The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday said that they would report the state governor, Hope Uzodimma, to International Crime Court over the rising insecurity in the state.
PDP also said that they would approach the American embassy to seek a Permanent travel ban on the governor owing to what they described as “worsening insecurity and killings in the Imo State.”
At the press conference in Owerri, the state capital, the spokesperson for the party in the state, Collins Opurozor, condemned to recent kidnap of two Catholic church priests and the killing of a traditional ruler and prime minister from Oguta Local Government Area of the state last three days.
Opurozor said “It is troubling to note that the size of Imo territory that has now been overrun and occupied by killers, arsonists, kidnappers and bandits is larger than the territories of Malta and Vatican City put together.
The largest senatorial district in the State, which is Orlu, has been abandoned, economic activities crippled and over a million residents displaced. Okigwe Zone has also become a war front. Parts of Owerri Zone are fast becoming engulfed in this fire of insecurity. If we do not act now, every Imo person may soon become a refugee in other parts of the country.
“Traditional rulers are now brutally murdered. In some instances, they are beheaded and their bodies dumped in the streets. Judges are dragged out from their courtrooms and slaughtered like rams. In the last seven days, two Catholic priests have been abducted and their whereabouts are still unknown. Things have fallen apart, and Imo has become a wasteland!
“To be clear, government exists for the sake of life, and continues to exist for the sake of the best life. The 1999 Constitution of our Federal Republic further codifies this philosophy by stating in unequivocal terms that the security of lives and property shall be the primary purpose of government. Therefore, any government that sits and watches while citizens are abducted and brutally murdered, and houses burnt to ashes, has no reason to continue to exist.
“Also, a government that has been fingered in the extrajudicial killing of its citizens has lost the moral authority to continue to run the affairs of the state.
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“A recent report by an international human rights watchdog called Intersociety has aligned with our long-held position, that the government in Imo State has questions to answer over the killings in the State. We have it in Intersociety’s authority that, over nine hundred innocent Imo residents have been murdered in extrajudicial manners in the last twenty-nine months. This means that at least one innocent person is killed every day in Imo by those who are supposed to protect them. Nothing is ever done to ensure justice is served. Nothing is ever said by the government. Killing is now a norm. This cannot continue!
“Similarly, more than three hundred Imo residents have been victims of forced disappearances, while over five hundred thousand young men have fled the State for fear of being profiled and killed. Political opponents have been targeted for elimination. The brutal attacks on Hon. Uju Kingsley Chima and Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in which family members and political supporters were gruesomely murdered, remains a pointer to the pitiable situation in Imo.
“During the last elections in February and March, Imo people witnessed another dimension to state-sanctioned violence. Government appointees and APC party officials led armed thugs and rogue security agents to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens in the desperation to capture power. This is everything governance should not be. These atrocities must never go unpunished.
“Imo PDP recalls with deep agony how a female undergraduate of Imo State University was murdered just in front of the Government House in Owerri by those suspected to be security agents. Yet, the government kept mute.
A young businessman was gunned down by suspected security operatives at Amakohia in Owerri on his way back home. A young lawyer was trailed and shot dead. Another young man who had returned from Germany was murdered at a security checkpoint on his way to the airport.
Fourteen unarmed young men were rounded up and massacred in Awo-Omamma on their way to the traditional marriage ceremony of their friend. Eyewitnesses, including the groom, said the killers were members of the Ebubeagu security outfit established and run by the government of Senator Uzodinma. Horrifying genocide is going on in Imo State!
“Before the commencement of this orgy of bloodshed, Senator Uzodinma had made a statement in Abuja, where he boasted that it was on his invitation that the full-blown military operation in Imo began. He followed it up during a meeting with leaders and stakeholders from Njaba LGA at the Government House, where he confessed that he has always told the security forces to allow him to carry out the operations by himself.
Speaking in the Igbo language, his exact words were, “Hapu nu m ka m were aka m mee”. It was in that spirit that the governor further threatened to conduct airstrikes to wipe out two locations in Njaba where he even acknowledged that innocent schoolchildren were staying. This is pathetic!
“Our Party has documented all these cases of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses in the State and has now commenced the process of presenting them before the International Criminal Court so that principal officials of this anti-people government can answer to their heinous crimes against humanity.
“We have also pursued this matter with the Embassies and High Commissions of all the American and European countries to ensure that a total and immediate visa ban is enforced on Senator Hope Uzodinma and officials of his regime.
Imo PDP urges the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to quickly intervene, upon assumption of office, to discontinue the silence of the Federal Government over Senator Uzodinma’s use of state apparatus to oppress Imo people, gag the press and crush political dissent. It is now clear that Senator Uzodinma has lost Imo State. His purchase of a few endorsements has not helped his wobbling regime. He is now desperate, running to his fellow governor for award and validation. But no matter how hard he tries, his removal from power is a decided issue. Nothing can change this.”
But the state government said that PDP was making bogus allegations against “the performing governor of Imo State.”
The Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Public Communications, Collins Ughalaa, said that PDP leaders were the ones who ought to be taken to ICC for using insecurity to distract the governor.
Ughalaa said that no amount of gimmicks by the PDP members would make the governor stop delivering on the core dividends of democracy to the people of the state.