By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
Fifteen persons said to be thugs were arrested and paraded by the Imo state police command for allegedly attacking the rear vehicles of the convoy of the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, on his way to an official assignment.
The incident which happened at new Owerri around Concord Hotel, in Owerri, saw the thugs overpowered by the police operatives and were apprehended.
The police commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, said that the suspects who were violent claimed to be staff of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC, protesting over alleged 3 months owed salaries.
It was said that some of the rear vehicles in the convoy were damaged.
According to the commissioner of police, Akinmoyede said: “On the 17th of August 2020, at about 1130hrs, a group of persons who claim to be staff of ISOPADEC ambushed the convoy of the executive governor of Imo state.
“The governor was on his way to Obinze for an official assignment when the group who also claimed to be owed three months salary attacked the vehicles in the convoy with locally made pistol and machetes around Concord area of new Owerri in the process, the windscreen of some of the vehicles in the convoy were smashed and the vehicles damages.”
On how they were arrested, the commissioner of police said: “Patrol teams in Owerri metropolis were mobilized to the scene and fifteen (15) persons were arrested with one locally made pistol, two machetes, one masquerade face mask, a chain and a padlock.
“The governor’s security aides exercised a lot of restraint to avert bloodshed in the situation and they have been handed over to the state CID for discreet investigation.”
Reacting, the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, through the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, has called on the police to unravel the sponsors of the convoy attack.
Emelumba said: “Luck ran out of the hoodlums when they ran into the governor’s convoy en route to the military barracks in Obinze where the governor was headed to commission an officers mess complex built by the State government.
“The fact that people claiming to be staff of ISOPADEC could arm themselves with guns and matchets says it all, adding they were hired thugs by the opposition who were rattled by the public ovation that greeted the governor’s successful commissioning of new roads in Owerri on Friday.
“The opposition is smarting from the irredeemable shame the governments’ successes is rubbing on their face and they quickly thought of another protest to take the shine out of the increasingly unbeatable trajectory of Governor Uzodimma’s successes story. But luck ran out of luck this time.
“We urged the police to unravel the real motive behind the action of the hoodlums and their sponsors.”
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