Posted by News Express | 13 October 2013 | 4,702 times
The Abia State Government has explained why it yesterday blocked the planned visit of Governor Rochas Okorocha of neighbouring Imo State from visiting Abia to grace his birthday celebration organised by an NGO.
Defended the action, Ugochukwu Emezue, Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, said in a press statement: “Abia State Government will not be drawn into unnecessary matters with the Imo State government over a mundane issue that has to do with the purported birthday event of Governor Rochas Okorocha in Aba.
“What Okorocha planned to do in Abia Polytechnic, Aba was to launch his pet project called Imo Rescue Mission without permission from the school authorities.”
A large number of policemen had cordoned off the Aba-Owerri, Federal Highway in Aba, in a successful bid to abort Okorocha’s presence at a planned civic reception in his honour by the Nigeria Rescue Missionaries, Aba State chapter.
“Five police patrol vans with registration numbers NPF 4442 C, NPF 4417 C, NPF 5413 C, NPF 4405 C and NPF 2279 C, were stationed in front of Abia Polytechnic’s gates, Brass Junction and PZ Junction respectively,” according a report in The Nation on Sunday.
“Erected canopies which were to be used for the aborted programme were seen turned upside down at the polytechnic pavilion’s field,” the paper added.
It quoted Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna, as saying that the police were there to provide security and to forestall any breach of peace.
However, reacting to the development, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Imo State Government, Chinedu Offor said: “It is a shock that what is clearly a religious event organised by Southeast and Southsouth pastors to mark the birthday of Owelle Rochas Okorocha. All prior approvals, permits and payments were obtained by the organisers of the event.”
He asked: “Is Okorocha coming to Aba to canvass for votes? Is he coming to Aba to become the governor of Abia State? A similar event took place in Ibadan without a hitch. Despite this unwarranted action, Gov. Okorocha is appreciative of the efforts of Nigerians to mark his birthday and prays for showers of blessings to all those who planned the event.”
•Photo shows Governor Okorocha.
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