By Ruth Oginyi
The political power play between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi took a tragic twist weekend following the gruesome murder of two persons over alleged political differences at Oriuzo, a community in Ezza North local government area of the state.
The deceased, identified as Shadrack Chinedu Nwode, and his girlfriend, were alleged to have been shot by an operative of the Ezza North local government area for refusing to defect to the APC. The deceased, who hailed from Umuezeoka in Ezza North, was planning to get married to his heartthrob before their tragic death.
According to a source, Nwode stormed the community (Oriuzo) where a serving councillor from Ezza North was hosting a thanksgiving ceremony and met people hailing him, with shouts of ‘APC!’ renting the air. He was said to have quickly clarified that he had not defected to the APC but was still a proud member of the PDP.
The coordinator, who allegedly felt offended by the statement, was said to have berated the deceased and warned him to behave himself or he be dealt with.
“The deceased asked why he should be threatened that way, wondering if he didn’t have the right to express himself. Serious argument broke out such that the council chairman of Ezza North, Mrs Nora Alo, called the deceased for a talk, after which they took pictures together.
Orient Daily learnt that, after spending about ten minutes, the deceased left the venue with the girlfriend but that the pair allegedly got ambushed and killed on their way. “Nwode was ambushed and shot at close range, on the head. It was a bullet from the deceased head that killed the girl he was carrying on his motorcycle”, the source said.
Another community source, however, linked the killing to a cult clash, disclosing that the deceased was a victim of revenge killing. “You know that two confraternities – Baggers and Ayees – have been having issues in the state. While the coordinator belongs to Baggers, the deceased belongs to Ayees although the state government had taken measures, few days back, to make peace for the people,” the source said.
Contacted on phone, the accused operative said he would get back to our reporter. When contacted on phone, the police spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah, said the command was yet to receive formal brief on the case from the Ezza North police division.
She said a distress call came into her phone telling her that it seemed someone had been shot dead and that he saw people running helter-skelter. “I’m not sure the command has gotten such complaint. Let me check my records and I will get back to you,” Odah said.