Scores of Labour Party’s sympathizers are left to lick their wounds in Enugu State after suffering a violent attack from the proscribed secessionist group IPOB during a political meeting in Agwu Community, Agwu Local Government Area of the state.
The weekend incident, which reignited concerns over the terror campaign of the group in the region, came as a surprise to many given the widely acknowledged links between IPOB and Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party who has been accused of running a sectional campaign and leveraging IPOB’s propaganda network, alongside its divisive and intimidation tactics to force support for his unlikely bid.
The supporters were reportedly meeting to strategize on how to promote Obi’s candidature when IPOB gunmen stormed the venue and caused members and other residents to flee for their lives after a sporadic shooting that lasted several minutes. Many suffered injuries, with some residents still reluctant to return to their homes over fears of a repeat attack common with the secessionist group.
Despite drawing national attention with widespread media coverage, Peter Obi, the candidate on whose political interest the affected citizens gathered and drew the ire of the rampaging gunmen, has looked the other way and refused to condemn the violent attack.
According to analysts monitoring the situation, Obi’s silence and general refusal to condemn IPOB’s campaign of terror, even when its fire is trained on his own political supporters, stems primarily from his heavy reliance on the group and its extensive criminal network as a potent support base capable of aiding the attainment of his political goals in the region.
Indeed, despite IPOB’s monstrosity and abrogation of rights in the region, including through the enforcement of illegal ‘sit-at-home’ in which residents in states across the region, including Anambra, Obi’s home state, are denied movement freedom and forced to remain indoors under grave threat to their lives and properties, the Labour Party candidate has yet to issue an explicit condemnation of the group’s actions and methods.
Nigerians have expressed their indignation at the attack, calling out to Obi to call his “men” to order, and stop what they described as an intra-party conflict.
They hinted on the complicity of Obi towards the attack, with many saying it is an intra-party conflict.
@MrLekanAdigun tweeted, “IPOB attacking Labour Party supporters in Enugu should be classified as intra-party violence. Gambari pa Fulani, ko s’ejo nibe.”
@Dmightyangel wrote, “Lol, IPOB in Enugu were attacking IPOBI rally meant for their Presidential candidate…@PeterObi, you better call your people to order, it’s like Nnamdi Kanu didn’t handover all his supporters to you during this election o….How can IPOB be attacking IPOB?”
Others interpreted Obi’s silence over the attack as an evidence of the alleged affiliation of the former Anambra state governor to the IPOB group.
@Stfreakimgkezy tweeted, “Hours after arm wielding IPOB members disrupted a Labour Party meeting at Enugu, which led to many being severely injured, Mr. @PeterObi is yet to make a statement either condemning or condoning the incident. OBIdients are loudly quiet.”
@Sole0907 wrote, “I guess u also forgot that IPOB has been factionized since MNK was caged. U have DOS (which he is a supporter of), Simon Ekpa group and Nelly group. This is not the first time they attack each other.”