A former Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Godffrey Dikeocha has incurred the wrath of a group known as Owerri Young Patriots that has taken him to the cleaners for alleging that one or some  of those who have indicated interest in the Owerri senatorial seat, come 2023, is an ex-convict.

Reacting to a statement published in some Owerri based tabloids where Hon Dikeocha was quoted as saying that the next Senator that will represent Owerri zone must not be an-exconvict, the group said, “OYP being a responsible organization would not have bothered to respond to such gibberish as we already know that Dikocha, as a politician would always pitch his tent with one of the senatorial aspirants and may have been inspired to speak based on stomach infrastructure. Hence it is not a surprise that he is keen at scandalising every other senatorial aspirant, even if it entails tagging all of them ex-convicts. Assuming, though not consenting that Dikeocha appears to have also forgotten that highly respectable people like, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chris Anyawnwu and many others left the prison to assume leadership positions in this country.”

OYP in a release signed by its Publicity Secretary, Comrade Gideon Nwachukwu challenged Dikeocha who he accused of cowardice to substantiate his claim by producing unassailable evidence rather than engaging in incoherent, and frivolous allegations that lack merit.

“We challenge him to publish details of the judgment that convicted the said person(s) who he cowardly failed to mention his/their name(s) in the said publications.”

“Much as we would not want to hastily conclude that Dikeocha in line with his antecedents may have parted ways with his benefactor with whom he hobnobbed with former governor Rochas Okorocha and implemented several items on their anti-Owerri agenda has now belatedly realized that he is an ex-convict. We insist that he makes his case more obvious by coming out plane.”

The release further stated that, “Owerri people who are generally known to be highly sophisticated and can’t fall for this kind of cheap blackmail. We view any of such attacks on our leaders as attack on Owerri people, aimed at scaring technocrats away from the race. Indeed, responsible people do not run others down to rise.

 “Exhibiting this level of soapbox mentality of believing that as former speaker, he can blackmail other aspirants out of the race is unacceptable.

“We wish to state emphatically, that so far, no ex-convict has joined the Owerri senatorial contest. Those who feel otherwise should wait to furnish the courts with such information as issue of an ex-convict contesting election is a matter of law and our constitution is so clear on It. OYP rather discovered that one of our sons who aided Okorocha’s atrocities against Owerri zone has joined the race. Information at our disposal reveals that, apart from being former governor’s wife’s proxy in diverting ISOPADEC funds, he also endorsed the heartless demolition of Eke Ukwu Owerri market the scars of which may never go away.”

The group said that, having closely followed political developments in the state, they are delighted and impressed that seasoned technocrats have indicated interest in contesting the Owerri senate seat as opposed to what was obtainable in the past when few individuals gathered, unilaterally chose and imposed a senator on the people.

“OYP is committed to changing the ugly narrative. We shall ensure that never again will political jobbers and neophytes take advantage of us in the name of representation.”

The group further stated that it is in possession of a classic information of a plot by a former governor of Imo State who hails from Orlu zone to impose his surrogate on the people of Owerri zones.

“We are not ignorant of all the shady deals and machinations of the former governor and his hatchet man are perpetrating and yet to perpetrate against Owerri people and their collective interests.

“It is even more ridiculous that such a report is coming from DIkeocha  whom we learnt  is a regular guest of the Economic Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.We therefore  challenge him to explain to Owerri people why he is on the watch list of EFCC. Failure to do this, he should hide his face in shame and be silent forever on issues of governance and representation.

As a group comprising seasoned professionals, we view such an unsubstantiated report as blackmail to portray the Zone in bad light. It is even ridiculous that such report is coming from Dikeocha whom we once esteemed and rated high. Quite unfortunate.”