Ikpeazu, Otti escape death as Abia guber debate ends in shooting
By Steve Oko
It was pandemonium Tuesday in Umuahia as Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu; the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Dr. Alex Otti, and others escaped death following a shooting at the venue as the Abia governorship debate .
No sooner had the debate organised by Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria in partnership with some private radio stations in the state at Abia hotels Umuahia ended than the shooting started.
Trouble started when Ikpeazu’s convoy was allegedly barricaded by a group of youths believed to be students.
The students who had also organised a similar debate at Damgrate hotel under the aegis of National Association of Abia State Students were allegedly annoyed because their own debate was boycotted by the governorship candidates.
As the crowd surged towards Ikpeazu apparently to hail him and draw his attention to their own event, they were stopped by his secure aides.
The students’ leader was said to have been arrested and beaten by the Governor’s security aides.
Angered by the action of the security aides against their leader, the students were said to have blocked the entrance gate to the hotel, refusing to let him leave the premises.
Apparently to disperse the crowd and smuggle the Governor out of the scene Ikpeazu’s security aides were said to have started shooting sporadically into the air.
There was total confusion and stampede as security aides attached to other governorship candidates at the premises joined in the shooting.
The security agents were also firing teargas canisters indiscriminately as the crowd scampered for safety.
Scores were reportedly injured in the ensuing meliu as bullet rained like a heavy downpour.
Teargas smokes engulfed the entire vicinity causing panic in area.
Some journalists who had come to cover the event as well as other participants at the event scaled through the fence as they fled the scene.
Property including chairs and tables belonging to the hotel worth hundreds of thousands were reportedly damaged by the angry mob.
Other governorship candidates that participated in the debate were Hon Blessing Nwagba of Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Mr. Emeka Uwakolam of Accord Party (AP).
Meanwhile, the debate was almost a war between Ikpeazu and Otti as they engaged each other in heated arguments.
Otti had dismissed Ikpeazu’s claims of excellent performance as “a woefull failure “.
Ikpeazu had claimed that he built quality roads in the state, a feat he said non of his predecessors had achieved.
He said that no previous administration in the state was able to construct any road that lasted up to 10 years.
But in a swift reaction, Otti said he had personally visited and measured all the roads built by Ikpeazu across the state.
According to him, the entire road built by Ikpeazu since he came on board were 59 in number and measured 79.38 killometers put together.
Otti also faulted Ikpeazu’s claims that core civil servants are not owed salary arrears but only parastatal workers.
According to Otti, it is illogical to discriminate against core civil servants and parastatals workers in payment of salary as they are all in the employ of the state.
Other governorship candidates at the debate also directed their attacks on the governor who at a time flared at the organisers for not allowing him his full time to respond to questions.
EndSteve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.