Sacked Imo state Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has given reasons for the suspension of his visit to the state and debunked allegations of protest made by the state government.
POLITICS NIGERIA learnt that Mr Ihedioha has been in Abuja since the Supreme Court judgement of 14th January 2020 that sacked him.
On Wednesday, the state government accused him and his party of planning a massive protest against it.
Oguwike Nwachuku, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, in a statement said that violence will occur.
He said the government was aware of a plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stage protests “during which they will again pour insults on the Supreme Court Judges for refusing to reverse their earlier judgment on the Imo governorship case”.
“The government is fully aware of the plan by the PDP to hide under the guise of welcoming ousted Governor Emeka Ihedioha back to Imo to stage the protests.
“Their plan is to make it look like Imo people trooped out to welcome him and hide under that cover to display placards condemning the Supreme Court Justices for refusing to reverse their judgment in favour of Ihedioha and the PDP.
Meanwhile, Ihedioha, while responding to the allegations, said he was planning to come in to participate in the ongoing Congresses being conducted by my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The reaction was contained in his written statement sent to this paper by his media officer, Chibuike Onyeukwu.
“While I have in recent weeks elected to stay away from family and friends in Imo, I am not aware that I have been exiled out of the state.”
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.
“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. And I never will,” Ihedioha declared.
“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. By judging me by their own character, their scheme is to stigmatize and garb us in the toga of violence. These are the tendencies of unpopular and illegitimate regimes.”
He said the postponement is to frustrate the evil plans and machinations of the Imo state government.
“My visit is not worth the life of any Imo citizen. However, the massive deployment of security personnel by the government as well as thugs cannot deter us and the majority of our people from pursuing our 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,” Ihedioha added.