Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, yesterday, said he had no personal dispute with his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.
The clash between the supporters of the governor and his predecessor resulted into to the death of two persons on Sunday over the sealing of Royal Spring Palm Estate Hotel, Akachi, by the state government.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state is tangled in a crisis following the political differences and feud between Okorocha and Uzodinma.
Speaking after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, the governor faulted the claims that he was plotting Okorocha’s assassination.
“I don’t know about any attempt to assassinate Okorocha, rather what I know, is I have no personal issues with Okorocha.
“You will recall that before I became governor, the Ihedioha administration set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into acquisitions and allegations of lands, converting government lands to personal property, and then removing private lands from individuals and giving them other individuals.
“The judicial panel of inquiry chaired by a judge met and they brought their job to a conclusion. And a white paper has since been raised.
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“You know institutions and agencies that are involved with implementation are doing their job. And the only thing I know is that a few days ago, the former governor went with his thugs to one of the properties sealed by government. You people saw it, it was live.
“He went there with thugs, wounded the policemen there, wounded the NSCDC officer, who is currently still in the hospital and then broke in and entered.
“Of course, you must have heard him say that he is richer than government and that he is above the law. I am not directly involved. It is a position taken by government.
“There is a difference between governor and government. The government of Imo State sealed the property. And I think that if there is anything anybody considers not right, the person should go to court to redress the issue and not take the law into one’s hand, or take to self-help.
“I remember that under Ihedioha, there was a recovery committee, chaired by one Jasper Ndubaku. When they tried to visit Okorocha’s house, they were beaten to a stupor. And the same man who did that is now doing the same thing and almost killed the man who did it during his time,” Uzodinma said.
Meanwhile, Okorocha has debunked the claims that all the 14 persons arrested in connection with the invasion of Royal Palm Spring Hotel were his aides.
Okorocha, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Sam Onwuemeodo, said only two of the defendants were his aides.
He said 11 others were staff of the hotel, while one was a social media influencer, who was there to do his job.
Uncertainty over Imo LG polls, as ISIEC suspends tours over insecurity
Imo LG elections may not be coming up anytime soon as Imo State Independent Electoral Commission has suspended indefinitely, the ongoing Local Government tours.
Although, the commission at the time of filing this report had not given reasons behind sudden stoppage of the ongoing tours of the Local Government but a source close to the commission hinted Lead that the tour was stopped over rising insecurity occasioned by spate of attacks in the state.
The commission which had covered seventeen out of the twenty seven local Governments in the state had the plans of meeting with the stakeholders in the various Local Governments on the best date for the Local Government polls before the outbreak of the series of attacks in Imo.
Governor Hope Uzodinma had upon assumption of office appointed the chairman and members of the ISIEC, charged them to see to the conduct of a free and fair election in the Local Governments.
The commission in compliance with the directives of the Governor has carried out some modalities which include returning the political wards into the 305 in accordance with the Imo State law amongst others.
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We won’t watch Imo become killing field, says APC
The All Progressives Congress – APC has condemned the attack by some hoodlums in the state of the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma.
The party went further to condemn the attacks on police properties, personnel and formations in Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra states.
While responding in a statement signed by the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning, John James Akpanudoedehe, said it will not fold their hands and allow Imo State to be turned into a field for blood shed.
The statement read, “The All Progressives Congress (APC) has closely monitored dangerous developments in Imo State which culminated in Saturday’s brazen and gruesome attack on the residence of the State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma
“The party equally condemns the wanton attacks on police personnel and formations in Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra states as well as Rivers State.
“We stand with the Nigeria Police Force and families of the victims in this difficult time as we mourn the deaths of innocent and dedicated security personnel simply carrying out their duty of protecting life and property.
“In Imo State, the attack on the Governor’s residence is an attack on democracy and constituted authority serving the interest of the good people of Imo state.
“While we are still in shock over the ugly turn of events in the state, the party sympathises with Sen. Hope Uzodimma and all affected in the bestial attack. We have since learnt that there were fatalities with others injured and maimed during the attack.
“The party and indeed our security services will definitely not watch helplessly as some persons and interests attempt to turn Imo State into a killing field. We call on the good people of Imo state to go about their legal activities without fear and resist these enemies of the state.
“Our security services must fish out the perpetrators of these attacks and their sponsors to face the full weight of the law so as to restore dignity to the citizenry and confidence in the system, particularly democratic and security structures.”
Ebube Agu not alternative to police, army, says Uzodinma
The governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has disclosed that the newly formed Ebube Agu security outfit for the South-East region is not an alternative to the police, army and other federal government established security outfits.
The governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku, said that Ebube Agu is but “a local outfit meant to gather information on criminal activities and give to the security operatives for proper processing and action.”
He identified youth unemployment and ethnic mistrust as the main root of criminality in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
The statement identified idleness as the reason fueling criminality and insecurity in Nigeria.
The statement identified the governor as saying “his Government is working assiduously to resuscitate the state moribund industries in Imo by entering into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a seasoned private consulting firm, for the purpose of providing jobs for the Imo teeming youths to keep them away from crime.
“On the birth of security outfit for the South-East Geo-political zone codenamed EBUBEAGU, the Governor informed that it is not an alternative to the established security agencies such as Police, Army, Air Force, Navy, NSCDC, etc, but a local outfit meant to gather information on criminal activities and give to the security operatives for proper processing and action.
“They are to play complimentary roles on the efforts of the Federal Government and Security Agencies, knowing full well that a threat to security anywhere in the country is a threat to security everywhere in the country.
“Governor Uzodimma used the occasion to reiterate his stand that the security breaches in the South-East recently do not in anyway suggest that Ndigbo are tired of been in Nigeria. Rather, all we want is justice, equity and fairness in a big Nigeria family.”
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