Anxiety has enveloped Owerri, the Imo State Governor following reports of the planned return of sacked Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
While the government of the state, led by Chief Hope Uzodinma has accused the former Governor of plotting to destabilize the State, the Peoples Democratic Party says the state government and the camp of the All Progressives Congress were jittery, as the one “voted by the people of the state” was returning to the state.
In a Statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, the state government alleged that supporters of the sacked Governor plan using the opportunity of his return to protest against the State Government.
The statement reads in part:
“The Imo State Government is aware of plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to stage protests tomorrow, Thursday during which they will again pour insults on the Supreme Court Judges for refusing to reverse their earlier judgment on the Imo governorship case.”
“The government is fully aware of the plan by the PDP to hide under the guise of welcoming ousted Governor Emeka Ihedioha back to Imo to stage the protests. Their plan is to make it look like Imo people trooped out to welcome him and hide under that cover to display placards condemning the Supreme Court Justices for refusing to reverse their judgment in favour of Ihedioha and the PDP.”
“From the airport they plan to proceed to Owerri, the state capital to continue with the protests. Government is also aware that they have imported thugs from neighboring states for this purpose because the few members left in their ranks cannot make the impact they crave for.”
“…the state government wants to make it abundantly clear that it will no longer tolerate unbridled affront on constituted authorities in the name of the exercise of freedom of expression”
“The Statement called on law enforcement agencies to take steps to ensure that there is no breach of peace in the state.”
In its response, the Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has dismissed claims by the state Government that the Party was planning another round of protests.
In a Statement signed by the State Secretary of the Party, Nze Ray Emeana and made available to newsmen, the Party said “our great party and its teeming members are only making preparations to receive our Leader and the Peoples Hero, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, who is scheduled to return to the state on Thursday, 12th March, 2020 to among other engagements, participate in the party Wards Congresses slated for Saturday, 14th March, 2020.”
The statement reads in part:
“The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Imo State Chapter has been drawn to a misleading statement by the All Progressives Congress, APC, wherein our great party was accused of planning to destabilize the state.”
“Contrary to their false alarm, Imo State PDP is not planning any protest. That our great party and its teeming members are only making preparations to receive our Leader and the Peoples Hero, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, who is scheduled to return to the state on Thursday, 12th March, 2020 to among other engagements, participate in the party Wards Congresses slated for Saturday, 14th March, 2020. As a law abiding party, it is on record that we have held peaceful protests in the state in recent past, when it was necessary, which Imolites are witnesses. That, it is noteworthy that the All Progressives Congress, (APC) is notorious for violence and brigandage and the PDP as a disciplined party, will not be intimidated by the grandstanding of the few, who are struggling with the stigma of illegitimacy.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, our leader, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, and our great party are widely known as peace lovers and as such, will not engage in acts capable of inflicting more hardship on Imolites who have been pauperized since the Supreme Court judgement of January 14, 2020.”
The PDP however accused the All Progressives Party of hiring hoodlums to cause mayhem in the state, even as it called on Imo citizens to come out en mass to receive former Governor Ihedioha.
“It has however, come to our notice that the APC has concluded plans to hire hoodlums with a view to infiltrating the planned peaceful reception of our leader to foment trouble and blame it on our party. We hereby implore our teeming members and Imolites in general to troop out en mass to receive our Hero, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON and never be deterred nor provoked by anybody or group of persons into any act of lawlessness.”