The Missing Labour Party’s Anambra Governorship Candidate: Matters Arising!

Gentlemen of the media, we are to address you on two main but related issue about kidnappings. The first is the case of the candidate of the Labour Party in Anambra State at the last Governorship election. And the second is on the trending matter of the kidnapped Prelate of the Methodist Church whose CHURCH HAD TO PAY THE RANSOM OF N100 MILLION BEFORE REGAINING FREEDOM. We will first let you see the entire story about the Anambra Governorship Candidate of Labour Party in that election that brought in Governor Chukwuma Soludo as the winner. The gentleman was whisked away few months to the actual election. The following is the story about the incident by his mother.

The mother of kidnapped Labour Party gubernatorial candidate, Ada Agbasimalo has written an open letter seeking the intervention of distinguished Senator, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah’s help in fast tracking the release of her son, Obiora Agbasimalo.

Obiora Agbasimalo

According to the letter published recently in Daily Sun, Obiora was kidnapped on September 18, on his way to a meeting in Azia, Anambra while pleading with the Ubah who is the senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, at the National Assembly.

“Sequel to our phone discussion, whereby I made a heartfelt appeal for you to use your good offices to assist my family in securing the release of our son Obiora Emmanuel Agbasimalo from the hands of his abductors, I hereby now send you a written appeal in the active hope that as our Senator (Anambra South), you are well positioned to act on that subject matter, in the spirit of Nnewi North and South; and help rescue your brother Obiora.

“Obiora Emmanuel Agbasimalo, Labour Party gubernatorial candidate during the November 6 Anambra State elections was kidnapped on the 18th of September 2021 at Lilu in Ihiala LGA on their way to Azia also in Ihiala LGA. Since that day, we have neither seen nor heard from him.

“As his mother, I have been traumatised and agonised to the extent that I now have serious heart issues. Obiora’s father is managing a chronic kidney issue while his wife has been progressively going in and out of depression. Obiora’s little children need the love, care and support they always got from their dad, prior to his kidnap.

“Distinguished Senator, I have implicit trust that as our humane Senator in charge of our Anambra South District, you will quickly step into this matter and deal decisively with it. I truly trust,” she stated.

SECONDLY, ON THE PRELATE OF THE METHODIST CHURCH OF NIGERIA HERE ARE THE TRAJECTORIES AFTER WHICH WE WILL STATE OUR POSITION.

Samuel Kanu-Uche

AS YOU MAY HAVE READ, The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu-Uche, who was abducted by hoodlums in Abia State, has said N100m was paid by the church to secure his freedom.

The cleric, who spoke during a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, said the kidnappers showed him decomposing bodies of some past victims.

Kanu-Uche was abducted on Sunday along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

He was taken together with his chaplain, Very Rev. Abidemi Shittu, and the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark.

The prelate said his team was going to the airport when they were attacked.

He said, “In order to catch up with my flight at 4pm, we took off by 2pm to go to the airport, oblivious of the fact that kidnappers were waiting on the road.

“As we were descending to Ileru in Abia State, they came out from the bush and divided themselves into three groups.

“Some were at the back, some at the centre. Then there was another group in front to make sure we did not run away. They fired shots at our vehicle and eventually abducted three of us. The communication man of the church and the driver escaped.

“They took us into the bush and tortured us. In the process of the torture, I hit my right eye on a tree and even when blood was flowing and was soaking my handkerchief, they did not feel like anything happened. All they said was that we should follow them.”

He noted that the eight-man gang was made up of “Fulani boys,” who claimed to be against the government.

SHAMELESSLY AND SHOCKINGLY THE ARMY DABBLED INTO THE MATTER AND IS THREATENING TO EITHER ARREST THE PRELATE OR INTERROGATE HIM REGARDING HIS TRUE CONFESSION OF WHAT HE WITNESSED IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SORT OF INTERVENTION BY SOLDIERS, POLICE, DSS OR ANY SECURITY FORCES.

THE STORY IS THAT THE Methodist Prelate Samuel Kanu-Uche will be questioned for linking soldiers to kidnapping, the Army said yesterday.

His Eminence Kanu-Uche, his chaplain and a bishop were kidnapped at the weekend and released 24 hours later after paying N100 million ransom.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after his release, the Prelate said: ”Military personnel are aiding the kidnappers who disguise as herders in the daytime but are kidnappers at night.”

The army took exception to that comment.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said the Army would meet with the Prelate to know more about the circumstances surrounding his abduction.

Nwachukwu said: ”The insinuation that troops are complicit in the kidnap incident is not entirely premised on any findings of investigations and, therefore, cannot be swallowed hook line and sinker.

“This allegation, therefore, raises some pertinent questions which are still unanswered.

THE ARMY’S POSITION IS PUERILE, LAUGHABLE, ILLOGICAL, UNREASONABLE AND TENDENTIOUS. DID THE ARMY INTERROGATE SHEIKH AHMED GUMI WHO ALSO IMPLICATED THE ARMY IN AIDING AND ABETTING TERRORISTS?

SADLY TOO, THE POLICE DABBLED INTO IT AND INTRODUCED THEIR OWN DEBACLE SHOWING THAT THE SECURITY FORCES ARE BEGINNING TO BEHAVE LIKE THEY ARE THE BOYS BRIGADE OF ALLEGED FULANI KIDNAPPERS.

THE STORY THAT BROKE OUT LAST EVENING SAYS THAT Usman Akali Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, has distanced the security agency from a viral video.

In a viral video, a Chief Superintendent from the Abia State Police Command’s Rapid Response Squad (RRS) accused Fulanis of kidnapping.
According to the officer, the Nigerian Army collaborates with criminal organisations.
“Our people are being kidnapped by the Fulanis.” After collecting the ransom, they travel to the cattle market to spend the money. “The Army isn’t assisting us,” he grumbled.
The CSP made the remarks while speaking to demonstrators in the Umunneochi Local Government Area on Sunday.
Muyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer, stated his speech was delivered in an unprofessional manner in a statement released Wednesday night.
The officer was in the region, according to the statement, to assist in a rescue effort supervised by an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Adejobi claimed that he lacked the legal authority to speak to the press or individuals, claiming that this was solely the responsibility of the Commissioner of Police and the Police Public Relations Officer.
“His rash and unguarded utterances directly contradict key elements of the Social Media Policy, Police Act and Regulations, and Code of Conduct for Police Officers, as well as other laws governing police officers’ conduct and activity.”
The statement goes on to say that the statements do not reflect the Nigeria Police Force’s beliefs, ideals, position, or ethics.
Baba promises that the military and other security agencies would continue to work together to protect domestic security.

HURIWA IS INDEED DISAPPOINTED WITH THE BRAZEN ACT OF BUISNESS OF THE SECURITY FORCES. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE PERSISTENTLY CANVASSED THAT THERE SHOULD BE FEDERAL CHARACTER PRINCIPLES IN THE COMPOSITION OF THE HEADS OF INTERNAL SECURITY FORCES WHO SINCE THE LAST 7 YEARS ARE EITHER FULANI/HAUSA/KANURI MOSLEM NORTHERNERS HEADING DSS, POLICE, NIA, CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION, CIVIL DEFENCE, PRISONS.

Here is our position on the ISSUES CONCERNING THE ORDEALS OF THE PRELATE OF METHODIST CHURCH OF NIGERIA.

Methodist Prelate interrogation: Millions of Christians will bombard your office, HURIWA warns Army

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Thursday, warned the Nigerian Army to be warned as millions of Christians will besiege its office in solidarity with the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu Uche, who has been invited for interrogation over deep revelations he made regarding his abductors.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it is shameful that the Army cannot go after the kidnappers identified as Fulani but the Army can go after the noble cleric for saying it as it is.

Kanu-Uche, who was abducted by hoodlums in Abia State, said N100m was paid by the church to secure his freedom, adding that the kidnappers showed him decomposing bodies of some past victims.

Kanu-Uche was abducted on Sunday along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

He was taken together with his chaplain, Very Rev. Abidemi Shittu, and the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark.

He noted that the eight-man gang was made up of “Fulani boys,” who claimed to be against the government.

The cleric said only one of the hoodlums understood English, while others spoke Fulfulde.
The Prelate said he observed that military men were around the place where the hoodlums operated, while their cows were also around the vicinity.

The Army in its response, said it “would take this weighty allegation seriously and approach the Prelate and the Methodist church to unravel the basis for the allegation”.

Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The development is unfortunate and condemnable. The Army is chasing shadows and Christians in Nigeria will not keep quiet.

“HURIWA calls on all Christians to join the Prelate to attend the Army’s interrogation and reject these oppressive tendencies. This is persecution. Army can’t stop terrorists because most Army officers are Fulanis and most terrorists are Fulanis. So, it is not a strange occurrence that they conspire against Igbos to cause instability.

“We support the Prelate and we are urging Millions of Christians to turn up and join the Prelate on the day of the appointment. the Prelate should transparently tell us about the date.

“The revelation of the Prelate is not new. In February 2021, Julius Abuda, the younger brother of Chief Dennis Abuda, an American-based Nigerian businessman who was killed by kidnappers at Ahor, Benin, Edo State, said he dropped ransom for his brother’s kidnappers near police station.

Also, a former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Mr. Dennis Amachree, in February 2021, said the compound where Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, met bandits in Niger State to discuss the release of the abducted students and teachers of Government Science College, Kangara, was very close to a military post.

“An important question to ask is that why the abduction of Christian clerics? Has any Nigerian heard of the kidnapping of any Muslim cleric? In May, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Uboh of St. Pius X Parish IkotAbasi in the Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was kidnapped.

“Rev. Fr. Uboh’s abduction occurred barely three weeks after the Founder of Solid Rock Kingdom Church, Apostle John Okoriko was abducted by gunmen in his church premises at Ibekwe Akpan Nya in the same Mkpat Enin LGA.

“In March, Reverend Father Joseph Bako of the St John Catholic Church, Kudenda in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State was kidnapped and he died in the kidnappers’ den.

The Christian Association of Nigeria said non state actors now target clerics engaged in their pastoral duty across the country, adding that no fewer than 10 clerics have been kidnapped in 2022 alone. While ransom were paid to secure the release of some, others didn’t make it out alive.

“The development is saddening and it must stop. The Army must not be intimidating outspoken Nigerians. Enough!”

Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
June 2, 2022

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