Youth from the northern part of Cross River state, under the aegis of Cross River North Concerned Youths, have alleged that government officials were culpable in the brutal killing of one of their colleagues, late Charles Onwe, who they said was beaten to death in the house of a sitting Commissioner and in the presence of other top government functionaries at the eve of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election for the vacant Cross River north senatorial seat, last month.
Speaking on behalf of the Concerned Youths, Mr Ajegi John Ikachi said the youths were shocked at the lack of concern from the leadership of the party which they said had not bothered to even condole with the family of the slain party man, one month after his death.
“We the PDP youths of the northern senatorial district of Cross River state are dismayed that nearly one month after the election that was characterized by unprecedented violence that left some party faithful maimed and traumatized, the leadership has not thought it necessary to invite those directly or indirectly affected and other stakeholders to a roundtable to calm frayed nerves and assuage their pains.
“A word of condolence has, up till now, not gone out to the family of Charles Onwe. This is not in the character of our dear party, the PDP, which is always as a family. Instead, we find a group of young people, leaders of tomorrow, as they call us, who allowed themselves to be used, in a hurry to come and add insult to injuries, telling lies to the public and covering the whole truth of what happened.
“Late Charles was murdered in the House of a member of the Cross River state Executive Council. Has she even condoled the family, his parents, his children as a way of showing little remorse.
“A House of Assembly member was one of those who persuaded Emmanuel Egwu, who carried Charles, to stop at Ugaga where this young man was killed. What steps has she taken towards his family or people as a sign of concern over Charles’s death? Another Commissioner equally pressed on Emmanuel Egwu, the delegate who carried late Charles in his car, to stop at the house he met his death. What has he done?” Ikachi asked rhetorically.
The spokesman disclosed that another victim of the said election and a PDP Wanihem ward chairman was receiving treatment at Mkar, Benue state “for gunshots that broke the bones of his legs to pieces,” explaining “he was shot at the venue of the election by the Police.” He commended Hon Jarigbe Agom, member representing the area in the House of Representatives, for taking “the injured boy to receive prompt medical attention.”
Ikachi appealed to authorities concerned to fish out those who beat Onwe to death and to bring such persons to justice, saying they were equipped with evidence to prove that Charles Onwe was indeed murdered in a sitting Commissioner’s house in the company of many other PDP stalwarts.
In an interview, another prominent member of the group, Mr Chris Abang, called on Gov Ben Ayade to create an enabling environment for evenly political contest as a leader of the party and father to all in the PDP family.
Abang said Cross River North people had supported the Governor unreservedly in 2015 and 2019 elections and that the overwhelming support helped Ayade to coast home to victory, and therefore implored the Governor to reciprocate the gesture by ‘always creating enabling environment for all to compete.”
Efforts to contact the Commissioner whose name featured prominently in the saga could not sail through as at press time.