Chief Leonard Uchendu, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate for the forthcoming Anambra governorship election has been kidnapped.
He was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday in Awka the state capital; a development confirmed by his party.
Incidentally, the NNPP had on Friday raised the alarm over alleged intimidation of its governorship candidate in the November 16 governorship poll.
It said the state government had asked Uchendu to step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu in Awka South Local Government, Anambra State.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, the NNPP National Chairman, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, stated that the letter requesting Uchendu to step aside as President-General of Uwuawule Town, was a deliberate move by Governor Peter Obi-led All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to witch hunt the NNPP candidate.
The Anambra State government, had in a letter signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Dr. G.N. Muotolu, on September 18 requested Uchendu to humbly step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu pending the conclusion of the investigations being carried out against him over a petition that he is using the town’s vigilante outfit to molest, intimidate and harass people in his community.
Aniebonam said that the party through a letter written to Governor Obi on October 3, has already called on Anambra State government to immediately withdraw the letter of suspension of Chief Uchendu and restore the Uwuawulu vigilante group which to all purposes and intent enjoyed the support of the members of the community it was so ably protecting.
His words: �From every indication it is obvious that the popularity of our Candidate in the forthcoming Gubernatorial election may be giving sleepless nights to some members of APGA because we are reliably informed that over 75 per cent of the President-Generals of the various towns in Anambra are working with him at the moment. It is also a fact that the present majority leader in the State House of Assembly who happens to come from the same town Umuawulu with our Candidate may be feeling threatened by the popularity of our Candidate.
�It is now very clear that the idea of asking him to step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu is merely an intimidation with an intent to wear him down using government machinery and apparatus.”
�The genesis of our Candidate’s problems started from when he declared his intention to run for the position of Governor in the November 2013 election in Anambra state. There are indications that some people who felt threatened by his position ganged-up with some other people with whom he is having a case in court to write a spurious and trumped up petition against him that he was using the Uwuawulu Vigilante group to harass, intimidate and threaten the citizens of Umuawulu.
�We believe that when people try to act out an evil script, they are usually blinded by all that is equitable and legal. For the Special Adviser in charge of town union matters in Anambra state to act in such a brazen and disrespectful manner to the court of law is not only illegal but constitutes a contempt of the court.
�We want to crave the indulgence of Governor Peter Obi to urgently call the officer in charge of Town Union matters to immediately withdraw the letter of suspension of Chief Uchendu and restore the Uwuawulu vigilante group who to all purposes and intent enjoyed the support of the members of the community they were so ably protecting. This action would not only be commendable but Godly.
�In the interest of peace and tranquillity, we call on you to urgently look into this matter and cause the immediate withdrawal of the letter advising Chief Leonard Uchendu to step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu, as the allegation against him are merely trumped up and did not offer him any chance to defend himself over the allegation of intimidation, molestation and harassment of Umuawulu indigenes with the Vigilante Group.”
Presently, no demand for ransom had been made by the kidnappers.
The Anambra state Police Command has not reacted to the incident yet
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