By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has dismissed the allegation of intimidation and threat to life made against him by former Governor Rochas Okorocha with a wave of the hand just as he said he has no personal issues with him.
Okorocha, a serving Senator representing Orlu Zone in the Senate but who has been having running battles with Imo state government under Governors Emeka Ihedioha and later Uzodinma over illegally acquired government lands and properties has accused the seating Governor of plotting to eliminate him, an allegation Uzodinma has vehemently denied.
Speaking on the allegation Tuesday at Presidential Villa Abuja after holding a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Uzodinma told State House Correspondents that Okorocha is just being economical with truth.
According to him, he has no personal quarrel with Okorocha to warrant him to accuse him of any vendetta.
On alleged plot to assassinate former governor Okorocha, he said: “Who will assassinate him? I don’t know about any attempt to assassinate Okorocha, rather what I know, is there is no issue because I have no personal 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 allocations of lands, converting government lands to personal property, and then removing private lands from individuals and giving to other individuals.
“The Judicial Panel of Inquiry chaired by a judge met and they concluded their job. And a Government White Paper has since been raised.
“You know, institutions and agencies that are involved with the implementation (Government White Paper) are doing their job. And the only thing I know is that few days ago one of the properties sealed by government, the former governor, went there with his thugs.
“You people saw it, it was live (in the media). He went there with thugs himself physically, wounded the Policemen there, wounded the Civil Defense Civil people, the Civil Defense officer is still in the hospital and then broke in and entered.
“Of course, you must have heard him say that he is richer than Imo state government and that he is above the law. I am not directly involved. It is a position taken by (Imo state) government.
“There is a difference between Governor and government. The government of Imo state sealed a property. And I think that if there is anything anybody consider that is not right, the person should go to court to address the issue. Not to take laws, take to self help.
“I remember that under (Governor) Ihedioha, there was a Recovery Committee, chaired by one Jasper Ndubaku, when they tried to visit Okorocha’s house, they were beaten to a stupor. And the same man who did that is now also doing the same thing and almost killed the man who did it during his time.
“So, I don’t want to go into that matter, because government is serious a business, and I’m very serious, I don’t have enough time to run the affairs of the state.
“But people should know the difference between being a governor and the government decisions and policies. And, you know, we took oath to protect the rule of law, to protect our laws, and we shouldn’t be part of any arrangement to violate our laws”, Uzodinma concluded.