President Muhammadu Buhari has held a closed-door meeting with Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo during which the governor briefed the President on security developments in the State.
The governor told State House correspondents, at the end of the meeting with the President, that he was in the State House to attend the inauguration of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021.
He, however, said that he used the opportunity to brief the President on security developments in Imo State.
Uzodinma dismissed the allegation that he sent thugs to assassinate a former governor of the State, Sen. Rochas Okorocha, over reported impasse between the Imo government and Okorocha.
A squabble had ensued between supporters of both sides on Feb. 21 at which Okorocha allegedly broke into the Royal Spring Palm Apartment, Owerri, sealed by the Imo government on Feb. 19.
The situation was brought under control by the Imo Police Command, which arrested the Senator and later released him on bail.
Uzodinma explained that the Royal Spring Palm Apartment in Owerri, was sealed following the report of a judicial panel of inquiry instituted by the previous PDP-led government in the state.
“Okorocha! who will assassinate him? I don’t know about any attempt to assassinate Okorocha; rather, what I know, I have no personality issues with Okorocha.
“You will recall that before I became the governor, the Ihedioha administration set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into acquisitions and allegations of lands, converting government lands to personal property and then removing private lands from individuals and giving them to other individuals.
“The judicial panel of inquiry, chaired by a judge, met and they concluded their job and a white paper has since been raised.
“The only thing I know is that, a few days ago, one of the properties sealed by government, the former governor, went there with thugs.
“You people saw it; it was live. He went there with thugs, himself physically wounded the policemen there, wounded the Civil Defence people, a civil defence officer is currently still in the hospital and then broke in and entered.
“Of course, you must have heard him severally saying that he is richer than government and that he is above the law.
“I am not directly involved. It is a position taken by government. There is a difference between governor and government. The government of Imo state sealed a property.
“I think that if there is anything anybody considers that is not right, the person should go to court to address the issue. Not to take laws (into their hands) or take to self help.”
On deployment of military personnel to Orlu area of Imo State, the governor acknowledged that he officially invited them to restore law and order in the troubled area.
He lauded the security officials for carrying out their professional responsibility effectively, saying that no single person was killed throughout the Orlu operations.
“We’ve lost lives, market women were killed, old women were raped in Orlu area of Imo state and they (militants) visited this serious terror on the citizenry.
“I came here, pleaded with Mr President for his support and he sent additional support by sending in police and the military also came in; and that is where we are.
“It was on my invitation that the military came and I did that because I know the situation was beyond the local arrangement; we needed help and the help was given to us.
“As I speak to you, the situation has come down to normal; people are now going about their businesses.
“Those caught will soon be charged to court and all those military riffles from the army, the police, AK 47 and so on, were recovered by the soldiers that came.
“We are a government tasked with responsibility to protect lives.
“Once we have security challenges, we invite the Nigerian Army and the police to go to work,” Uzodinma maintained. (NAN)