Uzodinma Denies Being Attacked by Angry Imo Youths

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Hope Uzodinma

Amby Uneze in Owerri

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma yesterday denied being attacked by aggrieved youths from Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of the state.

Uzodinma was said have escaped unhurt as aggrieved youths from Ohaji Egbema LGA allegedly attacked his convoy destroying governor’s official car.

According to eye witness account, the youths of Mmahu community who had expressed anger over the controversial way the Supreme Court handled the review of the Imo governorship case upon sighting the governor’s convoy started shouting “Onye Oshi Vote, Onye Oshi Vote” literally meaning (one who stole people’s votes) started throwing bottles and stones on the Bullet proof SUV of the governor.

THISDAY learnt that as the youths became restive, the governor was however not allowed to come down from the car as security operatives whisked him away immediately to prevent more casualties.

But in a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Oguike Nwachukwu said in a statement that Uzodinma was not attacked, describing the reported attack as a devilish propaganda being peddled by the opposition.

He said the governor was at Mmahu area of Ohaji/Egbema to sympathise with the community that lost three of their kinsmen on Friday following an accident that involved a truck belonging to an oil firm operating in the area.

“The killing enraged the youths in Mmahu, causing their leaders to reach out to the governor to visit the community to call the oil firm to order. Straight from church, Governor Uzodinma, in the company of the Brigade Commander at Obinze, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Department of State Services and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps visited the area to reassure the community of his willingness to secure their lives and property and to draw a programme for the families of the deceased,” he explained.

Nwachuku noted that while the governor was addressing the families, some boys among the aggrieved youths were heard making noise outside, accusing the security operatives of supporting the oil companies and demanding that Uzodinma should address them too.

“While the security operatives tried to calm them down and control the noise, one of them allegedly hid behind others and threw a stone at one of the official vehicles of the governor where they were parked and in the process smashed the back glass. He was promptly arrested by the security present. While this drama was playing out, Governor Uzodinma was still inside the hall addressing the traditional ruler, community leaders and the bereaved families,” he explained.

The statement added that one Mr. Uzochukwu Chukuwukere who is the Vice Chairman of Egbema Youth wing, who threw a stone that damaged the windscreen of one of the vehicles has been arrested and has made useful statement to the security operatives.