Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Youth Mobilization, Chief Mark Onu, Saturday, denied threatening to attack a PDP chieftain, Amos Ogbonnaya, who was recently kidnapped in Ebonyi.
Onu who was former Coordinator of Okposi Development Centre, denied being responsible for the attack while speaking to journalists in Abakaliki.
Amos Ogbonnaya is a known critic of governor Umahi and was kidnapped by on Thursday by unknown gunmen on his way back from a meeting in his Okposi Development Centre, Ohaozara local government area of the Ebonyi state.
Onu was accused of allegedly masterminding the abduction and torturing of the victim, which landed him in the hospital after his release.
The Special Assistant said he only advised Amos to join hands with the Governor and develop the state rather than pulling him down through his destructive criticisms.
He said he met with the victim in an hotel but that it was a peace meeting without any form of threat issued to him and wondered why he should be accused of masterminding the kidnap and torture.
He also condemned the news circulating on social media that he also masterminded the kidnap and murder of Elder Ihebunandu Okorie who was also the former Coordinator of Okposi Development Centre.
He stated: “There has been this attack by Amos against the Governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. Chief Dave Umahi. Because Amos is my brother and friend, I gave him a call so that we can meet and talk and we scheduled to meet at Palm Bay hotel. We met there and I was just advising him on the need to stop attacking the Governor of the state through a platform of G64 which they said is a former Coordinators forum. I told him that the Governor is from Ohaozara and we are also from Ohaozara local government that if the Governor should be attacked, it shouldn’t be somebody from Ohaozara because it will look as if that we are not organized. He told me that he is not happy and said some certain things against the Governor.
“I didn’t threaten to attack him. May be he didn’t understand what I meant by advising him not to be attacking the Governor. I was just advising him to stop attack our Governor. I didn’t mean to say that government will attack him or government is planning to attack him. It is not to my knowledge that government will attack him or is planning to attack him. What I was just telling him was to stop attacking the Governor and it was an advice not a threat of a any kind.
“I am the youth leader of the state or SA to the Governor on Youth Mobilization and part of my duty is to broker peace. If there is anybody that is attacking government no matter any party the person belongs to, I think if I have the opportunity of reaching out to the person to woo him/her to the Governor, I will do that and that is part of my job.
“There should be constructive criticisms not destructive criticisms and when you even criticize the government destructively, the government will not even attack you because of it, not the government I serve which is the government of Divine Mandate and peace is known for such. So, I was just advising my brother and friend Amos Ogbonnaya to stop destructive criticisms against the state government not that government has plans to attack him or there is something that is dangerous that they will do to him, that is not what I meant. May be, he didn’t understand me.
“Elder Ihebunandu(Late ) was my predecessor at Okposi Development Centre, he was kidnapped and I was not even at home when he was kidnapped, I was in Abakaliki, I think it was on a Sunday. They are just trying to link me into his kidnap and murder, you know when you want to kill a dog, you must give it a bad name. the security agents apprehended the people that killed Ihebunandu, it is not something that is hiding and the whole world is aware. I think before you attack or kidnap somebody, you must have something you are dragging with the person or something like that. Am I dragging anything with Ihebunandu, he had left office as a Coordinator before I came in. So, he is my predecessor and Coordinator is by appointment, it is not an elective position to say that I was trying to contest election with him. A sitting Governor appointed him, a sitting Governor appointed me.
“The same sitting Governor that appointed him also appointed me. In the first time, it was Governor Elechi that appointed me, the same Governor Elechi appointed me. So, if anybody is roping me in, that person is trying to blackmail me and create confusion. To the best of my knowledge, what I have explained here is what happened. I am not above the law and I can never be above the law and I believe in the rule of law. I have respect for the rule of law. So, if I have been part of that crime, I would have been arrested and may be by today, I would have been in prison. But the security agents did their investigations, caught those that perpetrated the crime and they are the best people to say what happened and they did not even invite me for a day over it because the culprits were apprehended”.