-Stop politicising Security in Imo, Okorocha Blasts Uzodinma

 The frightening spate of violent attacks in the state in the past few weeks has given rise to accusations and counter accusations as the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma has accused his predecessor and other aggrieved politicians of sponsoring violence in the state to compel the government to stop the ongoing probe of the past administration by the various panels of inquiry.

The commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emeumba who stated this in an interview he granted to AIT recently disclosed that there is every reason to believe that the former governor and other aggrieved politicians are sponsoring the attacks to distract the current administration, heat up  the polity and make the state ungovernable. “While people were calling from different places to commiserate with Imo people over the unfortunate incidents, the former governor who was far away in the North was busy calling on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the state.”

He also disclosed that soon after the emergence of Senator Uzodinma as governor of Imo state, the former governor approached him and pleaded that the judicial panels of inquiry set up in the state be dissolved. “When it was dawned on him that Governor Uzodinma would neither compromise nor dissolve the panels, the former governor started blackmailing him. When he also realized that the blackmail strategy was having little or no effect, he invaded the state with thugs”.

It will be recalled that the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Adamu, had few hours after the attack on Owerri Correctional Centre and the headquarters of Imo state police command accused the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB of being responsible for the reprehensible incident. The former police boss who was in Owerri for on the spot assessment of the extent of damage, said that preliminary investigation revealed that members of IPOB and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) were responsible for the attacks that led to the release inmates of the state CID and the Owerri Correctional centre respectively.

This view was however countered by the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful who in a release he signed, dissociated IPOB and the ESN from the attacks.

Commissioner Emelumba’s claim that, “security agencies have gathered intelligence reports on the sponsors of the thugs. We have incontrovertible evidence about those who paid the hoodlums, where they met and how much they were paid.   Security agencies are already working with the information,” shows the state government and the federal government represented by the Inspector General of Police are singing discordant tunes as regards the attacks. 

Reacting to the incident and statement credited to governor Hope Uzodinma that aggrived politicians are responsible for the attacks in Owerri, Senator Rochas Okorocha(Imo West) slammed Imo Governor Hope Uzodimma for what he described as politicisation of Monday’s attacks on Imo Police Headquarters and Correctional Centre.

But Okorocha, during a condolence visit to the family of late Mrs. Felicia Kanen Biskanga in Kuru, expressed disgust over governor’s  pronouncement.

He said that the Governor should face the challenges of leadership by applying wisdom instead of apportioning blames.

He explained despite the challenges of IPOB and other agitators during his tenure as Governor, he was able to keep the State peaceful because he consulted widely with relevant stakeholders.

The Senator emphasised except justice is allowed and poverty stamped out, the workload on the military and the Police Force would yield little or no results.

According to him: “Even IPOB seemed to have been very strong during my own time, they were ready to engage government but we applied wisdom in the sense that we talked with the traditional rulers, the youth leaders and made them to see reasons.

“That is the way to go, engaging them with issues but this idea of bringing in Air Force, army as a first measure, whoever is saying politicians are involved is trying to politicise the whole thing.

“I don’t think that any sane politician will go and ask youths to shoot at the Police headquarters and all that.”

He added: “My message to him is that he should face the challenge of leadership and consultation at this time is very important because if the governor consulted me and said how did you handle IPOB during your time that there was peace in Imo State, how did you handle the issue of kidnapping, how did you handle the issue of agitators? I would have told him.

“We are overloading the military and the police in trying to help the situation when we have not tackled the issues of injustices in this country and the issues of poverty.

“As long as these continue in the form and shape it is going on, and as long as young men wake up in the morning and there is no job and poverty ravaging the system, there is little or nothing the Armed Forces can do because it is a growing thing. The young men are coming out of schools, they are not getting jobs, we must address that.”