Protesters shut down Owerri over plot to impeach Imo deputy governor

Hundreds of protesters yesterday took over the major streets of Owerri, the Imo State capital, to register their grievances over the state assembly’s plot to impeach the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, through trumped up charges.

 The protesters had taken over the streets of Owerri as early as 6am, chanting protest songs, accusing Governor Rochas Okorocha of masterminding what they termed as kangaroo charges against his deputy, who is seen in many quarters as innocent of the charges being leveled against him.

They also described Imo State House of Assembly as the worst Imo has ever had, calling them mere rubber stamp in the hand of Governor Okorocha, who controls the House as his personal estate, without reference to the feelings and aspirations of the citizenry.

They also carried placards with various inscriptions such as, “Okorocha leave Madumere alone; Okorocha must you foist your son-in-law on Imo people; We are in Democracy not in ‘familiocracy’; We say no to Okorocha’s third term agenda; APC will not accept imposition of family candidate; NWC rise up before we lose Imo to PDP; We appeal to President Buhari to intervene in Imo Situation”.

  The protest, which brought vehicular and human movements to standstill, saw workers abandoning their vehicles to trek long distances to their places of work and likewise traders were not spared the agony as major streets such as Wetheral, Okigwe road, Assumpta Avenue, Tetlow road and other adjoining streets were shut down as a result of the surging crowd.

  Addressing newsmen, one of the leaders, Mr. Chidiebere Nworgu, lamented that the state was sliding to a one-man business where an individual now treats Imolites with levity, saying that the time to resist such undemocratic tendencies coming from Okorocha has come.

  He called on the clergy and the elite to speak out against injustice against Prince Madumere and other Imolites.

  He queried, “Where has Madumere derailed? This is a man who has been discharging his duties conscientiously coupled with infectious humility. Is it not the same Okorocha that told us that the Deputy Governor does not give him stress, which made him pronounce in various fora that “Prince Madumere as his “son in whom he is well pleased”, and wondered what has changed between now and then.

  He further attributed the love lost between the Governor and the Deputy to Madumere’s insistence in taking his destiny in his hand by making himself available to contest the governorship of the state against Okorocha’s resolve to foist son-in-law on the citizenry.

   Nworgu explained that Charter of equity must be adhered to, insisting that it is the turn of Owerri zone to produce the next Governor come 2019.

 In his contribution, Nze Stanley Onuoha stressed that there is nothing wrong in Madumere to pursue his ambition and it is only God that gives power. He charged Nigerian politicians to stop playing God in pursuit of self-aggrandizement.   Onuoha maintained that the Deputy Governor is eminently qualified to govern the state with his education, cognate experience and exposure in corporate world, governance and impeccable strength of character.

   It would be recalled that prominent leaders across the nation have continued to speak against the impeachment plot because of its negative implication in the polity. Ventilating on the issue, Senator Victor Umeh, Rt. Emeka Ihedioha, Chief Zeek-Martins Nnadozie among others have berated the Governor and the House of Assembly to towing the inglorious line of action, describing this as onslaught against democracy.

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