–      Says: it is a crime against God and Humanity

The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has joined other well-meaning groups and individuals to condemn the action of brutality meted out to Imo elder statesmen and women (Pensioners) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, by hired thugs suspected to be on the services of the government, who had that day, armed with sticks and horsewhips, flogged the pensioners during a peaceful protest in Owerri. 

Statement issued by the party,signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Ogubundu Nwadike, “the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State received with heavy shock and surprise the news of the order by the current regime in Imo State for the deliberate and conscious physical assault and brutalization of elderly people that were proved to be Imo pensioners. The video recording of that evil and wicked act simply qualifies it as a crime against Heaven and Earth, God and humanity.

The party has concluded that this regime detailing able-bodied men to publicly flog Imo senior citizens, whose only offence or crime was protesting against non-payment of their pensions for months, is a condemnable heinous sacrilege.

This party notes that these men and women being tormented and tortured today by the Uzodimma regime were heroes and heroines past, who gave the very best part of their lives to bequeath the present generation legacies of dignity of labour among other things.

The national ethos is that the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain. However, by this regime’s evil act of ordering the public flogging of these great men and women, including intellectuals, technocrats, and professionals that ensured they worked for the growth and development of Imo State, the Uzodimma regime has proved that their labour past was in vain, but choose to differ on the insincerity of this regime.

The statement further averred that, as a party that sacrificially served Imo State and Imo people very well for seven and half months, with our award-winning Rebuild Imo administration, ably led by Governor Emeka Ihedioha CON, we are very proud to remind Imo people that we gave due honour to Imo pensioners by paying them regularly after a world-class biometric verification of pensioners exercise. History catalogues that Imo PDP government never hurt or harmed Imo pensioners. 

Going further it said, this party, therefore, utterly condemns in its totality that obvious case of bestiality displayed by agents of this regime who saw it fit to obey the last order by the Uzodimma regime and lift their hands against fathers and mothers of men and women. Imo PDP hereby charges this regime to remember that this is a democracy and not a dictatorship. Its various acts of autocracy are anti-democracy and anti-people.

And concluded that, to the illegally, unfairly and unjustly abused, molested, and assaulted Imo pensioners, their hurting families, and entire good people of Imo State, our party calls for continued calm, equanimity and peaceful conduct, while quest for justice and demand for people’s rights are continually upheld and pursued in ways and manners that are within legal ambits. Imo pensioners deserve their pensions. “This regime flogging them publicly is a crime against God and humanity”, it stated. 

In another development and in an effort to justify the act of brutality on the pensioners, the government through the Bureau for Political affairs with Chief (Dr) Batos Nwadike, issued a counter statement on Wednesday August 5, 2020, claiming that those manhandled were no Imo pensioners, as he alleged that Imo state government is committed to prompt payment of genuine pensioners, describing the video of the attacks on these gerontiacs as erroneous.

In a lengthy statement, Dr Nwadike explained reasons for government action, alleging that the unveiling of some fraud in the local government and pensions systems as major reason for the delay. He advised the elder statesmen to follow what he described as due process to enable their pensions and gratuity.