the bridge, which links Ezza South to Ohaozara local government area, arrested the two suspects.
Umahi also disclosed that a National Assembly Candidate of a political party, a few days ago went to a quarry site in the state to purchase explosives but was turned down by the operators who also reported to the state government.
“The report came to me as Chief Security officer of this state that a House of Assembly candidate went to quarry site to buy explosives and the people came and reported to us, they refused to sell to him.
“We had to immediately report to the security agencies and they have the name of the person. They moved into action to arrest the person and I have said they should declare him wanted”
“Subsequently, four hours later, we got information that a meeting was held and it was agreed to plant explosives in hotels, in flyovers and bridges including bridges built by past administration in the state.
“While we were still examining the authenticity of the information, Commissioner for Internal security called to say that the community and Neighbourhood Security Watch apprehended two people that have succeeded in planting explosives at Idembia Bridge but they have not detonated it”
“They were still planting it, they went to the expansion of the bridge the weakest link to plant it. They have been apprehended and sent to the Army and the Army has sent them to the police. So, they are being investigated”.
The governor who also gave report of other violent incidents in various parts of the state, said: “Two House of Representatives candidates in Ezza North LGA were exchanging gun shots.
“Incidentally, a police orderly was attached to one of them who participated in the shooting. The matter has been reported to the police to fish out the police orderly and he must be arrested”.
“Army arrested one of the candidates of a political party along the road with a short gun. Then in Ikwo, somebody was arrested with gun and for terrorising his community”.
The governor warned that anyone, irrespective of political affiliation, caught in any violent conduct before, during and after the election will be prosecuted.
He charged the people to go about their lawful business and not to let the incident deter them from coming out to vote in tomorrow’s election.
“I encourage Ebonyians to come out and vote because we have enough security and that any disturbance, they should just let the security agencies know. Security agencies are equal to the task and they are very neutral and well prepared to protect the people.
“So, I urge Ebonyians not to be afraid of anything because those that are here to protect us are so many and they are they are doing perfect work and so every life will be protected”.
Police Spokesman in the state, ASP Loveth Ogah confirmed the incident. She gave the names of the suspects as Kingsley Nweke and Chijioke Uwakwe.
ASP Odah said the Police are investigating the matter assuring that the Police is on top of the security situation in the state.