–     denies involvement in attacks

By Martin Nwoko 

The People’s Democratic Party in Imo State has denied the accusation by the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma that aggrieved politicians and  the opposition are responsible for the recent attacks in the state. 

Governor Uzodinma    in an interview he granted Channels Television last Wednesday, on the programme titled ‘Politics Today’ said that the recent attacks at the Imo State Police Command Headquarters and Nigeria Correctional Center were masterminded by individuals who are bent on sabotaging the effort of his government.

You will recall that gunmen in the early hours of Easter Monday wrecked havoc in the state by burning down several operational vehicles and properties of the Imo State Police command and also broke the jail and freed about 1844 inmates.

In a press conference yesterday at the party secretariat along Okigwe road the Chairman of Imo State PDP, Engr. Charles Ugwu, OON wondered why security personnel in the state for four hours could not resist, or apprehend those responsible for the attacks.

 He regretted that nothing has been said or heard about what the security operatives did in resisting the attackers or repelling them but rather what the gunmen did.

 Engr. Ugwuh further stated that “Imo PDP feels appalled and embarrassed that such terror attacks could occur in the state capital, which hitherto had the reputation of being a very peaceful state. We feel very disturbed that stranger elements could gain such easy access into the inner recesses of the central points of security administration in the state. We have therefore concluded that lives and properties are not safe and secure in the state under the watch of the current regime”. 

The party reiterated that they have no hand in the current security failure in the state that has been confirmed by the extensive unresisted attacks by the supposed gunmen. The leadership of Imo PDP hinted that Governor Uzodinma chose to speak with his tongue in his cheek, stressing that since the incident happened, the present government in the state has blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the opposition of being responsible rather than think out plausible explanations to Imo people, Nigerians and the world. 

The leading opposition party in the State also stated that the actions and inaction of Governor Hope Uzodinma depict the unseriousness of the current administration in the state stressing that the governor tells lies with ease, even in the face of the bold display of guts and audacity by the hoodlums. 

The Party opined that it was hasty and unethical for the governor to conclude and make categorical statement of the culprits without any form of investigation maintaining that hence IPOB and ESN have denied responsibility for the attacks, the onus still lies on the governor to fish out the criminals that displayed such expert knowledge and understanding of the two security institutions that were attacked. The party also expressed worry that if the so called highly secured places could be attacked in this manner, it shows that safety and security of lives and properties in the state are not guaranteed. 

They recalled that during the seven and half months tenure of PDP administration that was led by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, Imo State was very peaceful, safe and secured stressing that the “Operation Iron Gate” programme launched by its government was an outcome of monumental security summit that Governor Emeka Ihedioha convened between government and security agencies and other relevant stateholders. It also stated that the 2019 Christmas celebration was rated the most peaceful since 1999 as Imo people celebrated the festive period in a safe and secured environment across the state. 

The PDP Chairman in Imo State therefore called on the current regime in the state to wake up and as well stand up to its responsibilities as it relates to security of lives and properties of all Imolites and residents. The party went on to describe the recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that Imo State holds the  record as the state in Nigeria with the highest number of unemployed people in the country as unpalatable. It therefore called on governor Uzodinma to take a cue from the legacies and road maps of Emeka Ihedioha’s administration to introduce skill acquisition training programmes for inmates  at the Nigeria Correctional Service, create job opportunities for the teaming youths  and as well pay salaries and pensions as at when due to help sanitize the social and economic environment of the state. 

The Imo PDP also advised the current regime in the state and all security agencies in the state to go for more intelligence gathering to enhance their operations in the state in order to save Imo people the level of embarrassment and opprobrium  the attacks on the police headquarters, Nigeria correctional Service Owerri, attacks on several Police Divisions in the state had caused.