By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Abia State chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has called on the state government to probe the death of two of its members who died when the office of the chairman of Isiala Ngwa North local government was set ablaze by suspected thugs.
The two council workers identified as Onyemaechi Onyenro and Amarachi Orioha of agriculture and administration department, respectively, died of burns on November 9, during the inferno sparked by disagreements over the chairmanship primary of the PDP held at Okpuala Ngwa the council headquarters.
The third victim, Florence Akwarandu, also of agric dept is still battling for her life at a hospital after sustaining life threatening burns.
Addressing journalists at the weekend in Umuahia over the ugly incident, the state president of NULGE, Ijoma Onyenaucheya, ordered NULGE members to shut down all offices across the 17 local governments of Abia, while staff should stay at home “until their safety and security are guaranteed.”
“The union condemns in strong terms the ugly incident and therefore calls on the Abia State House of Assembly to set up an inquiry into the ugly incident that took place in Isiala Ngwa North local government council and ensure that all those who are involved in the dastardly act including their sponsors are fished out and punished according to the law of the land,” he said.
He also called on all relevant security agencies not to sweep their finding under the carpet and commended the state police command and the army for arresting some suspects over the incident. According to the state police public relations officer, Mr. Nta Ogbonnaya Nta, four suspects have been arrested by the police over the arson and death of council workers.
The NULGE leader, who was visibly sad and angry, called on the state government to ensure that the families of the victims were compensated and catered for having died in active service.
However Ijoma urged local government workers in the state to remain calm over the incident and advised them to neutral in politics as political activities heighten ahead of the December 17 local government poll.
The chairmanship primary conducted by the PDP across the 17 councils recorded chaotic screens in a number of places following allegations of doctored lists of delegates and imposition of candidates.