-We hold you responsible for unrest in Imo,government replies
The Peoples Democratic Party, the leading opposition party in the state has called for the resignation of the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma over the continued spate of insecurity in the state, saying that he has failed in his duty to protect lives and property of Imo citizens,adding that the ruling All Progressive Congress lacks the capacity to guarantee safety and security of lives and property of the people.
The party made the call at press conference addressed by the state chairman, Engr Charles Ugwu on Thursday June 3, at the party secretariat along Okigwe road, Owerri.
The chairman stated as follows, “as the leading opposition Party in Imo State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deems it proper to make public its position on the worsening insecurity in the State. This has become very necessary in view of the evident lack of capacity of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State to guarantee safety and security of lives and property of Imo people. Governor Hope Uzodinma, in his capacity and responsibility as the Chief Security Officer of the State, has failed to protect the lives and property of Imo people.”
He said, “Consequently, we declare as follows that the PDP in Imo State is alarmed and worried at the continued escalation of the militarization of Imo State, mass arrest and the killing of Imo youths ongoing intimidation and harassment of Imo people and the attendant reciprocal and retaliatory attacks, burning down of Police Stations, and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
The chairman averred that, “no doubt, security has very sadly completely collapsed in Imo State and our party finds it too worrisome that daily, innocent civilians are mowed down; security personnel are wantonly killed, arson, murder and carnage have become the lot of the hitherto most peaceful State in Nigeria. The climax is the gruesome murder of Hon. Ahmed Gulak, a former aide to the then president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and a former member of the PDP. May his soul rest in peace.”
He further said, “The PDP, Imo State, wishes to use this medium to solemnly extend our heartfelt condolences to all those who have fallen to the senseless and avoidable carnage going on in the State. Our hearts go out to the families of: Alhaji Ahmed Gulak and the following victims all security personnel who have been killed, the Imo State University (IMSU) student, the Young businessman, Noel Chigbu, the Imolite that was returning to his base in Germany, Kenneth Amukamara, the PDP Youth Leader in Oru East LGA and indeed all other souls. We prayed to the good Lord to console their families, and to have mercy on the departed souls.”
Chief Ugwu also observed that, “it may be pertinent to State, that the current national security crisis has exposed the incompetence of the APC government to provide safety and security of lives and property in the country.
It is most worrisome that the ugly situation has been allowed to creep into Imo State, following the invitation of the military into the State by Governor Hope Uzodinma. We strongly agree that the heightened insecurity has everything to do with such provocative policy decisions that have sustained the injustices and marginalization of Ndigbo, giving ample impetus to the avoidable emergence of such self-determination groups as the IPOB, MASSOB and an army of enraged youths. These, coupled with the uncanny imposition of Senator Hope Uzodinma as governor of Imo State by the Supreme Court, must have contributed to the current insecurity in the State.”
He also stated that, “we cannot discount the roles of the total failure of governance in Imo State under the watch of Governor Uzodinma; his failure to pay workers and pensioners his resort to the blame game, his peddling of falsehood, propaganda and blackmail the high rate of youth unemployment the intractable internal crisis in Imo APC”
The chairman recalled that, “APC has been having intractable internal crisis since Senator Hope Uzodinma joined the Party. This crisis has degenerated into major confrontations within the APC leadership in Imo State. The internal wrangling led to the invitation of the military into Imo State by the State Government, and all of these have played roles in worsening the insecurity in the State. Amid all of that, the PDP has severally suggested that the governor convokes a genuine stakeholders’ summit on safety and security in the State. Sadly, he has not accepted the good advice and suggestions, but rather stubbornly elects to persevere in the baseless blame game against the opposition, preferring stage-managed, unnecessary, deceptive solidarity visits from his stooges procured from willing LGAs, while Imo burns.
Consequently, under the circumstances, having critically reviewed the degeneration of bad security situation in the State, having evaluated the rate of casualties among civilian population and security agents in the crises, and having analyzed the immediate and remote causes and consequences of the deadly faceoffs. In conclusion he said, that PDP has resolved that Governor Hope Uzodinma should accept full responsibility for the huge loss of lives in the conflict he has created and exercabated with his invitation of the military into Imo State.
“That Governor Hope Uzodinma should account for the lives of the security agents and other Imolites that have been lost in the conflict, and as a matter of urgency withdraw his soldiers from the State. We demand to know from Uzodinma what he knows about the gruesome murder of the PDP youth leader in his LGA.
That the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, set up a high-powered independent investigation into the gruesome murder of Ahmed Gulak in Imo State, and bring the culprits to justice.
The PDP calls on all men and women of goodwill, civil society organizations, the clergy and religious groups, other political parties, traders and artisan associations, professional organizations, traditional rulers and town unions, to make themselves available and come together to find lasting solutions to the bizarre massacre in Imo, since it has been proven that the governor is incapable and/or unwilling to protect lives and property in the State.
In civilized climes, Governor Hope Uzodinma ought to have resigned by now. The current violent approach by Uzodinma has failed and will not work. It will not lead to peace. PDP therefore, calls on Imo people to take their destiny into their own hands by convoking an all inclusive security summit immediately. The shooting at sight order is not working neither will it bring peace”.
In a swift reaction,the Imo state government through the commssioner of Information and Strategy ,Hon Declan Emelumba accused Imo PDP of being behind the attacks in Owerri.
He recalled that the former Imo Deputy governor,Engr Gerald Irona had after the party had lost at the Supreme court,threatened to make the state ungovernable if the supreme court did not reverse itself which threat they have made real.