Elders of Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State have condemned the weekend attack on a prominent indigene, Dr. Ernest Azudialu, by suspected political thugs loyal to the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh.
Blamed alongside Metuh were Chief Ifeanyi Uba of Capital Oil and Mr. Emeka Anohu, the PDP House of Representatives candidate for the area.
The elders, in a statement made available on Monday to Daily Times, explained the incident thus:
“After a peaceful voting process in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, INEC officials started collation of results.
“Not being able to conclude the collation process on Saturday night, they resumed at the local government headquarters on Sunday.
“By this time, the national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh; Chief Ifeanyi Uba of Capital Oil and Mr. Emeka Anohu, the PDP House of Representatives candidate arrived at the collation centre with armed policemen and suspected thugs.
“Dr. Ernest Azudialu, an Okija indigene was also present, with other notable Okija elders.
It is instructive to note that Messrs. Olisa Metuh and Ifeanyi Uba are from the Nnewi federal constituency and not Ihiala and had no business being in that location in the first place except to forment trouble.
“When it became obvious that that the invaders were altering the results in favour of Mr. Anohu, Dr. Azudialu objected and insisted on utilization of actual vote figures properly collated by INEC. In reaction, Ifeanyi Uba and Metu slapped Azudialu in quick succession.
“Azudialu’s aides quickly ran to his rescue and rushed him to his car.
In the commotion that ensued, policemen and thugs in company of Emeka Anohu, Metuh and Ifeanyi Uba started shooting and particularly at Dr. Azudialus vehicle.
“Dr. Azudialu was only able to survive because his car was bullet-proof. Some other members of his entourage were not so lucky as they escaped with bullet wounds and are now receiving treatment in hospital in the area.
“The okija elders, notable sons and daughters of Okija and indigenes of Okija and Ihiala, have condemned in totality, this unwarranted attack on one of their own, who was only trying to speak for the truth.”