By Anayo Okoli
Many people were injured, including the Member representing Aninri State Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, Chinedu Okwu,who was said to be critically injured and hospitalized when violence broke out during an expanded stakeholders meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Aninri Local Government Area of the state.
Dangerous weapons were said to have been freely used when thugs invaded the meeting, throwing chairs and bottles at people forcing them including women to scale the wall for safety.
Condemnation has been trailing the incident. The former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who hails from Aniri and notable Igbo youth leader, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike have condemned the attacks as unacceptable in Enugu politics.
In a statement, Ike Ekweremadu said: “I received with utmost sadness the news of the violence that marred the expanded stakeholders meeting of the Peoples Democratic, PDP, in Aninri LGA at the weekend, as well as the brutal attack on my supporters and associates at the said meeting.
“The attack, which left many, including the member representing Aninri State Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, Chinedu Okwu, critically injured and hospitalized, is at variance with the peace-loving nature of Aninri. Therefore, I condemn in strongest terms this attempt to stoke fire and political violence in our Local Government.
“I also condemn any attempt to pollute the processes leading up to the 2023 elections in Enugu State with acts of political intolerance, intimidation, violence, and destruction of lives and property. That is not what Ndi Enugu, the Wawa people, are known for.
“I, therefore, call on the security agencies and the relevant authorities to swing into action to ensure that the perpetrators and masterminds of this brigandage are fished out and brought to book to serve as a deterrent to future troublemakers.
“Meanwhile, my sympathies go to Chinedu Okwu and many others, who sustained various degrees of life-threatening injuries during this act of political brigandage.
In his reaction, Nnabuike condemned the violence that marred PDP meetings in Nsukka and Aninri councils, and expressed sadness that “Enugu was returning to the dark days”
and warned that if those behind the mayhem did not retrace their steps, Enugu would soon become a theatre of war.
“What happened in Enugu State on Saturday is most condemnable and unacceptable. We can’t understand that some days to the primary elections, Enugu has become a battle field. The Coal City has been one of the safest states in Nigeria, but it is gradually losing that status because of the desperation of some politicians.
“The Enugu State Government must rise to the occasion and show that it did not endorse what happened on Saturday. It must collaborate with security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book”, he said.