Ihedioha: PDP members protest in Owerri

Peoples Democratic Party members in Imo State on Sunday shut down Owerri, the state capital, in protest over the removal of Emeka Ihedioha by the Supreme Court and the declaration of Hope Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of the state.

This is even as security operatives including policemen and army officers took over the nooks and crannies of the state to maintain law and order.

Adorned in black attires, the PDP members paraded the state capital, calling on the apex court as well as the jurists that presided on the Tuesday’s verdict which sacked Ihedioha, to revisit their judgment.

The dissatisfied party members said that the protest would persist if the apex court refused to revisit the matter.

A member of the House of Representatives, Henry Nwawuba, who spoke to journalists, said the Supreme Court jurists had murdered democracy in the state with their judgment.

Nwawuba, who represents Mbaitoli/Ikedduru Federal Constituency of Imo State, said that the apex court had done grave injustice to the people of the state.

Nwawuba, who was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2015, said that the state had become a graveside since the Supreme Court delivered the judgment.

He said, ” I am a Lawmaker and I believe that the Supreme Court must redeem the judiciary. Since the judgment was delivered, the state has become a graveyard (and) this is unlike what was happening when PDP was holding sway.

“How the Supreme Court justices gave victory to a candidate who came fourth in an election remains a mystery to many of us. We call on them to revisit the Imo case and do justice. ”

Also, the PDP Women Leader in the state, Maria Mbakwe, who burst into tears while speaking to journalists, said that women in the state are devastated with the verdict.

She said, ” I have never seen this kind of injustice since over 50 years I have been in Imo State. Imo women in the market and all over the state are crying. We are begging the Supreme Court justices to revisit the matter. We know that they are human beings and they can make a mistake.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force, Imo State Command said it barricaded Owerri, the state capital, to forestall possible clash between the members of the People Democratic Party and those of the All Progressives Congress, an action which caused traffic gridlock in the state.

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, told our correspondent that the police were being “proactive instead of being reactive.”

Ikeokwu said that the inasmuch as the PDP had the right to embark on a peaceful protest, the police did not want them to clash with APC members.

He said, “We barricaded the town because we don’t want protesting PDP members to clash with APC members or for hoodlums to hijack the protest. We are being proactive instead of being reactive. The police do not want any bloodshed.

“The PDP members have the right under the law to protest peacefully but we do not want anybody to hijack it or threaten the peace of the state,” adding that the situation could turn worse should members of APC members also take to the street.