Imo Govt Officials, PDP Trade Tackles Over Bad Condition

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By Onyinyechi Amakachi

A renewed verbal war between the Imo State government under Senator Hope Uzodinma and the main opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP resumed again yesterday when both groups exchanged vitriolic attacks.

Recall that there have been periodic exchange of verbal attacks between those incharge of Uzodinma’s media and the PDP elements in the State.

While the PDP in trying to checkmate the administration of the APC government throws punches against the ruling party using the othordox and social media, Uzodinma’s aide fires back to challenge the persistent critisms of the opposition.

However, the altercation changed gear on Thursday after the information commissioner of the state, Hon Declean Mbadiwe Emelumba, went on air to blame the PDP for the recent misfortunes that befall the state, especially in the area of insecurity.

Emelumba’s version of blame trade against the PDP came moments after sponsored write ups in the social media cropped up where the writers fingered the umbrella party for the challenges facing the state.

Speaking during a Radio programe in an Owerri based electronic outfit Hot FM, Emelumba accused the opposition, especially the PDP for allegedly being responsible for the problems facing the state.

The information commissioner asserted that during the peak of the unknown gunmen attacks in Imo, especially that against the Prisons Owerri and Police headquarters in the state capital, no condemnation came from the opposition. According to him agents of PDP supported the unknown gunmen menace.

He stated that PDP is not appreciative of the efforts of the governor to ensure security even when accolades are thrown to Senator Uzodinma in curtailing the excesses of the rampaging criminals. Emelumba further expressed that the roads in Imo were terribly bad before Uzodinma came into power which he has fixed but such efforts are never appreciated and received kudos from the opposition.

When callers refered the information commissioner how PDP caused non- payment of salaries and pensioners to state workers and bad roads Emelumba continued to blame the opposition party for the difficulty encountered and witch hunting.

However, in what appears more like a response, PDP in Imo through a statement issued by Mazi Emenike Nmeregini, the acting state publicity secretary asked the Uzodinma led APC government to substantiate claims or in one week apologies to the party.

The statement from the PDP reads, “The attention of the People’s Democratic Party Imo State has been drawn to two media reports captioned: “Imo PDP Called to Order” and “Uche Onyeagocha and Akwarandu should be held if anything happens to Imo Sons and Daughters” credited to faceless groups and published on some social media platforms. The reports alleged rather erroneously that PDP and its leaders are aiding and abetting the spate of insecurity in the state. Although we consider these reports largely frivolous, flippant and contemptuous, we nonetheless decided to respond so as to set the records straight and to provide Imolites useful insights into the disturbing and worrisome security situations in the state.

The following submissions accordingly suffice:

“The unsigned press releases were evidently sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodinma-led APC government to build trumped up charges against the leaders of the major opposition party in the state, the PDP in order to intimidate, oppress and silence them from holding his unpopular administration accountable to the people of Imo State and to conceal his gross incompetence.

“The persistent horrendous state of insecurity in Imo leading to serial bloodbaths clearly shows a dripping   lack of capacity on the part of APC government led by Uzodinma to guarantee safety and security of lives and property of Imo people, instructive of the tragic level of Uzodinma’s unpreparedness to govern the State

“Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the state, our party had in June this year advised Uzodinma to step down as Governor given his evident weakness to manage the security crisis. Instead of recognizing the  well-based advice as a wake-up call, the government has since resorted to high-handedness, name-calling, blackmail, witch-hunting  and hawking of fake, malicious and mischievous allegations such as the ones that prompted their statement against  the PDP.

“More instances abound in the arrest order Uzodinma’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba issued against the leaders of PDP in June this year and Uzodinma’s irrational accusation that the leaders of PDP were behind the embarrassing jail-break that occurred in Owerri Prisons in April.

“Consequently, we are challenging Uzodinma or any official of his government to furnish Imo people with proofs to substantiate their baseless claims that Imo PDP leaders are aiding or abetting any group to unleash violence on Imo masses or were behind the scandalous  jail-break; if not   they should within one week  publicly apologize to Imo PDP.

“We therefore sound a note of warning that we will no longer take these hateful allegations by Uzodinma and his aides lightly again as we will be compelled to challenge the APC government legally.

“Uzodinma should be reminded that PDP leaders are law-abiding citizens who recognize the well-being of the people of the state as a top priority as demonstrated by the short-lived Rebuild PDP government led by Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Consequently, PDP leaders can never embark on actions capable of jeopardizing the safety and lives of Imolites

“As a virile and credible opposition party, Uzodinma should be told that no amount of intimidation and repression can prevent Imo PDP and its leaders from   pushing determinedly alternative views and holding him accountable to the people as provided by the law.

“Uzodinma should be courageous enough to tell Imolites the involvement of his government in the new wave of violence in the state. Particularly the circumstances leading to the change and in-fighting of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.

“The PDP is not unmindful of the serial attempts by Uzodinma–led Government to politicize the insecurity in the State in the face of the credibility and legitimacy it has had to contend with. But we must warn of the dangers in seeking to make political capital of the insecurity in the State for self-serving reasons”.