By Chukwuemeka Opara
Abakaliki, Nov. 7, 2018
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has faulted Police report on alleged assassination attempt of Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, saying it was hasty.
Ekweremadu reportedly escaped assassination on Tuesday in Abuja after unknown gunmen broke into his residence, seized his son and ordered him to lead them to his father’s room.
But no sooner did the news become public than police high command said it was a burglary attempt.
Umahi, who is the Chairman of South-East Governors Forum, made the remark on Wednesday in Abakaliki while receiving the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 6, Mr Samuel Ogunjemilusi.
He urged the police to conduct thorough and proper investigation into the attack before coming out with a report.
“Our son was almost assassinated and I am sure that our people are not satisfied with the explanation given by the police that it was a mere burglary.
“How would it be burglary when his son was captured in one room and taken to the father to open the door?” he said.
Umahi pointed out that a hasty conclusion on the matter was wrong “otherwise the lives of leaders are not assured’’.
“The situation is not good at all as the police should protect his life and that of every leader in the land,” he said.
He urged the police to fulfil its pledge to be neutral during the 2019 elections, adding that Ebonyi people would resist all forms of rigging during the elections.
“The continuity and peace of this nation is going to be based on 2019 and it is very important that we all know this as leaders.
“Nigerians are wiser presently; let the votes count and let’s shun acts that would endanger the lives of security operatives, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, among others,” he said.
The governor noted that the opposition in the state had said that they would manipulate the election results, but warned that nothing of such would be allowed in the state.
“We will start by asking for the result sheets; when we get it, the commissioner of police, army, State Security Service (SSS), our own people and their own people will be watching the sheets.
“When the results start coming, we will fill the sheets and if we don’t see it, nobody goes anywhere to the field and there would be no election at all.
“This is an anti-rigging programme and if they want to write the results, they should do it in Abuja and start ruling in Abuja, not in Ebonyi,” he said.
Umahi pledged his government’s consideration of the requests made by the AIG and commended him for appreciating his government’s assistance to the police.
Earlier, Ogunjemilusi had assured the governor that the police would remain neutral during the elections and would fight against election rigging, violence and other malpractices.
“We have the responsibility to ensure a free and credible election and the Inspector-General of Police has commenced such process by assembling and briefing us adequately on it.
“We will remain impartial and ensure peace and security before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
“I am here to re-assure the governor that the command, zone and the IGP whom I report to, has no political interest as we are impartial umpires,” he said.
The AIG commended the governor for his cooperation with the state police command which had ensured that Ebonyi remained the most peaceful state in the zone.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the zone 6 of police formation consists of Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers.