Former Imo State governor Emeka Ihedioha has accused the state government of conniving with security agents to arrest his supporters.
“I have been informed that the government of Imo State, acting in concert with some rogue elements within the security apparatus, is planning the arrest and detention of many of our supporters and to visit mayhem on the expected large crowd which they anticipate will come out to welcome me back home,”
Ihedioha said in a statement.
The planned arrest and scheme to ‘stigmatize and garb us in the toga of violence’, Ihedioha said made him decide to postpone his visit to the state he governed for more than seven months.
“It is therefore for the foregoing reasons that I have decided to postpone my trip to Owerri so as to frustrate their evil plans and machinations. My visit is not worth the life of any Imo citizen,”
Ihedioha denied claims by the government that his planned visit to the state was to import thugs and disrupt peace but to participate in the ongoing congresses of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Nothing could be further from the truth. I am not, and have never been, a violent person. My reputation is that of peace and fair play. I have never propagated or tolerated violence,” Ihedioha said.
“Unfortunately, the statement by the Imo State government, made several spurious allegations, including that I plan to lead violent protests as well as import thugs to perpetrate violence.”
While he is yet to visit the state since the Supreme Court judgement of 14th January 2020 sacked him as Imo State governor, Ihedioha said the massive deployment of security personnel and thugs by the government will not deter him and his supporters from pursuing a collective vision for a better Imo State.
“The constitutional rights, including the right to free speech and to freedom of movement, are inalienable. And nobody can take that away from me. I will certainly, by the grace of God, be visiting the state very soon,”
After his sack, Ihedioha on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, asked the Supreme Court to review its judgement on the Imo State governorship election.
The apex court on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, dismissed his application.