Senator Hope Uzodinma representing Imo West Senatorial District and a gubernatorial aspirant in 2019 general election has explained how he escaped being kidnapped on his way to a political meeting on Saturday.
The lawmaker who has been engrossed in a battle with the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha over his gubernatorial ambition has accused the governor of being the brain behind the kidnap attempts on him.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to DAILY POST on Sunday, he explained that the kidnappers who were in Police uniform blocked him while he was driving to the venue of the meeting, before some villagers intervened.
“There was an attempt by some thugs to kidnap me on my way for some crucial meetings in my senatorial district on Saturday. I saw people, I am not sure if they are real Policemen or not, blocking my convoy, telling me that the governor and the commissioner of Police wanted me in Owerri.
“I asked if they knew who they were talking to and they said yes. I asked if they were arresting or inviting me, they said it was an invitation.
“I told them if it was an invitation, they should drop the letter and go but they refused. They blocked me on all sides. It wasn’t funny.
“A night before that day, in one of the meetings, the governor boasted that I will not be available during the primaries and cognisance of that statement, I asked if they had come to make real the threat by the governor.”
“When they were not behaving themselves, the community people, by the market square where we were apprehended came out in their number to confront them, that was how they left.”
The lawmaker also explained how thugs invaded the meeting he was billed to attend, saying that the Chief of Staff to Governor Rochas Okorocha on domestic Affairs revealed that to him.
“Besides the siege on my convoy and my attempted kidnap, hoodlums also attacked the venues of the meetings I was meant to attend.
”I was supposed to attend three principal stakeholders meeting ahead of the governorship primaries, one in Orlu Central District, another in Okigwe Central District and the last one in Owerri Central District.
“The venue for the Orlu district was attacked by an arrangement according to findings by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor on domestic Affairs.
“Thugs were mobilised to the venue, injured many people, burnt some canopies and left.
“In another scene, the Coordinator of my campaign organisation in Orlu who was holding a meeting in his house was attacked and brutalised. People including old women were injured, in an attempt to disperse them.
” 10 buses with members of our group going to Orlu the venue of the stakeholders meeting were equally blocked by thugs led by a Commissioner.
“My people were assaulted and their vehicles vandalised.
“In Imo State as we speak, the governor on good authority has deployed unbelievable number of thugs to the extent that one would begin to imagine how such a man in an exalted seat would want to have the state destroyed.”
Describing the Imo State governor’s action as a threat to democracy, he accused Okorocha of forcing his son-in-law on the people of Imo.
“From the way he is going, he wants to stop at nothing to install his son-inlaw as the next governor.
“The public should know that the government in Imo State is sponsoring violence all because he wants to build an empire for himself to the detriment of the Imo people.
“There is no rift between us. It is his insatiable appetite that is driving him to that level.
“He wants to serve eight years as a governor and go to the Senate. There is nothing wrong with that if the people vote for him. But then, he wants to still install his son-inlaw.
“The son inlaw, of course, has the right to contest for governorship but the level of violence been perpetuated and the quantum of mischief and oppression they are visiting on the people give any reasonable mind in the state, cause for concern.
“I refuse to be intimidated by the development. I am ready to make sure the interest of our people is protected and that anybody that is coming to lead the people must know that he is coming to serve.
“These are sacrifices one must make as a leader to better the lot of our people.
“One thing that gives me confidence that Imo State will be salvaged from oppression is that Imo people are resilient and committed to electing a governor that will be sensitive to their feelings”.