Senator Rochas Okorcha, a former governor of Imo State, has accused Hope Uzodinma, the incumbent state governor, of trying to create a siege mentality and force everybody in Imo State to fear him.
Okorocha made the allegation while addressing his supporters at his mansion in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Monday, a day after he was released from police custody.
Okorocha, who is the lawmaker representing Imo West Senatorial District, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly destroying government and security vehicles and also breaking into the Royal Spring Palm Estate in the Akachi area of Owerri, the state capital, purportedly owned by his wife, Nkechi, which was sealed by the state government on Friday.
He was later released on Sunday night.
The former governor said Uzodinma may not end well as a governor, claiming that his successor encouraging criminality and thuggery in the state.
“Governor Hope Uzodinma is going in a very wrong direction, that he might not end up well with. Now, Hope Uzodimma, for what happened yesterday, has simply displayed criminality, thuggery in governance, and is creating unnecessary tension, where there is no need for it,” he said.
Okorocha also accused Governor Uzodinma of intimidating residents of the state instead of fulfilling his constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the people.
Citing instances of violence in some parts of the state, the senator said Imo State is unsecured and a hotbed of violence.
He said: “Now, you go to Orlu, you see killings, that even the air force fighter jets, for the first time in history after the war, would come around Orlu. You see, yesterday alone, 10 houses were burnt in Oguta.
“Every day, people are being killed, intimidated by the governor and his thugs. Now, I don’t know what the governor wants to achieve, but I think he wants to make everybody fear him. He has also introduced a law through the Imo house of assembly that empowers him to detain people at will. That law is barbaric and must be condemned.
“Since he came into office, what he has achieved so far, is it the demolition of a 1,000-bed hospital, the Douglas Somto hospital, built by me? He has demolished the tunnel at Port Harcourt road, built by me, for the reason that it is substandard. And till today, more than 50 excavators and payloaders cannot break the tunnel.
“They left it there, abandoned. He has also demolished all the roundabouts that have brought beauty and safety of roads in our society. And he has not replaced them with anything. Now, he has left that and rather than making peace, he wants to rule by intimidation, and that’s not acceptable in any way.”
The federal lawmaker confirmed that his wife owns the property in question, saying he convinced her to invest in the state.
He claimed that Governor Uzodinma has delved into a full-fledged “personal attack” on him and his family, as well as his legacies as governor.
He called on the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to immediately arrest two aides to Governir Uzodinma, who he alleged led thugs to attack him at the estate on Sunday.
He said: “I immediately call on the Inspector-General of Police to immediately arrest Chinasa Nwaneri and Eric Uwakwe. They are the aides of Governor Hope Uzodinma. They shot my aides and destroyed all my cars. If the police can’t arrest Chinasa Nwaneri who the bad record is known for, they have no right to arrest any citizen of this country. As a senator, I am going to put a formal petition to that effect.
“Hope Uzodinma wants to rule Imo State by intimidation. He is busy demolishing all my projects without building anyone. Uzodinma has taken a personal attack on me and my family. Uzodinma has reported to the EFCC and ICPC and there are probe against me yet he is bent on fighting me.
“Uzodinma used the police against me yesterday (Sunday). I, therefore, call on the IGP to probe the actions of government house, Owerri policemen. Their actions were questionable. Chinasa Nwaneri shot my aide and my son-in-law, Uzor Anwuka.
“Everybody knows that I was not poor before I became governor. Talking about the estate, I was the one who begged my wife to come back home and invest in our state so that our people will have employment.
“More than 200 gunshots were fired at my aides yesterday. Uzodinma must be called to question. The governor was using his position to aid thuggery. Before I went to that estate on Sunday, I called the CP and the Director of DSS and they said they were not aware of the sealing of the estate, therefore, I went there to find those who sealed the estate without the approval of the police and the DSS and moreover, there was no court order. Uzodinma should not take my peaceful disposition for granted.”
The senator thanked the Presidency for its timely intervention in the matter, and warned the Imo governor to “take the path of caution”.