A planned reception in honour of Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha was yesterday aborted by police who barricaded the Abia State Polytechnic venue of the event, Aba threatening to deal with anyone who defies the order.
The police team comprising seven Hilux patrol vans and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) blocked the two gates of the institution as well as PZ and Brass Junctions. The situation held up traffic at the ever busy Aba—Owerri road in the heart of the commercial city as motorists and pedestrians were confined to only one lane of the road.
The event organized under the banner of Rescue Missionaries comprising clerics from South South and South East zones of Nigeria was scheduled to mark Okorocha’s 51st birthday anniversary.
But the event was cancelled at the 11th hour by the Abia State government who alleged that the reception is a ploy for Okorocha to launch his Rescue Mission programme and the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abia.
In an interview with Pointblanknews.com, Deputy Chief of Staff to Imo state Government, Mr. Chinedu Offor said the ceremony was a religious one organized by the South East and South South to honour the governor.
“It is unfortunate that the Abia state government could descend so low to stop a religious event. The decided that Aba was central for the event which they will also to use to honour His Excellency. They got police permit, paid for the venue and had their receipt only to get there and be shut out. They had canopies upturned and food containers destroyed. We just heard that the powers that be ordered the event stopped. Somebody is to trying to be funny by cancelling the event.
They should be careful when they are dealing with God.”
Offor denied reports that the event was meant for the launch of the APC in Abia state, stressing that it was meant to offer prayers to the nation and had nothing to do with politics.
“The event had nothing to do with politics or APC. It was being organized by missionaries who want to use the occasion to honour the governor for his birthday. Have you not gone to the venue? Did you see the APC flag? Have you heard of any APC governor or any chieftain that came? What of the APC people in the state, did you see anybody?
If the APC wanted to do a rally, it can’t be a secret affair; at least there must be publicity. There is no politics in the event,” Offor said.
But in a swift reaction, Abia state government said it will not be drawn into unnecessary matters with its Imo state counterpart over mundane issue that has to do with the purported birthday event of Governor Rochas Okorocha in Aba.
Chief press secretary to Abia state governor, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue alleged that Okorocha planned to use the occasion to launch his pet project called Imo Rescue mission without permission from the school authorities.
According to Emezue, investigations revealed that apart from Abia poly authorities not having any idea of the programme, security agencies in Abia are equally not aware.
Emezue wondered why Imo state government would want to sneak into Abia to hold such a programme without observing the laid down procedures.
The Chief Press Secretary advised Okorocha to restrict his Rescue Mission programme activities to Imo state, and added that Gov. Theodore Orji is going the extra mile to ensure that the hard earned security in Abia state is not compromised from any quarter.
Source: Pointblank News