Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state has dismissed reports of an assassination attempt on the former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
Okorocha on Sunday, February 21, had a clash with some of the state government officials after a property owned by his wife, Nkechi was sealed. Okorocha led some of his supporters to the property where he forcefully reopened it, This was however opposed by some of the state government officials. This resulted in a crisis that left some persons injured and some properties destroyed. Okorocha was also arrested by the state police command on the order of the state government.
Speaking to statehouse correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, February 23, Governor Uzodinma said he isn’t aware of an assassination attempt on Okorocha but one thing he is certain of is that he has no personal issues with his predecessor. He stated that he was only following the resolution of a panel set up by the Emeka Ihedioha-led government which he took over from.
“Who will assassinate him? I don’t know about any attempt to assassinate Okorocha. Rather, what I know is that I have no personal issues with Okorocha.
You will recall that before I became the governor, the Ihedioha administration set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into acquisitions and allegations of lands, converting government lands to personal property, and then removing private lands from individuals and giving to other individuals.
The judicial panel of inquiry chaired by a judge met and they concluded our job and a white paper have since been raised.
You know institutions and agencies that are involved with implementation are doing their job.
And the only thing I know is that few days ago, one of the properties sealed by government, the former governor, went with his thugs. You people saw it, it was live. He went there with thugs himself physically, wounded the policemen there, wounded the Civil Defense Civil people, the Civil Defense officer is currently still in the hospital and then broke in and entered.
Of course, you must have heard him say that he is richer than government and that he is above the law. I am not directly involved. It is a position taken by government. There is a difference between governor and government.
The government of Imo state sealed a property. And I think that if there is anything anybody considers that is not right, the person should go to court to address the issue. Not to take laws, take to self-help.
I remember that under Ihedioha, there was a recovery committee, chaired by one Jasper Ndubaku. When they tried to visit Okorocha’s house, they were beaten to a stupor. And the same man who did that is now also doing the same thing and almost killed the man who did it during his time.
So, I don’t want to go into that matter, because government is serious a business, and I’m very serious. I don’t have enough time to run the affairs of the state.
But people should know the difference between being a governor and the government decisions and policies.
And, you know, we took oath to protect the rule of law, to protect our laws, and we shouldn’t be part of any arrangement to violate our laws,” he said.