From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Coalition of groups on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday stormed the private Abuja office of the embattled former governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the ruling party to intervene on the feud between Okorocha and the incumbent governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The Uzodinma, Okorocha feud took disturbing twist last weekend when the senator representing Imo West was arrested by the state government for allegedly breaking into a sealed property owned by his (Okorocha’s wife).
Bearing placards with various inscriptions like: ‘We demand peace in Imo State’, ‘Gov Uzodinma, shun politics of vendetta and uphold love’; ‘APC means peace, restore peace in Imo State’; ‘Leaders should be respected, Rochas is a leader’; ‘Leaders must build on legacies not destroy’; ‘Stop the use of thugs’; and ‘Rochas we believe in you’; among others, the group demanded apology from Governor Uzodinma.
Protesting the treatment melted on the former governor, the groups warned that the feud, coming at the point the party was doing membership registration and revalidation exercise, poses serious threat to the party’s fortunes and progress in the Southeast.
While appealing to President Buhari and the chairman Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, to wade into and resolve the feud, they revealed that they had submitted 16 complaints to embassies on the crisis in Imo State.
One of the speakers, Dr. Kingman Chikelu, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora, said that the complaints were submitted to the embassies and High Commission comprising, UK, South Africa, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Congo and others.
He maintained that the political feud in the Imo State is causing embarrassment to Nigeria and Nigerians in the international communities.
Representative of Arewa Youth Consultative Council, Toyib Ibrahim, in his speech also noted: “As a conscious and oriented youth organization, we condemn the arrest and maltreatment of the former governor of Imo state and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district, Senator Okorocha, for venturing into the Royal palm estate.
“lt is worrisome that the future of Nigeria is threatened in the hands of politicians, who are allowed to bend the law or use the agents of the law to intentionally attack political opponents, simply because they have a hidden agenda that cannot be unveiled easily.
“But because they have the monopolies of control on the security and media apparatuses; they are always seen clamping on those that are not having such instrument of force and authority.
“We must publicly condemn the worrisome reports of how men of the Nigeria Police Force attached to the state Government House watched as thugs attacked his Excellency, prior to his arrest.
“This is an indication that the Imo State government is having a hidden skeleton on this issue, which must be condemned with the most strictest sense. We cannot fold our arms and watch our security operatives being used to achieve political aims.
“One may wonder why as Arewa Youth Organization, we are condemning an act happening in the South. This is because one of our special focus is on fostering unity, sanity and strict obedience to the rule of law, and as we have seen that the current happening in Imo is a complete conspiracy to achieve a political end.
“Senator Okorocha deserves the backing and mass support of patriotic Nigerians from all angles of Nigeria, for this violation of rights, personality and dignity as a serving Senator is an insult to the image of Nigeria,” he noted.
Similarly, the APC students wing, through their President, Comrade Tiefa Pete, condemned the attack on Okorocha.
He said: “We are here today to register our displeasure over the silence of the party structure and call on the Caretaker committee Chairman, Buni, to call Governor Uzodinma to order as his actions will have serious negative effects on the party.
“The role Sen. Okorocha played in the formation of the APC cannot be overlooked, as he successfully led the entire structure of APGA in the Southeast to merge with the APC, which gave the party the strong presence enjoyed today in the Southeast.
“We are hereby informing the party that, we at the APC Students Wing and lovers of our dear party, the APC, will not fold our hands and watch a man that came along the line to come and destroy the party, with such embarrassment on a true party man, in person of Senator Okorocha.
“We call for an immediate publicized apology to the person of Senator Okorocha. We want to also stress that such should never occur again as the security of every Nigerian is important to us at the New Nigeria Campaign Organisation and we cannot continue to watch an individual destroy our party and continue to toy with the lives of Nigerians in the name of politics and show of power.
“No Nigerian is more Nigerian than a Nigeria and we can’t fold our hands to see it happen in other states of the federation,” he said.