The Ebonyi State government on Tuesday said a two-time former member of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Linus Okorie, wanted for an alleged incitement post on Facebook.
The punch reports that the Hon. Okorie represented the federal constituency of Onicah/Ohaozara/Ivo in the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2019 and is a leader of the People’s Democratic Party, in the state. He is also the secretary of the national reconciliation and strategy committee of the PDP.
State Governor Dave Umahi alleged Okorie made inciting statements on his Facebook page which caused tension in parts of the state, particularly in the Ikwo Local Government Area. .
Information and Guidance Commissioner Barr Uchenna Orji and his counterpart in the Ministry of Justice, Barr Cletus Ofoke, said at a joint press briefing after an expanded meeting. of the Security Council in Abakaliki on Tuesday.
The governor further said that the former lawmaker’s social media post contributed to the beheading of an Ebubeagu agent in the LGA two weeks ago.
According to them, “[The] The Council considered a report presented to it by security agencies on the beheading of an Ebubeagu official in Ikwo Local Government Area on January 9, 2022.
“The Council has taken note of the report on the matters and the disclosure contained in this report, and has therefore decided to declare wanted, a Hon Linus Okorie for the publication of an incitement statement, some of which were posted on Facebook which have been traced as part of the inflammatory posts that really sparked this very tension that led to the beheading of the Ebubeagu official.
Umahi, however, urged security agencies to expedite action on the investigation with a view to bringing everyone involved to face the law.
*** Umahi is looking for a high profile scapegoat to distract from his government’s many lies – Okorie
In a quick reaction, Okorie said the governor was looking for a high-level scapegoat to distract from his administration’s many lies.
He also said that by declaring him wanted, the state government was only criminalizing members of the opposition with the intention of silencing their voices, in the state.
The ex-legislator said so in a statement he personally signed and made available to reporters on Tuesday, urging Nigerians to pray for opposition members in Ebonyi.
The statement read in part: “My attention has been drawn to some online reports of an alleged press briefing by Ebonyi State Information Commissioner Uchenna Orji after what appears to have been a meeting of the State Security Council; in which he allegedly announced that the Security Council had declared a wanted Linus Okorie; and charging that I am the one thus declared wanted.
“I wish to alert the world that this is yet another of Governor Umahi’s shrewd ploys to silence all opposition voices in Ebonyi State by criminalizing its high level leaders, using Ebubeagu to killing me on the pretense that I was escaping arrest and also a veiled excuse to shut down CitiHub Event Center, which has long been the wish of the Governor, his close aides and family members.
“It is also a ploy to distract from the carnage that Ebubeagu has inflicted on the people of Ebonyi State, as symbolized by the riots and killings in Akaeze in recent days.
“Governor Umahi is simply looking for a high profile scapegoat to divert attention from the many lives lost to Ebubeagu operatives across the state, and he chose me using his State Security Council “Okorie said.
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