On the 11th of March 2015, the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri organised a political debate for all governorship candidates in Imo State. The venue was the Obiri Odenigbo Pavilion which is located inside the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Church, Owerri.
Unfortunately, before the event kicked off properly, hell was let loose at the venue of the event. Trouble started when some women suspected to be supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) started chanting sarcastic songs against Governor Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This angered the governor’s group made up of government officials and APC supporters and thousands of youthful thugs who reacted violently. An attempt by the priests and other organisers of the event to calm the situation saw the Okorocha group getting more enraged. They surged to the podium. The group led by the Secretary of the State Government Prof. Anthony Anwuka, the Chief of Staff Imo Government House Chief Jude Ejiogu, the Commissioner for Information Mr. Chidi Ibe, the Governor’s son in-law Mr. Uche Nwosu and other top government officials took away the micro phone from the priests there and started manhandling the priests and other organisers therein. They also destroyed the glasses and the decorated altar of the cathedral and chairs set out for candidates. The group also scattered the decorated dais and destroyed the public address and other facilities at place.
As this was going on, some of the Okorocha group were heard saying that they did not want the event to hold because they had not been comfortable with the recent statements of the chief organiser of the show Archbishop Anthony Obinna which he said showed that the cleric was against the governor. They called Archbishop Obinna unprintable names, threatened to deal with him if he came out. The irony was that even the Archbishop’s elder brother who incidentally is one of the Governor Okorocha’s political appointees was among the governor’s group. Also, some of the enraged women supporters of the governor who were involved in different scuffles wore the Catholic Women Organisation uniform.
Seen outside the premises of the church were most of the students from state owned secondary schools in Owerri who were mobilized to the place to cheer the governor. Some of the pupils interviewed said they were offered two thousand naira for the outing and they were seen chanting solidarity songs in praise of the governor. Also present were thousands of undergraduates from different higher institutions in the state who claimed they were paid by the Imo State Government to come and cheer the governor at the occasion.
However, the fracas the event created later caught up with Capt. Ihenacho when one of his security vehicles accompanying the ex-minister to his Owerri residence was attacked by some youths at the order of the governor’s Chief of Staff Chief Ejiogu around Whare-House Roundabout Owerri.
The enraged youths suspected to be APC supporters subsequently destroyed a campaign bill board being conveyed by the Toyota Hilux security vehicle in the convoy of the former minister, pulled out and thoroughly manhandled the driver and an APGA supporter in the vehicle Mr. Osita Megwa. Mr. Megwa was later rescued by some good Samaritans who took him to the hospital for treatment.
The event finally did not hold as earlier scheduled.
Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a brazen Episcopal desecration.Therefore, the thousands of APC violent thugs which evaded the cathedral premises of the event has now justified the accusation that Governor Okorocha and the APC have been training terrorists for the 2015 elections.
Nevertheless, the most bizarre part of it was the conveyance and mobilization of many secondary school students in state government owned schools to the venue of the event. It was gathered that the governor ordered all teachers in these schools to stop lectures and procure the children for the occasion to cheer him. This was during school hours and the school children in their different school uniforms left their studies and were kept round the arena of the debate till late in the day.
Be that as it may, I exercise my fears on how Rochas Okorocha and his APC government in Imo State have perfected plans to shed innocent blood at all cost in a bid to continue in office for a second term.
How can a governor stop pupils from receiving lectures and convey them to a political event without the consent of the parents and guardians of those children? These innocent minors were forced to work alongside the various thugs and hoodlum the state government hired for the event. Tongues have started wagging on how a governor who is now a grand-father expose underage school children of other parents and guardians to political violence in his desperation to get into power again? Was his own child there? The answer is no.
Now come to think of it, assuming the children were harmed, what would the governor tell their parents and guardians? I am sure, what the celebrated anarchist would say would be that it was PDP that harmed the kids? God forbid!
The above act offends the Child right Law in the country. It is gross child abuse as innocent children are being taught how to be involved in political thuggery and violence early in life. This shows that the governor is a vampire and is ready to sacrifice anybody including innocent children for his selfish aim. That tells you the kind of man who has been at the helm of affairs in Imo State and the man who aspires to govern Imo again. That has been the lot of Imo people for the past four years. This needs to be punished seriously.
Come to think of it, if the governor has done well as he claims, there should not be any fears for his re-election. But because the man is aware that the people of Imo State have overwhelmingly rejected him and that is why he is employing every barbaric means to force himself back to power. Nigerians should know that this man doesn’t mean well for this state and have hoodwinked gullible minded persons to be sacrificed for his own selfish benefit.
In the year 2011, APGA did not engage in any violent conduct but used every available lawful, legitimate and civilized means to win the Imo governorship seat for Rochas Okorocha.
However, the recent development in Imo State has gone ahead to confirm the allegation that APC is made up of hoodlums and violent people who do not have any good programme for the people.
The Okorocha group is set to shed the blood of innocent people so as to continue to hold the development and common wealth of Imo to the jugular.
We therefore call on all Imo people to discourage our youths from being continuously used as political thugs by Governor Okorocha and his cronies to achieve their selfish and obnoxious objectives.
We also enjoin the Imo electorate to vote out this irresponsible regime so as to end this spineless government that has brought shame, hardship and doom to Imo State.
Barr. Emperor N. Iwuala