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Suspected political thugs matchet C’River PDP chieftain

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former special adviser to Gov Ben Ayade on administration, Mark Obi, has escaped death by whiskers after being attacked and brutally matcheted by men suspected to be political thugs.

Orient Weekend learnt that the incident happened in Obi’s country home, Oku Bushuyu in Boki local government area of Cross River at about 10pm of Wednesday.

Obi, a lawyer-cum politician, a two-term member of the State House of Assembly under the PDP umbrella had, early this month, resigned from Gov Ben Ayade’s administration saying he would not leave his party to the APC like his colleagues in the cabinet were doing.

Some residents of the area, who spoke to our reporter under the condition of anonymity, said the attack may not be unconnected with rivalry between the former lawmaker and a serving aide to the state governor on Forestry, Christopher Obi Bisong, also known as General Iron, over the Borum oil palm estate.

They disclosed further that the squabble had, last year, resulted in the destruction of Mark Obi’s house and that Mark’s refusal to defect to the APC may have worsened the situation.

Confirming the incident, Justice Angela Obi, the victim’s wife, said: “I do not know what happened because I was not there, I am heading to the village right now.”

But, in a telephone chat, a resident of the community, who did not want his name on print, said “Mark was attacked in his own home at about 10pm by ‘General Iron.’ ‘Iron’ is less than 40.

“General Iron came with his boys, armed with machetes, and invaded Mark’s private home, destroying it. He was alone having visited from Calabar where he runs his businesses as a lawyer.

“After beating him to stupor, they still went ahead to stab him several times on his body, head and arms with machetes. Thinking he had died, they abandoned him.”

He said villagers later assisted to evacuate the bleeding Obi to a private hospital in Okundi but that the doctor who helped to revive him advised that he be moved immediately to a bigger hospital in Ikom the same night.

Another anonymous eyewitness alleged that the said ‘General Iron’ sees Obi as a threat to his owning the community oil palm estate, and that the alleged gang leader was angry that Obi refused to join the APC.

Efforts to contact Mr Bisong on the allegations over the attack did not yield any result as at press time.

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