With a little over a month to the governorship election in Anambra State, one of the candidates for the election, Chief Leonard Uchendu has been kidnapped.
Uchendu who is to fly the flag of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday in Awka. His party has since confirmed the kidnap.
Less than 48 hours before he was abducted, the NNPP had raised alarm over the alleged intimidation of its governorship candidate. The party alleged that the Anambra State Government had asked Uchendu to step aside as the President-General of Umuawulu in Awka South Local Government, Anambra State. The party claimed the Peter Obi-led administration wanted to witch hunt its candidate.
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.
In a letter signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Dr. G.N. Muotolu, on September 18, Anambra State Government 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.
According to the leadership of the party, “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.
As of the time of filing this report, Uchendu’s abductors were yet to contact the family and no demand for ransom had been made. .
The spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command could not be reached for comments.