From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja, Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki, Stanley Uzoaru and George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Governors of the South East, yesterday, waded into the feud between Imo Governor,Hope Uzodimma and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha,calling on the two leaders to sheath their swords for the interest of peace and development of the state.
Chairman, South East Governors Forum and Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi,who disclosed this in Abakaliki said he contacted the two leaders on behalf of governors of the zone, adding that Uzodinma and Okorocha agreed to reconcile and embrace peace for the interest of the state and the zone.
Umahi warned persons outside the zone who were meddling in the dispute to stop forthwith, stressing that governors and leaders of the zone were capable of settling the matter.
The Ebonyi governor in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Francis Nwaze called for calm among supporters of Uzodimma and Okorocha “to ensure a timely and amicable resolution of the disagreement within the shortest possible time. “
He called on people of Imo and the South East to go about their normal businesses and shun provocative statements until normalcy is completely restored between the former governor and his successor.
•Protesters urge Buhari, party leadership to intervene
A coalition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), that stormed the Abuja office of Rochas Okorocha, yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and national leadership of the party to intervene in the feud between Okorocha and Uzodinma.
The group demanded apology from Governor Uzodimma following the ill treatment melted on the former governor, warning that the feud, coming at the point the party was doing its membership registration and revalidation, posed serious threat to the party’s fortunes and progress in the South East.
While appealing to President Buhari and chairman Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, to wade in and resolve the feud, the group said they had submitted 16 complaints to embassies on the crisis in Imo as it was causing embarrassment to Nigeria and Nigerians in the international community.
One of the speakers, Dr. Kingman Chikelu, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora, said the complaints were submitted to the embassies and High Commission of UK, South Africa, Liberia, Zimbabwe and Congo.
•Okorocha recounts ordeal, alleges police compromise
Rochas Okorocha, yesterday, recounted his experience in the clash between his security aides and those of Governor Uzodimma following the unsealing of Royal Palm Estate and Apartments in Owerri.
He described the action of Governor Uzodimma’s aides as thuggery, and urged people in the state to condemn it. He stated this while addressing his supporters from the All Progressives Congress (APC) who besieged his Spibat massion on a solidarity protest.
“What happened was a display of thuggery; i never expected that of a governor, he did what he did to humiliate me, he may not end well as governor. Go to Orlu, people are being intimidated by the governor and his thugs and i don’t know what he wants to achieve. I think he wants to make people fear him; he has been busy chasing shadow of violence since he came in.”
The former governor also alleged that the police who arrested him were compromised.
“I am not sure that those security men I saw that day are real police, even the army, one of them stabbed my aide. So I am calling on the police to investigate these officers, including the Special Assistant to Uzodimma, Chinasa Nwaneri and Eric Uwakwe who was shooting and beating my aides.”
Okorocha said he left police detention “at about 11 pm or thereabout.”
“They asked me to go; I didn’t want to go because I told them I wanted to stay for three months, I would have remain there, but they prevailed on me.”
He acknowledged the intervention of the presidency in the matter which he said saved the situation from degenerating into a blood bath.
•PDP warns APC, Uzodinma, Okorocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Imo State chapter, condemned the violent and clash between supporters of Okorocha and Uzodimma last Sunday.
The party called on President Buhari to rein in on his surrogates in the state to avoid the breakdown of law and order.
The party in a statement signed yesterday by Ogubundu Nwadike, State Publicity Secretary, described as worrisome the trend where the APC government has turned Imo into a terror zone and theatre of war
“It is indeed, highly despicable that under the present administration, Imo State which used to be the centre and cynosure of public peace and orderliness has turned into a jungle of terror where hooliganism, rascality, thuggery and abuse of the dignity of human peace have become the order of the day. The APC government in the state has created a Frankenstein monster which haunts the relative peace and social order in the state , Imolites are now leaving under fear and apprehension and can no more sleep with their two eyes closed.
“It is most disheartening that our state has become a laughing stock and object of mockery and caricature due to the present psychopathic leadership which is creating unnecessary tension and also mortgaging the peace of the state.”
Only last week, it was Governor Uzodinma inviting the Nigerian Army to attack innocent residents of Orlu Local Government Area and environs on what is purely a failure of intelligence gathering by appropriate security agencies leading to the death of innocent civilians.
“While Imolites are yet to come out of the shock and still counting costs of the Orlu massacre, the leadership of APC in Imo State led by Governor Uzodinma and Senator Okorocha unleashed unprecedented terror on Imolites through the use of thugs and deadly cultists and weapons apparently on a fight of who gets a bigger chunk of the commonwealth of Imo.
“Make no mistakes about it. This fight has nothing to do with the welfare and wellbeing of Imo citizens. If that was the case, both parties would have followed due process and approached the courts as prescribed by law in relation to matters like this. It is crystal clear that the battle is about would retains or takes over looted assets of the state.”