A faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ebonyi State has raised alarm over an alleged plot by thugs suspected to be loyal to the state government to set its Secretariat ablaze.

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP, Elder Fred Udeogu, made this known on Monday while speaking to newsmen in Abakaliki.

Udeogu alleged that the Chairman of a faction of the PDP, Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, had on Sunday night, led a crowd to the state Secretariat in Abakaliki, in an attempt to burn it down, adding that they were resisted and repelled by party members.

He said: “We had a ruling from a Federal High Court at Abuja last Thursday, and the ruling said that Onyekachi Nwaebonyi should cease from addressing or parading himself as a member of PDP or a shareholder in PDP. And that he should stay off from the party’s Secretariat. By Friday, I was able to ask our secretary to write to the security agencies in Ebonyi State and serve them the ruling.

“I know by this week, the security agencies will receive directives from the IGPs and Director General of DSS. If they do anything that is outside the directives, that will be at their own risk.

“We are not deterred by whatever threats. They are making threats that they will burn down the Secretariat of PDP. It is not reasonable. We know those who are planning it, and we know their names. We know the people that slept behind the party’s Secretariat last night.

“We know that they are going there this morning. At the end of that ruling, we know that the law must be protected.

“We call on our esteemed Ebonyi youths to disregard such calls and texts messages because this is the Modus operandi of Dave’s thugs to create a crisis and then the State Governor will turn around to accuse the opposition parties of being cultists and members of IPOB.

“Last night, Onyekachi Nwebonyi led a motley crowd and made a concerted effort to burn down the State Secretariat of the PDP in Abakaliki. If not for the prompt response of some of our members, the building would have been razed down by this morning. They were resisted and repelled effectively.

“The leader of the Cult Group that Governor Umahi joined years back precisely 2016. This Cult Group are the ones at the helm of affairs in Umahi’s Administration. This is the reason why it has become impossible for the government to curtail the criminal activities of cultists that have ravaged the entire State.

“Now that the Governor has resolved to use extreme measures in making his political point, his plans to throw the State into full-scale crisis may soon happen, if the security agencies do not call him to order. This was how the Dave administration instigated the bout of violence between Ezza and Effium people, which led to unnecessary loss of lives and properties.

“Let it further emphasizes that the Governor has been aware of this cult group that is behind the insecurity in the State as he too is a member. He joined them in 2016. There are photographs of him using their unique greetings signs in public – so, it is not a matter for pretence, he is openly showing his affiliation with cultists and is 100% aware of the attack on our Secretariat last night.

“We await to see the importance of the gathering of cultists to a state in dire need of security and safety of lives and properties,” he stated.

When contacted for reaction, Onyekachi Nwaebonyi denied the allegation of conniving with thugs to set Secretariat ablaze and claimed he was still in charge of the PDP in the State.

According to Nwaebonyi: “I want to answer this question by asking you a question. Who is that person that will burn down his own house? I’m the authentic Chairman of PDP in Ebonyi State.

“And I’m in my office, and as I’m talking to you, I’m addressing you from my office. How can I set my own office ablaze? Is it thinkable that a man can set his own house ablaze? He should be the one. I’m suspecting nursing such an idea. He cannot achieve that because I’m properly seated in my office. The security agencies are there to protect the office,” he said.

Meanwhile, David Umahi, who responded to the allegation, through the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji, said the Governor has no time to respond to such allegations.

“I think the man has issues and that’s not the actual way to do politics. It’s not by blackmail. We cannot join issues with him. He is behaving like a sinking man. A party Secretariat that was built by the Governor when he was a party chairman, which gave him the credential as the best Chairman then.

“The party office that seems to be the biggest in Africa. And so, we are looking for more development in Ebonyi State. We are not distracted. We have no time to really exchange words with him,” he added.