Unknown arsonists set Abia LGA headquarters ablaze

Posted by News Express | 12 November 2020 | 627 times

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•Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu



Unknown arsonists on Thursday morning at Omoba, in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, invaded the premises and reportedly set the political block of the Council Headquarters on fire.

The information has it that the Isiala Ngwa South Political Block houses the Office of the Chairman, His Deputy, The Staff, Local Government Councilors, among other Administrative offices in the Local Government Secretariat.

Among early callers to the scene are the Chief of Staff to the Governor Dr. Anthony Agbazuere and the Transition Committee Chairman of Isiala Ngwa South LGA Chief Nkem Boniface Onwubiko who were there to ascertain the level of damage from the fire that gutted the Secretariat.

Sources at the Isiala Ngwa LGA Headquarters who spoke to our correspondent said that they were yet to come to terms with what could have informed the decision of the suspected arsonists to set up the LGA Headquarters on fire.

The sources who said that the people of Omoba have over the years been noted for their peaceful disposition said that the property destroyed by the attackers in the LGA headquarters cannot be quantified as it runs into several millions of cash, stressing that the damage suffered would cost the council a lot it would have channeled into other projects to rebuild.

A staff of the LGA who pleaded anonymity while recalling the burning of the INEC office in the LGA during the 2019 general election in February, lamented that the activities of arsonists in the LGA.

The Nation gathered that the inferno may be a calculated plan to botch the LGA chairmanship primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) holding across the 17 local government areas in the state today (Thursday).

A further investigation by our correspondent has it that there is no love lost between PDP faithful in the area over what some aggrieved members of the party described as the imposition of a Local Government Chairmanship aspirant on them by the powers that be in the party in the state; a decision which they said was against the interest of some members of the party.

Some of the PDP faithful in Isiala Ngwa South, who said that they cannot immediately attribute the burning of the LGA Secretariat to the outcome of the party’s internal squabble, however, agreed that the party in the LGA is having an internal crisis over the choice of chairmanship aspirant which they said was a normal thing in any political party not only in the LGA but the country at large.

They however said that the issue couldn’t have degenerated to the burning of the LGA Headquarters, stressing that the party in the area has been noted for its peaceful disposition.

They called on the police and other security agencies to swing into action to fish out those behind the act, claiming that opposition parties in the state could have sponsored such an ungodly act just to paint a negative picture about the party in the eyes of the public.

But in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem, the government said that its attention has been drawn to the unfortunate burning of parts of Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area Headquarters by unknown arsonists.

The state government apparently angered that the state was yet to rebuild both government and other public structures and property damaged and burnt during the #ENDSARS protest in the state said the government will not give in to the antics of destructive elements that set the LGA building on fire.

“Government also strongly condemns in its entirety such acts of wanton destruction of public property and will leave no stone unturned in bringing those behind such acts to book.

“It is pertinent to state that the Government does not wish to expend public funds in rebuilding the burnt facility so as to serve as a stark reminder to those behind the arson of their folly.

“Let it be stated clearly that if the intention of the arsonists was to hinder or stop today’s PDP LGA Chairmanship primary, they have failed abysmally as the primary will go ahead as scheduled.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Government wishes to state that no other development will be carried out in the affected LGA until the structure is restored.

“It, therefore, becomes the responsibility of all citizens particularly those of Isiala Ngwa South LGA to cooperate with law enforcement agents in their efforts to unravel the identity of those behind the unfortunate act.

“Based on the foregoing, Government hereby directs law enforcement agents to investigate, apprehend and diligently prosecute all those behind the dastardly act.” (The Nation)

Source: News Express

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