Kidnappers are after me, says APC senator seeking governorship ticket in Imo

Hope Uzodinma, senator representing Imo west, says there is an attempt to kidnap him.

Uzodinma said this less than 24 hours to the APC governorship primary in Imo.

He narrated how some “strange persons” in police uniform blocked his convoy on his way to a meeting on Saturday.

The senator said the officers told him that he was wanted by Rochas Okorocha, governor of the state, and the police.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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. 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, one on 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.”

The senator alleged that in the bid to “install” Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law, the governor has gone “brutal and crude.”

“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,” he said.

“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 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 needs. Someone that will promote democracy and allow the rule of law.”

When contacted by TheCable, Samuel Onwuemeodo, chief press secretary to the governor, said the senator is “covering up” and has gone into hiding because an Abuja court gave an order that he must be produced for an alleged crime.

“Have you ever heard anybody accusing the governor of such act. But Hope Uzodinma is synonymous with such crimes. He has been in hiding because a court in Abuja ordered that he must be produced to face trial over the issuance of dud cheque to a business partner,” Onwuemeodo said in a text message.

“He is just covering up.”