The Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC has categorically said that “those arrested, paraded by the police and presently remanded in prison custody on trumped up charges of having attacked the Governor’s convoy while in unlawful possession of guns, matches, axes and other dangerous weapons are their staff and not hoodlums, touts and armed robbers, as claimed by government and it’s agents of misinformation.
Chairman of ISOPADEC Staff union, Comrade Chinedu Awuzie , stated this while addressing the press yesterday on unfolding developments in Owerri yesterday.
He regretted that staff who exercised their constitional right by embarking on a peaceful protest to draw the attention of the governor to their plight and appeal that he pays them their several months arrears of salary were arrested and framed up, as arm robbers, miscreants and vagabonds by the state government and her agents in a bid to blackmail innocent people and divert attention from the onus of the matter, which is nonpayment of salary that has subjected them to untold hardship, lack and deprivation in the midst of plenty.
Speaking further, the union leader said, “over 15 of our staff were arrested while protesting peacefully along Bank road, enroute government house, owerri, to tender their case and wondered how people arrested by overzealous security personal at Bank road were accused of having attacked governor Uzodinma simutatenously along concord road junction. If actually the governor’s convoy was attacked, the perpertractors may have been sponsored by government agents for ulterior motives and to give a dog a bad name to hang it.”
He likened the arrest and detention of protesting ISOPADEC staff to the treatment meted out to Barr Vivian Otti of Imo Broadcasting Corporation IBC who was also suspended indefinitely by the Hope Uzodinma government for drawing attention to and requesting to be paid her 3 months salary.