THE Imo State Police Command has arrested 15 people over alleged attack on Governor Hope Uzodimma’s Convoy on Monday.
Hope Uzodinma was on his way to the 34 Attilary Brigade, Obinze, to inaugurate an officers mess built by the state government when the incident occurred.
The hoodlums, armed with guns and machetes, claimed to be staff members of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) protesting non-payment of salaries.
Instead of reacting to the payment issue, the government have focused on fact that most of the protests in the state were sponsored by the opposition – a position most of the workers have found grieving.
Commissioner of Police Isaac Akinmoyede said the suspects claimed they were ISOPADEC employees who were “owed three months’ salary”.
He said they were arrested with one locally-made pistol, two machetes, a mask, a chain and a padlock.
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Akinmoyede said: “They attacked the vehicles in the convoy with a locally made pistol and machetes.”
He said the incident, which occurred around Concord area of New Owerri, did not claim any life.
“But in the process, windscreens of some of the vehicles in the convoy were smashed and the vehicles damaged,” he said.
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The Police chief said the suspects have been handed over to state Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation.
Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba said the fact that people claiming to be the staff of ISOPADEC could arm themselves with guns and matchets validated the state’s position that most of the protests were politically-motivated.
The commissioner said the opposition, rattled by the public ovation that greeted the governor’s successful commissioning of new roads in Owerri last Friday, must have hired the thugs.
“The opposition is smarting from the irredeemable shame the government’s successes is rubbing on their face.
Meanwhile, the Governor on Monday commissioned some projects at the 34 Artillery Brigade in Obinze.
Hope Uzodinma “used the opportunity to solicit support from the general public for the Armed Forces in their efforts to fight terrorism, criminality and banditry in Nigeria and also enjoined all concerned to extend hands of fellowship to other Armed Forces. ”
“The projects which our administration facilitated their completion are: Officers Mess Chalet, Soldiers Club Chalet and Warrant Sergeants Officers Mess.” He said.
“I congratulate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, the GOC 82 Division, Enugu, Major Gen. Lasisi Adeboye and the Commander 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze Brig. General Yusuf Tukura for working assiduously to complete these projects on time.
Furthermore, I thank the traditional rulers hosting the Military Command for getting their citizens to realize the importance of a peaceful co-existence through obedience to law and order, thereby guaranteeing growth and development of our society.
Imo State is highly endowed with both human and material resources and with the quality leadership we have in Imo State today, all the natural endowments from God will be made manifest and our people will be happy for it.
I pledge our Government’s determination to leave the State better than we met it, a State worthy of emulation.” He concluded.