Stanley Uzoaru, George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has urged the Federal Government to set up a panel of inquiry against the rebels of the Supreme Court judgement that ousted Emeka Ihedioha, alleging that perpetrators were interested in overthrowing President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The governor stated this during a mega rally by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to counter the earlier protest staged by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and other parts of the country on Sunday.
According to the governor, those behind the protest nationwide had the intention of overthrowing Buhari’s administration.
He said: “Those women you saw yesterday wearing black are not playing politics, they want to overthrow the government; why are they organising a rally in Bayelsa, Delta, Umuahia and other parts of the country- because they want to overthrow the government of Buhari.”
Uzodinma further alleged that “I want the government to set up a panel to find out the cause of this, there is unity in Nigeria and we must remain as one.”
Explaining how he won at the Supreme Court Uzodinma said: “People voted for APC and it was stolen from us; we did not act on the ground of violence, we went to the Appeal Court but it did not understand us; we equally went to the tribunal, that also did not understand us until we went to the Supreme Court which understood us.
“So I want you all to go about your normal businesses; I am already in charge here; God has made me your governor,” Uzodinma assured.
Earlier, the deputy chairman of APC in the state, Ugochukwu Nzekwe while addressing the mammoth crowd assured them that APC had come to stay in the state, expressing happiness at the Supreme Ccourt ruling.
Also speaking, the youth leader of the party, Festus Okwulisi described the crowd of protesters in the state on Sunday as a rented crowd.
The state secretary of the party, Lady Love Ineh alleged that the women who were among the protesters were town criers paid N500 each to “impersonate the women of Imo State; they are not real; if you look at the crowd here today, you will see that these are genuine women protesting from their hearts.”
Earlier, former speaker of the state Assembly, Goodluck Opiah, and another chieftain of APC in the state, George Egu, condemned the protest. Both members of the party also maintained that Ihedioha never won the governorship election.
According to Opiah, “Emeka Ihedioha knew that he did not win; it will only take a matter of time before it is corrected and that was what the Supreme Court did.”
He continued: “Hope is the best thing that has happened to the people of Imo; APC now has a bright future in Imo and South-East; I see three more governors joining the party before 2023,” Opiah predicts.
Egu similarly enjoined the security agencies to arrest all collaborators of Ihedioha’s initial victory in the state, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials.
“INEC and others should have been in jail; the level of manipulation by Ihedioha was unimaginable; the protest, therefore, is stupid and senseless; Hope Uzodinma simply went to court telling them that two 213,000 of his votes were omitted. The Supreme Court looked at it and ruled,” Egu explained.
The rally was attended by over 5,000 women and youths in the state; the protesters took off from the Heroes Square and ended at Government House.