By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Government yesterday declared wanted a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Linus Okorie.
It accused him of posting inciting statements on his Facebook page, which heated up the polity, particularly in Ikwo Local Government.
The government said that the statements by Okorie, who represented Ohaozara, Ivo and Onicha Federal Constituency between 2011 and 2019, contributed to the beheading of an Ebubeagu operative in the local government two weeks ago.
Okorie is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a critic of the government.
Information Commissioner Uchenna Orji, who briefed reporters in Abakaliki on the decisions of the State Security Council, which met yesterday, said: “Council considered a report presented to it by security agencies on the beheading of an Ebubeagu official in Ikwo Local Government on January 9.
“The council noted the report on the issues and the revelations contained in that report and therefore resolved to declare wanted, Linus Okorie, for the publication of inciting statements, some of which were posted on Facebook that were traced to be part of the inflammatory publications that really incited that very tension that led to the beheading of the Ebubeagu official.”
Orji said the Security Council noted that some other persons were accessories to the gruesome murder of the individual.
He said the council urged security agencies to expedite action on the investigation with a view to bringing those involved to face the law.
Heads of security agencies in the state attended the meeting, which was chaired by Governor David Umahi.
Okorie described the declaration as another ploy by the governor to silence opposition voices by criminalising its high profile leaders.
He alleged that the government was planning to use Ebubeagu to eliminate him on the excuse that he was evading arrest, saying it should be held responsible should anything happen to him.
Okorie further alleged that the government also planned to close down CitiHub, a popular event centre in Abakaliki owned by him.
He said: “It is also a ploy to distract attention from the carnage Ebubeagu has been wrecking on the people, as symbolised by the riots and killings in Akaeze in the past few days.
“Governor Umahi is simply looking for a high profile scapegoat to take attention away from the many lives being lost to Ebubeagu operatives across the state; and he has chosen me, using his state Security Council.”