The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said Monday’s attacks on Owerri Correctional Centre and the state Police Command headquarters were indications that Governor Hope Uzodinma had failed.
At a press conference in Owerri, the state capital, the PDP chairman in the state, Charles Ugwu, urged the governor to stop the blame game and take responsibility.
The PDP chairman stated that the spate of insecurity in the state since December was a proof that the governor had nothing to offer to the people of the state.
Ugwu, who traced the trajectory of the insecurity from Orlu Zone to Okigwe Zone and Owerri Zone, expressed worry that the state was sitting on a keg of a gun powder.
He said, “In his speeches and interviews since after the incident, he has blamed IPOB, the Eastern Security Network, the opposition and God-knows who else. He struggles rather subtly to exonerate himself and his regime of any complicity in the sad incident. What has happened is a catastrophic failure of governance.”
But the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Print Media, Modestus Nwamkpa, said that PDP was still angry that it was sacked from power through a legitimate means.
Meanwhile, a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, berated Uzodinma over his (Uzodinma) comment on the recent gunmen attacks on government facilities in the state.
Okorocha, who spoke with journalists in Jos on Thursday after attending a burial of Mrs Felicia Kaneng, accused the governor of conjuring up false narrative to cover his “incompetence and weakness in managing the affairs of Imo State.
“I don’t think any sane politician can ask anyone to go and attack the police headquarters or correctional facility. I think he (Uzodinma) should stop politicising everything.
“When somebody wants to escape from his own weakness in managing the state affairs, he will blame politicians. Which politicians,” Okorocha, who represents Imo West in the National Assembly, queried.
Okorocha insisted that the attacks on police stations and a correctional facility in the state were products of national poverty and injustice going in Nigeria.
Okorocha said while he called for peace and understanding, leaders had a duty to correct these ugly issues of injustices and poverty which is ravaging the country.
He said during my time as a governor, Imo State was very peaceful and that this security issues, agitations were on.
He said even IPOB seemed to have been very strong during his own time, and that 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 politicize the whole thing”, Okorocha said.
He added that his message to Uzodinma was that he should face the challenge of leadership and consultation as this time was 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.
“During my time, we collected more than a 100 AK-47 rifles from the youths who came for exchange willingly just by talking to them. We must always understand that these children are our children.”
“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,” he stated.
Reacting, the state government accused a former governor of the state of allegedly being behind the incessant attacks on federal and state government facilities in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the unnamed former governor engaged thugs whom he had earlier granted amnesty to unleash violence in the state to force the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Imo. – Additional report from Punch.