30 September 2018
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has been accused of attempting, in cahoots with the state’s police commissioner, to kidnap Senator Hope Uzodinma yesterday as the state prepared for its All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries to select their candidate for governor in next year’s (s)election.
Okorocha plans to install his son-in-law and current chief of staff, Uche Nwosu, as the next governor, while Senator Uzodimma, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, also has his eyes on Douglas House, the governor’s mansion.
The allegation of attempted kidnapping was made in a social media post by a close ally of Uzodinma, who wrote: “Yesterday being the eve of the APC governorship primaries, the state commissioner of police acting on the instructions of governor Rochas Okorocha attempted to kidnap senator Hope Uzodinma in the worst case of political intimidation and rascality ever witnessed in Imo State”.
He added: “This unlawful act was followed by several repressive acts of thuggery and violent attack on ordinary members of APC, whose only offence was that they attended zonal rallies in support of senator Hope Uzodinma. Thugs led by the deputy chief of staff to the governor attacked the venues of APC rallies, destroyed canopies, attacked defenceless women and old men with guns matchetes and cutlasses while destroying cars and smashing car windscreens.
“This provocative visitation of violence on ordinary unarmed citizens with the consent and knowledge of the Imo State commissioner of police shows clearly the conspiratory plan of the duo to unleash violence on Imo people in defence of Uche Nwosu’s governorship ambition. Information available to us reveal that the governor out of his frustration on the loss of the judgment against the deputy governor and the decision of the national working committee of APC to conduct direct primaries in Imo has sworn to deal with the opposition in Imo and show his authority as governor”.
Last week a High Court annulled the impeachment of deputy governor Eze Madumere. The deputy governor has been at loggerheads with Okorocha because he also has governorship ambitions that could thwart the governor’s succession plan.
Uzodinma’s aide concluded with: “Imo people have suffered so much at the hands of governor Okorocha and would rather all die than allow Okorocha push in his son-in-law as governor of Imo State. That the entire Imo State did not burn yesterday was due to the immediate intervention of the Inspector General of Police who called the commissioner of police to order and stopped the unlawful arrest and kidnap of a distinguished senator and governorship aspirant. We know that our lives are now in danger at the hands of Okorocha and his murderous gang but will not stop to defend Imo people from this highhandedness and repression. Okorocha does not own Imo State and Imo people have rejected him and his government. Any person or authority supporting Okorocha’s repressive acts against Imo people will surely be remembered by history as an enemy of the people”.