– Says Ebonyi govt. desperate to destroy my reputation
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA Governorship candidate for the March 11th, 2023 election in Ebonyi State, Professor Benard Ifeanyi Odoh has washed his hands off allegations by the Ebonyi State government that he masterminded the killing of his own Traditional ruler, Ezeogo Igboke Ewa by a yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
It will be recalled that Ezeogo Ewa who is the Traditional ruler of Omege Umuezeokoha autonomous community was murdered in cold blood at his palace at about 8:30 p.m on Monday, 27th February, 2023. The entire community has since been thrown into a mourning mood.
However, less than 12 hours after, the Ebonyi State government through it’s Spokesperson, Barr. Uchenna Orji in reacting to the very sad incident accused opposition elements of being behind the killing.
The State’s Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, one Simbad Chidi Ogbuatu in a Press release directly accused the former Secretary to Ebonyi State Government, Professor Odoh of being behind the murder of the Royal father.
Incensed by the frontal accusation, Odoh however debunked the allegations to newsmen in an interview in Abakaliki yesterday, stating that it was all in the desperate bid by the Umahi government to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.
Reacting to the demise of the Royal father, Odoh said, “It’s hard that at a time I’m mourning the death of my traditional ruler, His Royal Highness Eze Igboke Ewa, the APC government is doing everything possible to destroy my reputation.
“Anybody who knows me knows my records. I have read what was written by one Ogbuatu Chidi Simbad. I have also read the one written by APC State working committee. The fact is that I don’t have any issue with HRH Eze Igboke Ewa.
“He is a father to me. He visited me two weeks ago after I was attacked at Ezillo. What’s going on in Ebonyi today is a political witch-hunt. I have had a running battle with this government since I left as SSG and all of you are fully aware of it.
“I have been attacked seven times since we started our campaign, none was investigated including the one I lost two officers. I was attacked at Okposi two weeks ago where we have a video clips of APC people with branded APC vehicles who came to attack us. No investigation was made.”
According to him, “Now, they have written a petition that I killed my traditional ruler, it’s not true, it’s unfounded and I don’t understand how this came about. His Royal Highness is not a politician and he is contesting any election. I’m the one contesting for the Governorship seat of this state and those who are contesting with me are known, they are the APC and the PDP candidates. So, what’s the point? So, it’s purely a fabrication aimed at tarnishing my image by the APC government.”
“They are doing everything possible to distract me, but of course, I refuse to be distracted, and I’m sure by the Grace of God, we will have victory. So, I have no hand in the killing of HRH Igboke Ewa. I don’t know anything about the killing of Chief Ogboke Ewa. He is my traditional ruler and he is a father to me. In fact, after I was attacked, he raised elders to curse those who did it. Before I took off for this political journey, I went and consulted him as my Eze and he blessed me. So, this is strange.
“I will seek legal redress against those accusing me of this. They have to prove the matter beyond any reasonable doubt. It’s strange that at a time the entire community is mourning, this is what’s coming out from the APC government. This incident happened Monday night, I was the first to call the Commissioner of Police but the APC government ran to Radio to say it was an opposition party that did it.
“They are not the spokesperson of the family or the spokesperson of the community. So, they are looking for a different thing”, he further explained.
He said his Umuezeokoha autonomous community was facing the most turbulent time in it’s history following the ugly incident.
“Ezeogo Igboke Ewa is one of our finest traditional rulers in our communities. He is over 80years now and so, for him to be murdered the way he was murdered last night is shocking to us and we are mourning his death.
“So, I encourage the immediate family, the community and the Ezza nation to stay calm while we wait for the full investigation of this matter and appropriate action taken by either the government or security agencies. Let’s be calm and hope that Justice will be served in the end”, he concluded.