Posted by News Express | 30 January 2013 | 3,502 times
Commercial activities and vehicular movement in Owerri, the Imo State capital, temporarily ground to a halt when hundreds of youths took to the streets earlier today in a peaceful demonstration against what they termed the incessant harassment of the Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s administration by the Economic and Financial crimes commission (EFCC).
The protesting youths, who came from across the 27 council areas of the state, marched under the umbrella of Conference of Imo Progressive Youths. They brandished placards with inscriptions such as “Owelle has redefined governance”, “Imo was raped1999-2003”, “Messiah has come”, and “EFCC stop insulting Imo people.”
The demonstrating youths caused traffic gridlock in the Owerri metropolis, forcing commuters to walk to their destinations.
Addressing journalists, the coordinator of the group Barr. Kennedy Ibe, said they were protesting against the continued harassment and distraction of the present government by some highly placed Imo citizens using the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) as a willing tool to destabilise the Okorocha administration.
Barr. Ibe warned those Imo sons whose stock in trade is to engage in distracting the present administration by inviting EFCC or going to the media to castigate the state government to desist from it forthwith.
He claimed that the present government has done well within the shortest period of time “compared with the past administration of Chief Ikedi Ohakim that spent four years but has nothing to show except grass planting.”
On the current security situation in the state, the leader of the team described it as “politically motivated and orchestrated by disgruntled politicians in the state and their cohorts in Abuja to distract and discredit the administration.”
According to him, the recent arrest of the Accountant General, Commissioner for Finance and the Clerk of the Imo House of Assembly by the EFCC is to cast aspersions on the Okorocha administration.
Ibe commended the governor, stating that he has achieved more than all the past administrations especially in terms of education and infrastructural development in the state.
“The Minister of Information was here with the Good Governance Team and he confirmed that the governor is doing a good job because he saw the massive infrastructural development in the state,” Ibe said.
“We are not fooled by the recent actions of the EFCC because we know it was all masterminded by selfish politicians and we want to warn them to stop interfering in the rebirth of Imo. We have decided to lend our support to his administration because we wanted a governor who had a passion for progress and development and we found all that in Owelle,” he added.
•Photo: The protesting youths.
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