By Abiola Olawale
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has debunked claims made by his predecessor in office, Rochas Okorocha over the controversy trailing a sealed estate in Owerri, stating that he was not aware of any attempt to assassinate the former governor.
Okorocha, an incumbent Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, had alleged that the Governor sent thugs to attack him at the Royal Spring Palm Estate, Owerri.
Okorocha was arrested on Sunday for attempting to reopen the Estate which had been sealed by the state government. However, he was later released during the late hours of Sunday.
After his release, the former Governor had said “I want to add that the IGP (Mohammed Adamu) should order the immediate arrest of Chinasa Nwaneri and Eric Uwakwe. They led thugs that injured one of my orderlies and staff with machetes. They also shot Uzor, my in-law, shattering his feet with bullets.”
But Uzodinma on Tuesday dismissed the claims, stating that he has no agenda to assassinate the former governor.
The governor made this known to the State House correspondents after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Uzodinma, went further to alleged that it was Okorocha that came to the Estate with thugs.
He also said a civil defence officer is currently in the hospital after sustaining wound from the attack by the suspected thugs.
In his words: “Who will assassinate him? I don’t know about any attempt to assassinate Okorocha. Rather, what I know is that I have no personal issues with Okorocha. You will recall that before I became governor, the (Emeka) Ihedioha administration set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into acquisitions and allegations of lands, converting government lands to personal property, and then removing private lands from individuals and giving to other individuals. The judicial panel of Andrew agencies that are involved with implementation are doing their job. And the only thing I know is that a few days ago, one of the properties sealed by the government, the former governor went there with his thugs. You people saw it, it was was live. He went there with thugs himself, wounded the policemen there, wounded the Civil Defense Civil people.
“A civil defence officer is currently still in the hospital. He (Okorocha) then broke in (to the estate). You must have heard him say that he is richer than government and that he is above the law. I am not directly involved. It is a position taken by the government. There is a difference between a governor and a government. The government of Imo State sealed a property. And I think that if there is anything anybody considers that is not right, the person should go to court and not to take laws into their hands or adopt self-help. I remember that under Ihedioha, there was a recovery committee, chaired by one Jasper Ndubaku. When they tried to visit Okorocha’s house, they were beaten to a stupor. And the same man who did that is now also doing the same thing. People should know the difference between being a governor and government decisions and policies.”
Similarly, Oguwike Nwachukwu, Imo State Chief Press Secretary (CPS), in a statement, claimed Okorocha has been colluding with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to use his name to seek for public attention.
Nwachukwu’s statement partly reads: “No day passes without Senator Okorocha trying to use the name of Governor Uzodimma to either seek or divert the attention of the public from activities linked to him, most of them reprehensible. Senator Okorocha does not do this alone, but with the PDP in Imo State, his newest political ally. But we are not surprised. It is on record that the Senator recently said he is working in cohort with the opposition to achieve his political ambition, and he has not hidden his romance with key PDP figures in Imo State to undermine the All Progressives Congress(APC) government of Governor Uzodimma.
“Those who have been reading the lips of Governor Uzodimma since he assumed office in January 15, 2020, know that he is not the type who patronises agents of violence, regardless of the circumstances. Nothing can be as embarrassing and unfortunate as a former governor deliberately flouting the law and instead of facing the reality, he is busy stoking flame with inciting comments he knows are not a true representation of what the APC government of Governor Uzodimma stands for. Senator Okorocha should eat the humble pie, face his case squarely with the police on Royal Spring Estate closure and where he thinks higher authorities can be of assistance, approach them with decorum and responsibly.”