Staff of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Commission (ISOPADEC) yesterday attacked the convoy of Governor Hope Uzodinma, damaging some of the official vehicles in his convoy.
According to an eyewitness account, the protesters had walked through Concord Road, heading to Akanchawa road to Government House Owerri while chanting protest songs when they ran into the governor’s convoy and successfully blocked the road. The security personnel at that point took cover and tried to disperse the protesters but they insisted on seeing the governor to enquire from him why they have not been paid their monthly salaries and reason for the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Declan Emelumba to libel them as ghost workers. The security personnel never allowed them. Instead, the staff remained defiant.
Our source said, “It was at this point that the enraged workers started stoning the governor’s convoy. They damaged some vehicles and courageously continued their protest to government house which abinitio was their destination”.
The protesters numbering over 200 had with them such placards with inscriptions, “We can no longer tolerate or accept lies peddled by the government regarding our salary. “Governor Uzodinma should account for ISOPADEC funds”.
Effort to reach the commissioner for Information, Mr Declan Emelumba and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Oguwuike Nwachukwu for reactions, proved abortive as they did not take their calls or return same.
This will be second time the governor will be physically attacked and stoned by irate workers or protesters within the seven months of his shared prosperity administration. The first one was at Ohaji-Egbema-Oguta area during the governors conflict resolution meeting with their leaders. The youths in the area were reported to have attacked oil workers and dissuaded them from oil prospecting following the crushing of some of them in a road accident. While the governor was addressing the leaders inside the hall, some of the restless youths threw stones at his official car and damaged the windscreen at the rear.
Meanwhile,fifteen persons said to be thugs were arrested and paraded by the Imo state police command for allegedly attacking the rear vehicles of the convoy of the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, on his way to an official assignment.
The police commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, said that the suspects who were violent claimed to be staff of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC, protesting over alleged 3 months owed salaries.
It was said that some of the rear vehicles in the convoy were damaged.
According to the commissioner of police, Akinmoyede said: “On the 17th of August 2020, at about 1130hrs, a group of persons who claim to be staff of ISOPADEC ambushed the convoy of the executive governor of Imo state.
“The governor was on his way to Obinze for an official assignment when the group who also claimed to be owed three months salary attacked the vehicles in the convoy with locally made pistol and machetes around Concord area of new Owerri in the process, the windscreen of some of the vehicles in the convoy were smashed and the vehicles damages.”
On how they were arrested, the commissioner of police said: “Patrol teams in Owerri metropolis were mobilized to the scene and fifteen (15) persons were arrested with one locally made pistol, two machetes, one masquerade face mask, a chain and a padlock.
“The governor’s security aides exercised a lot of restraint to avert bloodshed in the situation and they have been handed over to the state CID for discreet investigation.”