Senator Rochas Okorocha has dared the Imo state government, led by Governor Emeka Ihedioha, to make good its threat and arrest him.
On Thursday, August 29, 2019, the Imo State government had asked citizens to arrest Okorocha over the alleged assault of Jasper Ndubuaku, a government official.
Ndubuaku is the Chairman of the Recovery of Government Properties in Imo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in a video which made the rounds online for most of Thursday, some thugs could be seen beating up Ndubuaku at Okorocha’s residence on Spibatt Avenue, Owerri.
The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Rabiu Ladodo and Secretary to the State Government Uche Onyeaguocha would later confirm the incident to journalists during a joint news briefing in Owerri.
Beaten and thrown in a gutter
Ndubuaku alleged that he was beaten up at Okorocha’s residence and thrown into a gutter by some thugs.
He further alleged that he was first held hostage for a couple of hours by the thugs in the presence of security personnel attached to Okorocha’s residence.
He said that the recovery team obtained a court order to search Okorocha’s house.
“We got a court order to recover stolen properties kept in Okorocha’s house and when we got to his house on Thursday, armed thugs attacked us.
“There are twenty government vehicles in his house, four speed boats, one movable crane and generator sets, which we went to recover before the incident.
“We will not give up the battle, we will go back to his house because the property belongs to Imo government,” Ndubuaku said.
Afterwards, SSG Onyeaguocha issued the Okorocha arrest order.
Onyeaguocha said that the state had also placed Okorocha on security watch and urged Imo citizens to arrest him and alert the government whenever they found him in town.
In a response sent to Pulse through Sam Onwuemeodo, his Special Adviser on media, Okorocha laughed off the arrest order from the Imo state government.
“The arrest Order was an open invitation to anarchy or fracas in the state because Imo people will always come out to defend Okorocha. It also shows insensitivity on the side of the government in the State because such arrest order was uncalled for and Onyeaguocha has no right to issue an Order of that nature.
“The Order only adds to their continued disrespect for the former governor, which is a very bad precedent. After May 29, 2019, Owelle Okorocha relocated to Abuja. He was in Abuja when the recovery committee members slapped the daughter, Mrs. Uloma Rochas Nwosu, invaded and looted the shops of the wife, Nneoma and that of the daughter too. And just the previous week, Onyeaguocha invaded the private Guest House of the former governor.
“The government had written petitions to EFCC and ICPC. And these agencies have begun investigations, yet they do not want these bodies to do their work which also arose from their petitions.
“Onyeaguocha has repeatedly said that Chief Ihedioha does not have the capacity to govern the state and he has taken over the day to day running of the government. That is why he could give such an irresponsible Order against a former governor of the State.
“The same Thursday, Onyeaguocha led thugs to Sam Mbakwe airport and said they were waiting for the former governor. This is the first government in the history of the State that is fanning the ember of anarchy.
“They were rattled the day Okorocha came into the State for the first time after May 29, 2019 and he was received by a mammoth crowd. It then occurred to them that their blackmail and lies have not affected the love of Imo people for their beloved former governor. That is the reason for all these insensitive actions.
“Again, the PDP never won the 2019 governorship election. They have that issue to contend with. The governor had half of his bloated votes from the three LGAs in Mbaise where he comes from and in a State with twenty-seven Local Governments. So, they have that fear of the unknown. And due largely to this fear of the unknown they decided to resort to self-help.
“Before his inauguration as Governor, Chief Ihedioha said he would step on Okorocha’s toes and he has been doing that, throwing caution to the wind. And forgetting too that when you step on one’s toes unjustly your own could peel.
“Okorocha was governor for eight years, and for the eight years, he never harassed any Imo man or woman. He built guest houses for all his predecessors. He never quarreled with any of them. But the government in Imo now is tyrannical.
“Okorocha ran pro-people government but Ihedioha is running pro-elite and pro-godfather government. That is why he has been spending billions sponsoring pocket of protests and publications by PDP elders who always claim to be Imo elders. His government is floating because of its elite posture.
“Nigerians should watch the PDP government in Imo closely. It is wicked and tyrannical. Imo people have begun to have the kind of experiences they have never had since the creation of the State in 1976. It is just a government of intimidation and harassment.
“Okorocha will be in Imo whenever he deems it necessary to come, especially when he had transformed the State as governor and left it better than he met it. And had invested heavily in the State long before his governorship with his wife and children also having their businesses relocated to Owerri because they believe strongly in the State. Nigerians of good tidings should disregard the arrest order. It became void on arrival”, Okorocha said.
A never ending feud
Ihedioha and Okorocha have been on a war path since the former succeeded the latter as Imo governor on May 29, 2019.
Ihedioha has wasted little time tearing down Okorocha-era policies, statues and monuments.
Ihedioha has often accused Okorocha of running the state aground, while stopping short of accusing his predecessor of looting the treasury dry during his reign.
Okorocha however says his administration left N42.5bn in the Imo state coffers.
Okorocha currently represents the people of Imo West in the senate. He governed Southeast Imo state from 2011 to 2015.