Posted by George Onyejiuwa and Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri | 24 April 2018 | 1,483 times
Members of Imo APC Restoration Coalition have issued an ultimatum to Governor Rochas Okorocha to desist from continued harassment, blackmail and intimidation of her members.
The group warned that failure to do so, it would be left with no option, but to take to accountability challenge.
The group alleged that since its Imerienwe declaration, in which it unequivocally challenged and rejected Imo governor’s clandestine and fraudulent strategy of imposing his son-in-law on the people of the state, the governor has continued to intimidate, harass and blackmail its members.
It also alleged that the phone lines of most its members, who signed the declaration, have been inundated with unprecedented as well as life-threatening messages and calls. These were contained in a statement signed by Dr. Theodore Ekechi, convener, and former commissioner for information and strategy, Kingsley Ononuju, co-convener, Donatus Ozoemena, former deputy speaker of Imo House of Assembly and Alan Onyemechi, after their meeting last Sunday, at Ehime, Mbano council.
“Since making the Imerienwe declaration, in which we unequivocally challenged and rejected Governor Okorocha’s clandestine and fraudulent strategy of imposing his son in-law on the people of Imo State, we are deeply concerned about the continued intimidation and harassment of our leaders and members, using all sorts of unconstitutional and illegal means.
The phone lines of most of our members, who signed the declaration have been inundated with unprecedented as well as life-threatening messages and calls. Moreover, business premises, landed property and even our family members, as we make this release, are suspected to be in one form of unwarranted espionage, illegal bugging, reckless intimidation and mindless harassment or the other.
It must be noted that our only crime is our collective expression of our constitutional rights in standing against Okorocha’s pervasive imposition of Nwosu, as his successor in 2019, against our party guidelines and norms.
“Prior to this time, however, you are all witnesses that we have carefully confined our positions to the issues of the candidacy of Nwosu, coming from Orlu zone, considering his relationship with the outgoing governor, which we have argued is akin to third term by proxy.”
However, they threatened that, “if we are pushed to the wall, we are duty bound to explore all other possible means, within the ambit of the law, to draw attention, seek redress and defence, as guaranteed by the constitution, as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Regrettably, however, this may create the situation where we, as major stakeholders of the APC, will have no choice, but to be seen to be exposing the government of our party.”
Meanwhile, Okorocha has dismissed claims in the social media that there is a Supreme Court order, restricting the state government from conducting the planned local government election.
Governor Okorocha, who debunked the claims through a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, maintained that the election will go on as scheduled. He disclosed that the timetable for the elections has already been published by the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC)
“This clarification has become diametrically necessary, following a false claim in circulation by some of the former local government chairmen, that the Supreme Court has issued an order to the state government, stopping the local government elections scheduled by ISIEC.
That claim is totally false. And we challenge those behind the false claim to publish the said Supreme Court order with regard to the local government elections, for the public to see. And where they fail to publish the claimed Supreme Court order, they should cover their faces in shame.
“To say the least, the local government elections will hold as fixed by the state electoral body.
The public should disregard the falsehood that is being circulated by those who have no iota of concern for the state and her good people,” the statement read in part. The former local government chairmen have been in court since 2011, to contest their sack.
But, Governor Okorocha asserted that the aggrieved ex-council chairmen lost at the High Court and, also, at the Appeal Court, before heading to the Supreme Court.
“The governor claimed that the matter for which the former chairmen appealed to the apex court has no bearing with the fixed local government election.” (Daily Sun)
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