PRESS RELEASE: Imo state government demands apology from Senate.

imsgThe Imo state Government wishes to take exception to what transpired in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate, on Thursday, July 3, 2014 during which the distinguished senators engaged in wild goose chase by allowing themselves to be deceived into deliberating and having resolutions on a matter that does not exist in Imo State and that is the claimed registration of northerners in Imo State with a view of issuing them identification cards.

It is curious that this allegation against the Imo State Government registering Northerners in the state began in Abuja and being discussed in Abuja and appears strange to the Imo State Government and the citizenry in general.

First, the minority leader in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Suleiman Kawu Sumaila was the first to issue a release in Abuja on the allegation, and the Imo State Government reacted immediately. The government’s reaction denying the allegation in its entirety was widely reported in the media including the Daily Trust, and Daily Sun of Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

And inspite of the stout denial of the Imo State government that it has not begun to register Northerners in the state or people from any other part of the country, the distinguished senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria seen by most people, as the conscience of the nation because of the calibre of Nigerians there, still went ahead to discuss the matter and taking decisions on that, and we consider the action of the senators as most unfortunate. It is irritating, to say the least.

We know those behind this blackmail. The same people who deceived Charly Boy into action of absurdity, were also behind the blackmail in the senate. They used the senators because the three senators in the senate are all of the PDP and all governorship aspirants who want to replace Governor Rochas Okorocha. They are entitled to their aspirations but our worry is the crude tactics they have employed.

We want to tell Nigerians that the Imo State Government has not, and does not have any plan to register Northerners in the State with the aim of issuing them ID cards. We stand to be challenged or contradicted on this denial.

It is even disturbing that the senate could not even send at least two senators to Imo State to find out the truth. Or even find out from some of the Northerners in the State. The allegation is heavily political. It has no iota of truth. It is a wicked blackmail aimed at distorting the popularity of Governor Okorocha in the North.

However, it calls for concern that those who told the world that Governor Okorocha allowed many Northerners to come into the state which they said caused the Winner’s Chapel bomb incident, are the same people now selling the falsehood that the same man is registering Northerners.

The Northerners in Imo State have enjoyed long existing hospitality more than any other state in the South-East and more than most of the states in the country. Those desperate to come back to power in Imo State are bent on destroying this long existing conviviality between Imo people and the Hausa Community in the State. But the God we worship will not allow them succeed.

Again, if the senate didn’t want to send a delegation to Imo State on fact finding on the issue at stake, they would have got in touch with heads of security outfits in the state like the SSS and the police. And we are sure that if they had done that, they would not have been deceived on the matter. Indeed, the senate acted like an opposition party in the state.

We challenge the senate to prove the allegation to Nigerians because the onus or burden of proof is always on the accuser. Where the senators cannot prove the allegation, they should be distinguished enough to apologize to the government and people of Imo State.

And for Senator Chris Anyanwu, she has no right to speak on the floor of the senate on behalf of Imo people like she claimed, because she represents only one zone in the senate and not the whole state. Her claim of speaking on behalf of Imo people was an outrageous claim and we do not like that.

Nigerians of goodwill should ask the senate to show evidence of the existence or reality of their accusation or simply tender the requested apology. Imo state is in the hand of God and not in the hand of power seekers.

Sam Onwuemeodo
Senior Special Assistant
To the Governor on Media



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