Supporters of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha, have clashed over an alleged plan to recall Okorocha as the Senator representing Imo West District at the National Assembly.
While a group of Uzodinma’s supporters called the Orlu Political Consecutive Assembly has insisted to continue with plans to recall Okorocha from the Senate, the Association of Orlu Women for Good Governance has urged Uzodinma not to spend state resources to recall the senator.
AOWGG, at a press conference, asked Uzodinma and Okorocha – who they described as their sons – to stop “disgracing the people of Orlu zone.”
The association’s President-General, Mrs Bailia Chibuike, advised Uzodinma to face governance and stop fighting Okorocha.
She said, “The government of Chief Hope Uzodinma should face governance and provide the dividends of democracy for Imo people and leave Okorocha alone.
“The state government should take back the N1bn reported to have been given to OPOCA (Orlu Political Consecutive Assembly) for the so-called recall of Okorocha and use the money for other meaningful things in the state.”
However, OPOCA has insisted on its plans to recall Okorocha, saying the senator “has crossed the red line and has touched the tail of a sleeping tiger.”
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The group’s spokesperson, Modestus Nwamkpa, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Print Media, said Okorocha had not represented the district well at the Senate.
Nwamkpa said it was wrong for Okorocha to have launched a “campaign of calumny” against the governor, who is also from Orlu zone, where Okorocha represents at the Senate.
Nwamkpa said, “Now, the question is: why does OPOCA want to recall Okorocha? It is said that ‘he who obstructs the peace of the beehive should endure the pains of the bees’ stings.’
“Okorocha has actually crossed the red line. He has touched the tail of a sleeping tiger and the resultant effect is what he is currently facing – recall.”
Nwamkpa said OPOCA had been at the forefront of defending the interest of Orlu zone, saying “any Orlu man holding the position of Imo governorship must be protected at all costs. Orlu’s interest must come first.”
Okorocha had on February 21 alleged that Uzodinma attacked him with thugs.
The former governor and three of his political associates were also arrested by the state police command after government and security officials stormed the Royal Spring Palm Estate, Owerri, and unsealed it.
The estate was linked to Okorocha’s wife, Nkechi.
The state government said its action was in accordance with a report of a judicial panel set up by a former governor, Emeka Ihedioha, before he left office.
Meanwhile, youths operating under the aegis of Imo West Youths for Good Governance have asked Uzodinma to sack his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwaneri, and his Senior Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, Eric Uwakwe, for allegedly leading thugs to attack Okorocha on February 21.
At a press conference in Owerri, the state capital, on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, IWYGG, Prince Wisdom Nwauwa, asked the governor to hand over the two aides to the police for prosecution.
Nwauwa said that the attack on Okorocha, who is a serving senator, “was another sad commentary on our democracy.”
South-East govs joking with regional security, says ex-Imo senator
A former member of the National Assembly, Athan Achonu, has accused South-East governors of trivialising the region’s security.
Achonu, who represented Imo North at the 8th Senate before he was sacked by a Court of Appeal judgment in Owerri, urged Igbo governors to take over Eastern Security Network from the Indigenous People of Biafra and reform it.
The ex- senator was reacting to the jailbreak in Owerri, as well as the attack on the Imo State Police Command headquarters and the killings in Enugu and Ebonyi States.
He said that the youths were angry with the governments because of lack of employment and business opportunities.
Achonu, who said that he was championing a movement for Igbo billionaires to bring their investments home, said that without security and infrastructure, manufacturing businesses would not thrive in the South-East.
He said, “There is problem in Nigeria. The situation is terrible. Our economy is losing control. Unemployment rate is unbelievable. The worst hit are South-East and South-South. The youths have now been turned into Yahoo boys and drug addicts.”
“Our group will make a presentation to all the South-East governor this April on the need for Igbo billionaires to invest at home. Without local government autonomy, no true democracy will happen in Nigeria.
“South-East governors are joking with Igbo security. They are making the biggest mistake of their lives. They can take ESN and legalise it. There is no security in Nigeria. Kidnapping takes place even in Buhari’s village. Nowhere is safe in Nigeria again.”
Imo jailbreak: FG to pardon escaped inmates who return voluntarily -Aregbesola
Fugitives who escaped from the custodial centre in Owerri, the Imo capital, will be granted amnesty if they return voluntarily, the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has said.
He said this during the inspection of the centre on Tuesday after it was attacked by unknown gunmen.
During the attack, over 1,880 inmates were said to have escaped while 36 stayed back.
According to the minister, escape from custody is unlawful, and a crime.
He explained that if those who escaped return willingly, they will be pardoned from a trial for unlawful escape.
However, they will still be made to face a trial for their actual offence and serve their jail term, if convicted.
He said, “Unlawful escape from custody is a crime but the government in its magnanimity will grant amnesty to prisoners who willfully return.
“They will no longer be charged with an unlawful escape but only for the initial crimes that took them to prison. So we urge all escapees to return before they are caught on the run.”
The minister also described the Monday jailbreak at Owerri Correctional Center and the razing of the Imo State Police Command headquarters as the worst in the recent history of the country.
The ex-governor of Osun State who said that the attackers operated as terrorists, ordered the relocation of Owerri Recreational Club and other structures which he said were posing as a security threat to the premises of the Owerri Custodial Centre.
He said that during the EndSARS protest, custodial centres in Ondo and Osun states were attacked, while an attempt to attack that of Lagos was repelled.
He regretted the targeting of custodial centres in recent times, saying that the federal government would soon roll out adequate measures to protect them.
Aregbesola vowed that those who perpetrated the attack would be apprehended and prosecuted.
BREAKING: Gunmen raze another Imo police station
Gunmen on Tuesday razed the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area Divisional Police Headquarters in Imo State.
This development came just a day after unknown gunmen attacked Owerri Correctional Centre and the Imo State Police Command headquarters, freeing 1,884 inmates and razing over 50 vehicles.
Tuesday’s attack came few hours after the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, the just sacked Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, and other Government functionaries visited the state to inspect the level of damage on the attacked security facilities.
On arrival, the gunmen freed all the suspects in detention before setting the Police Divisional headquarters ablaze.
Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen operated without any resistance from policemen.
A source said, “Gunmen this evening razed Ehime Mbano LGA police divisional headquarters. On arrival, the gunmen freed the suspects before wrecking the havoc.”
A police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said that he could not confirm the development when he was contacted by our correspondent on Tuesday evening.
But a senior police officer who does not want his name in print said that the Command’s hierarchy was saddened by the latest development.
The PUNCH reports that gunmen had between February and March razed Obowo, Abo Mbaise, Ihitte/ Uboma and Isiala Mbano Divisional Police Headquarters, killings three cops and injuring others.
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