Awosola Awotunde, the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi on Monday in Abakaliki appealed for calm from residents of the state over attacks by suspected political thugs in some communities in the state.
Awotunde, who spoke after his assessment visits to areas affected by the violence vowed that police authority would ensure that perpetrators of the acts were brought to book.
Awotunde condemned the attacks and destruction of over 30 houses and property worth millions of Naira in communities in Izzi local government area and warned against any reprisal attack.
He said: “We appeal for calm and assure the public that police will spare no effort in ensuring that everyone who is involved in the dastardly act is brought to book including their sponsors.
“The police further reassure the public of commitment to protection of lives and property of every citizen of the state before, during and after the elections.”
Meanwhile, one of the victims of the attack, Donatus Nwofe, at Aguabata in Agbaja community of Izzi said that he lost two of his buildings and property worthy several millions to the attackers.
Nwofe, who is the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Ebonyi council, said that the perpetrators invaded his compound and shot sporadically before setting the houses ablaze.
He said: “I lost everything; even the boxers I am wearing was donated to me by a sympathizer, as you can see, no pin was removed from the burnt houses. We now live in fear as no one knows when the hoodlums will attack again with their AK 47 riffles other weapons.
“I am appealing to police to beef up security in the community and I am also calling on state and Federal governments to come to the rescue of the victims of the attacks.”
Another victim, Paulinus Onyike, said that the perpetrators invaded Izenyi, in Agbaja community, shot indiscriminately before setting houses and other valuable property ablaze in the area.
He described the attacks as barbaric and called for proper investigation and arrest of the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, the leadership of APC has described the attacks as unprovoked and urged police and other security agencies to intensify security surveillance in the state.
The party at a press briefing by the state chairman, Chief Eze Nwachukwu, said that the attacks were proof of the ‘crushing and grinding’ allegedly promised by a notable politician in the state.
The party warned that it would no longer tolerate any attack on its members and urged police to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the violent attacks.
Nwachukwu chronicled the alleged attacks to include; attack on the senatorial candidate of the party in Ebonyi South Senatorial District, Nweze Onu, attacks on APC members, destruction of their houses and property in Izzi local government area.
Others include; attacks and disruption of APC local government rallies by suspected political thugs at Ebonyi, Onitcha, Ohaozara Local Government Areas and destruction of APC campaign office in Ohaozara.
He also listed alleged attacks on the home of APC zonal publicity secretary, Chris Ogba at Ezzama, Ezza South on February 16 and attack on members of the party at Ekoli-Edda among others.
He added: “All these incidents have been duly reported to the Police in the state and we call on the police to ensure that perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.
“We also call on all our members and supporters to remain resolute, refuse being intimidated as we assure victims of the party’s resolve to bring justice.”