Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri and George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
A wild fire caused by an oil pipeline explosion, yesterday, threw residents of Etekuru in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State in confusion as they scampered for safety.
The fire was said to have started in the early hours of Tuesday at about 4 am.
The cause of the incident, according to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) spokesman, Lowel Chimezirim was as a result of activities of illegal oil bunkers who bursted the pipelines open.
Lowel said the command would give details of the incident after a full investigation.
Meanwhile, Former Secretary to Imo State Government (SSG), Uche Onyeagucha, has dared Governor Hope Uzodinma to arrest him.
Onyeagucha, while addressing journalists in Owerri, yesterday, boasted that nobody can arrest him as long as his actions are within the ambit of the law.
Onyeagucha was reacting to call for his arrest by a group under the aegis of the Imo Democracy Alliance (IDA) for his alleged involvement in a series of protests for the reinstatement of ex-Emeka Ihedioha who was sacked by the Supreme Court.
Onyeagucha alleged that the state government was looking for openings to prosecute him,but vowed not to be intimidated.
“Who are they calling to arrest me? Is it the Commissioner of Police, Inspector General of Police (IGP) or the DSS? These are people who agreed with us on the process for the protest and who actually mobilised their men on the street to guide us. They are talking out of ignorance, but I dare this administration to arrest me; they there not! I challenge them to arrest me, that is why after the Supreme Court judgement, I have been available in Owerri. I have not moved an inch, I am waiting for them to put their handcuffs on me so that I can be brought to the court. Justice in this matter will be administered. There will be many more protests against this government,” Onyeagucha said.
However, Imo APC has described the allegation by peoples Democratic Party that it was responsible for the fire that had gutted the INEC Orlu office as hollow and iresponsible.
The party noted that rascality of the false and tendentious accusation against ruling party in the state and great Party is as hollow as they come from a defeated opposition party with a hollow basket full of woes.
In a statement by Chief Enyinna Onuegbu the APC spokesperson said it was inconceivable that in the absence of any report by relevant security agencies upon an investigation of the sad incident “PDP would be running wild in infamous, tendentious and childish conclusions.
“We want to believe that while defeat portends ill-conceived emotional and unreasonable outbursts, the setting in of delusional hallucinations must be checkmated with quarantine and that is our recommendation for the sick PDP and it’s officials.”
“The APC as a law abiding corporate citizen has no need to resort to lawlessness in any circumstances. Indeed when PDP and it’s honorary members retained as INEC election officials conspired and stole the mandate of Imo voters in favour of our great Party in the Governorship election we fought all the way to the Supreme Court to retrieve our victory to universal acclaim. Why would we resort to arson now that w3 are victorious with erstwhile PDP members anxiously on queue to join our membership? It is incongruous and we deprecate the allusion. “
Imo PDP has said the APC should take responsibility over the fire that gutted the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Orlu on Monday.
It alleged that the incident was a major characteristic associated with the All Progressives Congress reputed for arson and brigandage and other vices witnessed in the eight years that it governed the state.
In a statement, the publicity Secretary, Damian Opara, said the PDP has viewed with utmost concern the fire outbreak that engulfed the INEC office in Orlu Council, saying it is a sharp departure in the past seven months when the PDP governed the state.