The political terrain in Delta State is currently tensed following the assassination of an aide to the State Governor, Mr Ngozi Ijie in Ekpan, Warri metropolis and the failed attempt on the life of the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate for the Ika Federal Constituency, Mr. Sebastine Okoh.
Late Ngozi Ijie who was until his death, a staunch member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and a Special Assistant on Youth Development to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, was reportedly murdered on Friday night. Eye Witness account stated that he was shot on his chest and head by suspected assassins who waited until he gave up the ghost before leaving.
For the APC candidate, sources revealed that his home in Umunede, Ika North East Local Government Area were he resides, was attacked in the early hours of Saturday. The failed attempt on his life, saw his house and cars riddled with bullets during the attacks.
Delta PDP which has been thrown into a mourning mood following the gruesome killing of Mr Ijie, called on security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book and encouraged its members not to not succumb to intimidation.
In a Press Statement by the party and signed by Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, the State Publicity Secretary, “Delta PDP Condemned the Killing of Ngozi Lawrence Ijie and called on Security Agencies to Fish out the killers urgently.”
Read the full Statement.
The Delta State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has condemned in strong terms, the reported gruesome killing of Mr. Ngozi Lawrence Ijei, a Special Assistant on Youth Development to Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was shot dead on the night of Friday, February 15, 2019, in Ekpan near Warri, in Delta State.
Reacting to the gory but sad incident, the Delta PDP Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, in a statement released to the press, described the killing of Mr. Ngozi Ijie as a clear assassination and while sympathising with the family and relatives over the unexpected demise of the deceased, urged the Police and other law enforcement agencies in the State to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous act are fished out and brought to book urgently, in order to assure Deltans that their safety and security are guaranteed, especially in this election period.
Dr. Osuoza said: “The Delta State PDP, this morning, received with great shock and foreboding, the news of the sudden killing of Mr. Ngozi Lawrence Ijei, a Special Assistant on Youth Development to our Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who was shot dead on the night of Friday, February 15, 2019, in Ekpan near Warri, in Delta State.
“Preliminary reports reaching us indicate that the gruesome killing of Mr. Ngozi Lawrence Ijei, was a glaring case of deliberate assassination, as he was reportedly gunned down by unknown assailants, who trailed and intercepted him and ensured that he was confirmed dead before leaving his lifeless body in a pool of his own blood.
“This cold-blooded assassination of an aide to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and an active grassroots mobilizer, member and stalwart of Delta PDP, on the eve of the commencement of the 2019 general elections, is not only disturbing by its implications, but also suggestive of signs of foreboding in this election, especially as we had earlier raised alarm over the manifest calculated and targeted attacks on our candidates and members, particularly in the aforementioned area where Mr. Ngozi Ijie was gunned down.
“It is not in our nature to be alarmist, but this killing has sent potentially wrong signals not only to Deltans and the global community, about the nature of the now postponed national elections, but indeed on the safety of PDP members and loyalists in Delta State, and we are calling on all the security agencies in the State to, as a matter of urgency, do everything within its powers to fish out the perpetrators of this terrible crime and bring them to justice, in order to reassure Deltans of their safety and security as they prepare to perform their civic rights when the elections re-commence on February 23, 2019.
“We also use this medium to express our deep and sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Ngozi Ijie, for this untimely and unexpected loss of their bread winner. May the good Lord give them the strength and fortitude to bear this monumental loss.
“The Delta PDP family is also bereaved by this loss of one of our staunch members and we promise Deltans that his demise will not be in vain, even as we call on all our members and teeming loyalists across the State, to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding in the face of these unprovoked provocations.
“We will not succumb to intimidation or any other form of assault on our members as we are absolutely sure of winning the 2019 elections with comprehensive victory.
However, the APC in the State has accused the PDP for the attempt on Mr Okoh’s life who was hitherto a PDP member and an ex-appointee of Governor Okowa’s administration.
Contained in a Press Statement by the party, signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Barr. Ogheneluemu Sylvester Imonina, APC questioned, “Why the Attempt On Sebastine Okoh and Other APC Members’ Lives By Suspected PDP Killers?”
The Statement reads below.
The All Progressivs Congress, Delta State, condemns in the strongest terms possible the assassination attempt on Hon. Sebastine Okoh and other APC members by suspected Delta State PDP political killers and marauders.
Hon. Okoh is our House of Representatives Candidate for Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, where Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is from.
Our great Party notes with great concerns that since Hon. Okoh – a former political aide to Okowa – joined us in the APC about two years ago, some PDP blood-thirsty elements have allegedly sworn harm to him and APC supporters in Ika Nation. To this end, criminal and tyrannical steps are regularly taken by the PDP to suffocate Hon. Okoh politically, including destruction of his billboards, and mental torture to his person.
Despite PDP’s evil machinations against Hon. Okoh and APC members in Ika Nation, Hon. Okoh’s kind political disposition continues to endear him to Ika people. The Delta State PDP government sees this as a very serious threat to its grip in Ika land. For PDP, the only way to save themselves from pending political oblivion starring at them is to do away with the life of Hon. Okoh whose political acceptability is gaining ground every day.
Today, 16th day of February, 2019, between the hours of 1 to 2 am, Hon. Sebastine Okoh was attacked/shot at by suspected political assassins of PDP at his premises at Umunede Town. Hon. Okoh, who went out to provide logistical support to his Party members was about entering his residence when two Hilux Vans, with covered numbered plates, drove close to where his car was and shot at it/his direction but with God on his side, serious harm was not done to him. Though, his car and others were riddled with bullets.
The APC in Delta State states that political violence is not a monopoly of PDP or any group of persons. Although self-defence is lawful, APC as a responsible Party will not authorise retaliation on PDP.
Hon. Okoh has right to chose his friends.
We in the APC members will continue to play by the decent and known rules of politics. Hon. Sebastine Okoh’s freedom of association should not and must not be treated or seen as an exception to the rules of politics.
APC as a responsible Political Party calls on the Nigerian Police to thoroughly investigate this unfortunate attack/incident and bring those behind the dastardly act to book; no matter whose ox is gored. We also call on all Deltans and people of goodwill to condemn this heinous crime in its totality.