Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state on Monday said he was not attacked by youths of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state as was erroneously reported in the social media.
A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Oguike Nwachukwu, said in Owerri that the report of the purported attack on the governor by the youths was false.
According to the statement, the report of the attack on the All Progressives Congress (APC) governor emanated from the opposition and was meant to cast aspersion on Uzodinma’s administration.
Daily Times recalls that the story of the governor’s attack and a picture of a damaged official vehicle said to be his, circulated on the social media on Sunday.
The report claimed that Gov. Uzodinma visited Mmahu community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area where the youths mobilised, attacked him with dangerous weapons and destroyed his official vehicle.
But, according to the statement, the governor was in Mmahu community of Ohaji/Egbema to pay condolence visit to the families of some accident victims.
The statement said the governor went to the community in company of the brigade commander at Obinze, the state commissioner of police, the state Director of State Services (DSS) and the state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
It added that while Gov. Uzodinma was addressing traditional rulers, some youths mobilised and accused the security men who were outside the premises of aiding the killing of their community members.
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According to the statement, one of the youths threw a stone that damaged the windscreen of the governor’s official vehicle and he was promptly arrested by the security men.
“The governor was at Mmahu area of Ohaji/Egbema to sympathise with the community that lost three of their kinsmen on Friday, following an accident that involved a truck belonging to an oil firm operating in the area.
“Straight from church, Gov. Uzodinma visited the area to reassure the community of his willingness to secure their lives and property and to draw a programme for the families of the deceased.
“The governor condoled with the families who lost their loved ones, and addressed the leaders of the community at the king’s palace.
“Some of the aggrieved youths were heard making noise outside, accusing the security operatives of supporting the oil companies and demanding that Gov. Uzodinma should address them too,” it stated.
The statement quoted the governor as calling for calm and peace, and urging the people not to take laws into their hands while promising to deal with the situation that led to the deaths.
According to the statement, the governor expressed worries over the hazardous method used by the oil company in conveying crude, instead of the conventional method of doing that through laid pipes.
It quoted him as also assuring the people that their problems would be tackled, and money meant for the development of the area would be put to good use.