From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma, yesterday, declared that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) would win the 2023 elections despite deliberate attempts by some group of people to pull down the administration.
This is as he backed Federal Government’s decision to tag those burning INEC offices, politicians homes and other government institutions in the South East as terrorists, noting that every measure must be taken to return the country to normalcy.
“At this point, we’re not dealing with feelings alone, we must tie feelings to national interests. It’s not about sentimental feelings, it is about knowing that this is a Federal Government assets. How can anybody wake and deliberately go there to destroy them?
“Whatever government has taken as a position, I think there are two things; either you respect government and not destroy government assets or you destroy government assets and face the consequences. Those are the two things. So, let us not pretend as if all is well. All is not well. Leaders must rise to ensure that they work hand-in-hand with government to ensure their security in the country.
Uzodimma, who spoke to State House Correspondents said he was in the Villa to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on situation in the state.
He said things have returned to normal in the state as regards security breaches.
“So far, the situation is relatively okay in Imo State. Imo is okay now, people can come around and do their businesses. Normal life and activities have resumed in Imo State.”
On allegations that his utterances were not helping the situation and if he had foreclosed dialogue, he said: “Well, you say many people are thinking, that is their thinking. I don’t know the kind of utterances that I have made that suggest that I closed doors… I did not close no door. If you have monitored what is going on in Imo State of late, you would have seen me receiving leadership by leadership according to local government, trying to find out common ways of resolving these security challenges we have had in the state.
“It is not only in Imo State that we have challenges of insecurity, there is insecurity in other states. In fact, I can even tell you that Imo case is better that you have in most states. There has never been a time 20 persons died at a time or schoolchildren were kidnapped, and all that. We have been doing our best to see that cases of security breaches are reduced to the barest minimum, if not eliminated.”
The governor appealed to stakeholders in the state including traditional rulers, religious leaders, politicians to engage more with the people to restore peace in the state as he alone cannot do it.
On whether he was confident that more governors will defect to APC from the south East, he replied: “Not just from the South East, many governors in Nigeria will join the APC. Speaking honestly, part of the problem of this government is the deliberate attempt by some group of people to pull it down, because nobody is telling me that this government is not performing, that salaries are not being paid or that the roads are not being constructed or the railway is not going on or the various intervention funds to empower our youths are not being given out. Nobody has come in concrete terms to accuse this government of one failure or the other.
“All we hear is that herdsmen and farmers are fighting and for that reason 200 people are kidnapped. People are shot down here, people are killed there. What do you want government to do? We must be realistic. I believe in pragmatism. I believe in doing things right.
“Can anybody come and tell me one, two, three, four reasons why this APC should not win in the next election? Nobody has said that. I’ve not read it either in any newspaper. All I hear is that because of insecurity this, insecurity that… But you send people out in the night to go and cause trouble and use it in day to blame government.”