Posted by News Express | 21 November 2016 | 5,218 times
Former Minister for Interior and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2015 general election in Imo State, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, has accused the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, of using his (Iheanacho’s) photograph taken without his consent by his media aide to create an impression of cordiality between them whereas such does not exist.
In the said controversial photograph published in most of the Imo State-based newspapers, Captain Iheanacho was captured discussing with the governor at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, where both men met last week Monday.
Questioning the rationale behind hyping the said photograph in the newspapers and social media, the former minister said he was “very surprised and embarrassed by the use of my photograph which was taken without my permission and knowledge.”
Iheanacho, whose property situated along Orlu Road, Owerri was destroyed for the third time by the state government under the guise of urban renewal programme, said it was very impossible and inconceivable that he, in the present circumstances, would be pleased to be seen in a photograph with the governor.
According to him, “We happened to be in the airport last Monday when I went to catch a flight to Lagos. While I was there, Governor Rochas Okorocha and his people came into the lounge and the governor, who was there, also came out and I stood up when he came close. I am someone who respects people. It doesn’t matter if we have different opinion with them, I respect them. When the governor came, I stood up to greet him and I told him in clear terms about my displeasure with the things he was doing in his government that is going on in Imo State, the destruction of properties of Imolites, the flagrant disregard to rule of law and court orders and the manner he was doing things in Imo State. I told him those things directly. I didn’t pull back.
“I was very surprised that his people, without my knowledge and without informing me, took a photograph of me talking to him and they are circulating it as if he and I are friends. It is very impossible, inconceivable that in the present circumstances, I will be pleased with him and be pleased to be seen in a photograph with him.”
Iheanacho lamented that rather than work towards fulfilling campaign promises of creating jobs for the youths, the governor was busy throwing many out of their homes and businesses.
“All the things that he said during the 2015 election campaigns, all the jobs for Imolites there are no jobs; housing for Imolites there are no houses; infrastructure and investment there is none at all. Rather than having any of those things, what we have is a situation where the governor himself and his people are embarking on a horrible programme of destruction of infrastructure that has been built before he came there.
“So, this is not a situation where I will look at the person who is responsible for the absolute carnage that is happening in Imo and said that I want to appear in a photograph with him. If they had asked my permission, I would have told them not to take the picture of me standing with the governor and creating the impression that things were alright between us; when in actual fact, all Imolites, including myself feel absolutely disgusted with the lack of progress, lack of respect for rule of law that he is entrenching in Imo State,” he said.
He called on the governor to immediately stop the obsessive of idea of government by the bulldozers whereby people who were opposed to his policies would have their houses pulled down by his government.
“Imo State is not the only place where people wish to have access to developed areas. There are ways things are done. You have to inform people; you have to discuss with them. Due process has to be followed; environmental impact has to be accessed. But what happened in my own situation? You said you are doing urban renewal prgramme. Should it be at the expense of where people live? What kind of urban renewal is destroying people’s businesses and residences and putting them out on the streets? Are they going to eat urban renewal? If the urban is renewed and they have no houses to live and have no jobs and their children are starving, what kind of urban renewal is this?” he queried.
•Photo shows Ex-Minister Iheanacho.
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