Coming out of the All Progressive Congress, APC ward congress, amidst the allegations by Governor RochasOkorocha, that electoral materials were stolen, Senator Uwajumogu, representing Imo North, in the red Chamber, carpets the governor, saying that the only difference is that Okorocha, is not on ground in the state.
In this interview with WATCHDOG news, Associate Editor Uwajumogu says the people of Imo state are happy that there are people within the state who can confront the imperialist administration of Okorocha.
Quest: Governor Rochas Okorocha, has accused the panel that conducted the Ward Congress, in Imo state of compromise, as a stake holder, what is your take on this
First and foremost, the All Progressive Congress, slated its ward Congress in the 36 states and FCT for 5th of May. On the 4th, a day to the Congress, we got an information that the governor said he was not comfortable with the panel sent to Imo, requesting that the party should set up another panel. He wanted another panel set up for him. But the National Secretariat told him, it was late in the day to set up another
Panel, they suggested that the only option is a swap, in deference to him as a governor. When we got the information, we were very angry with the Governor. We insisted that the right thing be done.
Quest: Was the request for the swap of the panel an agreement by the stake holders?
It was the governor that requested, got through to the Vice President, who pressurized the Party to accede to his request. On the Morning of the election the Chairman sent a vehicle to Akwa, to convey the panel in Anambra, to Owerri, in spirit of the new arrangement, before they could reach there, the vehicles Rochas sent were already waiting to move the panel members. This now resulted into a serious commotion because the Chairman stood his ground that he will not go to Imo, in the Vehicle sent by the Government, he maintained his ground and left with three of the members in the vehicles dispatched by the Chairman, in fact there was heavy shooting there.
While this was going on at Akwa, the governor drove to Protea Hotel, Owerri, to meet the Panel that was to go to Anambra, from Imo. When he went there all he was asking for, is where the material is, they told him it was not with them. All he wanted was the materials. When he could not get the materials, he brazenly took the panel members to the Government House. Meanwhile, when he got to the Hotel, the members were having their breakfast.
While this lasted it became clear that the security of the panel that just arrived from Akwa, were not guaranteed, we said, let’s go for a stake holder meeting. At the stakeholders meeting, over 500 thugs stormed the Venue, beating everybody, destroying canopies and Chairs. The police Commissioner in the state was contacted, but he said he is not around, getting to the Deputy Commissioner, he said he not around, so we went to the OC Operations , initially he said he wasn’t around, when he eventually came as he was addressing us the Commissioner of police came with the panel scheduled to conduct the Anambra congress.
And the Commissioner decided to keep everybody waiting, demanding for the materials. Everybody was there, Hope Uzodima, Kinsley Uju, the deputy governor, Charles Amadi, Senator Ararume, and the Chief of staff were there and hordes of others.
What did the Commissioner of police want the material for, this purely a political party affairs? The Police Commissioner insisted he wanted the material. Meanwhile, the Chairman has given the go ahead for the Congress.
The story is that the Congress did not hold, but we have enough documentary evidence and Video Clips to show that the Congress held.
In any case, the Conduct of the congress is the prerogative of the three members who were sent to conduct the election, it is not those from Abuja. INEC, the various Divisional police Officers also monitored the election and INEC wrote its reports. The only difference is that Rochas wanted the results sheet brought to him, so that he can write the result in his House, knowing fully well that he is not on ground in Imo state.
Quest: Why was the Commissioner of Police demanding for the material?
The Commissioner of Police was only acting a script written for him by Rochas.
But the Chairman told him the material have already given to the officers in charge of the conduct of the congress, that should go to the secretariat, and the wards, when this was going on the Governor drove to Osita Izunaso’s House where he met us with the Commissioner to ask for the same material, in that confusion the man left, and the governor insisted he wants to search Izunaso’s house. He obliged the Governor went in and searched every room in Izunaso’s House even without a search warrant.
Quest: Was there any stakeholders meeting after the Congress?
Out of the 27 Local Government in the state, 20 local Government and about 100 ward Chairmen participated in the press briefing after the Congress, to confirm that the congress was conducted, but the Journalists that covered the press briefing were intimidated by the Governor not to publish the briefing. It might interest you to know that every journalists in Imo, is accredited by the Government House, even my interview was not shown, until I got across to the management of AIT, and when the decided to air my interview, it was voice over and after the narrations, they used the Governor’s interview to rubbish whatever I said in the interview.
The Governor deployed every machinery at his disposal for the conduct of the congress, thugs, police and militant from the Niger Delta, who driving in government vehicles. As I speaks, there are 12 policemen, each guarding my House, Senator Ararume’s House and Izunaso’s House because the police got an intelligent report that the governor was sending thugs to burn down our Houses.
Quest: What does this portend for the party in Imo state?
All over the state people are jubilating, if you visit the social media. People are happy, this is almost a liberations from the Government of the trinity in Imo state for years now, and it has been Government of the father, the son and the wife.
Every contractors in the state has to be a member of his family, his daughter is the Commissioner for happiness, his in- law is the chief of staff, the only minister from the state, the son is married to his daughter and his wife is in charge of Amnesty programme in Imo state
Quest: The two of you had enjoy a robust relationship, in your days as Speaker, where and when did you parted ways?
I was Speaker in Imo state for four years, during his first tenure, we introduced many programme. Because of the programme we initiated, he was elected for second term. No sooner he was sworn in 2015 than he started running inhuman Government. As at today he has pulled down 17 markets. He destroyed a market and allocated the land to himself that is where he is building his Mall.
He went for Okada Riders, ban them, the Okada Riders brought in Keke Napep, he banned them. And they went into trading, the same governor against plea and outcry of the traders destroy the market where they were trading. The pleaded with him to allow them finish the Christmas trading, he refused to listen. He destroyed the market. Today nothing is going on there.
Pensioners are not been paid, he coerced them into signing 40 percent of their arrears to forgo the arrears, those that were stupid to sign, the cheques given to them bounced. The people are happy, that for the first time some people are coming out to oppose the governor.
This is a governor who has intimidated everybody. The rule of the Congress is that anybody who is not satisfied should apply to the Appeal Committee, he has Written, if he knows he has no issues why did he go to the Appeal Committee?
The A P C in Imo state has made its position known that we are not part of what the governor is doing. We made our position clear, a week before the congress, at the stake holders meeting we pass a vote of ‘’No Confidence’’ on the governor and this was communicated to the National Secretariat.
These things didn’t just start in Imo today.
Quest: At what point did you part ways?
I parted ways when he started his inhuman treatment, abandoned all the progressive programme we initiated, the free education programme, appointing his blood sister as the Vice Chancellor of Imo state University, the University has lost accreditations in medicine and other critical courses, he abandoned many of the projected we started , out of the 305 primary schools, 27 general hospitals, only two were completed, land grabbing is rife in the state, taking over community land without compensation, people’s houses are been pulled down.
We wrote a letter to him asking for an audience, but he refused to grant us audience. So it is nothing personal. What has happen show that the emperor has been rejected long ago, it is nothing personal
Even though we have issued statement in the past, this is the first time the people have come out to show Okorocha, the Emperor has been rejected.
Quest: If you are called by your people, would you want to run for governorship?
No, I am going for senate.