By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo state and now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the Platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Presidential Ambition for the 2023 general elections on the ticket of the APC, appears to have suffered a major setback.
Okorocha, a strong political ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, may have lost out with the Power brokers in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, in Imo , his home state and at the Federal level, that it is now hunting Uche Nwosu, his son -In-Law, who had contested the 2019 governorship election in the south east state on the ticket of the Action Alliance, AA, with the backing of Okorocha, the then APC, governor of the state but lost to the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, whose tenure was short-lived.
This is because the PDP Candidate victory in the polls was nulified by the Supreme Court in favour of Senator Hope Uzodinma, of the APC who came a distant fourth in the governorship election Uzodinma, the Imo state governor may have taken the position of Okorocha in the ruling APC both at the Federal and state level that the party Chieftains and the Presidency now listen to him than Okorocha, who is still struggling to find his way back into the party mainstream to regain his respect.
The recent arrest and handcuff of Nwosu, Okorocha’s son- In -Law, by heavily armed policemen at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama-Obaire in Nkwere Local government Area of the state was a signal to him that he has lost out in the power play in the APC, as he no longer has the ears of the Katsina state born Nigerian President.
Note that since the infiltration of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, founded by the Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently in the Department of State Service, DSS, Custody, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, infiltrated Owerri, the Imo state Capital and its environs to wreck- havoc, the police Authorities have extended their security network across the state to clip the wings of the Criminal elements and arrest those allegedly sponsoring their activities. It could not be ascertained whether Senator’s son- In- Law has any link with the IPOB members. . This may have informed why Okorocha, the former Imo state governor , who is yet to establish contact with Nwosu, his son-In-law, is waiting on Uzodinma, to name the sponsors of the attack in the state on January 3, 2021, or take responsibility for the killings in state.
The initial news making the rounds when information filtered out that Nwosu has been whisked away from the premises of St.Aglican Church premises in Eziama-Obieri Community , was that he has been ‘’kidnapped by unknown gunmen to an undisclosed location in the state’’.
In effecting the arrest without any resistance from the people, the heavily armed policemen were said to have arrived the church premises with high-powered security vehicles. Eyewitness account said they had shot sporadically into the air to scare the Worshippers away.
Many believe that the action of the policemen who came for the operations was typical of the activities of the IPOB and their armed wing, thee Eastern Security Network, ESN, as well as the Bandits Group in the north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Buhari home state, Sokoto and Kebbi and the north central state of Niger in order to kidnap their victims in a particular location
A Family member disclosed that Nwosu and his immediate Family members were at St. Peter’s Anglican Church for a Thanksgiving service when the heavily armed policemen who operated in an Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC, and Toyota Hilux Vans stormed the Church premises and believed to be acting out a script to arrest and detain the Politician. Senator Okorocha Imo state governor had accused the Imo state governor of trying’’ ‘’to frame his son-In-Law for a Crime he never committed’’.
Uzodinma, the Imo state governor, according informed sources may have known about plan by Rabiu Hussaini, the state Commissioner of Police at the instance of Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to arrest the one-time power broker in the south east state during Okorocha’s Administration over an undisclosed reason but kept it a closely guided secret.
It was therefore not very surprising that when the family members raised alarm that gunmen had taken away Uche Nwosu , from the church that that the state Police Command issued a Statement that he is in their custody.‘’This is to inform the general public that Chief Nwosu was not kidnapped as alleged but was arrested by the Police and that the Imo state Police Command is aware of the arrest but presently in Police custody’’.
Indeed, the Imo state governor may have clearly shown that he is in complete support of the arrest of his political rival, Okorocha’s son n-Law when in his apparent response he had said that ‘’the Police have the right to arrest him if suspected of any crime’’.
Declan Emelumba, the state Commissioner for Information may have spoken the mind of Uzodinma, the governor, when he stated while addressing the Press in Owerri hours after the incident that ‘’it was not in anybody’s place to tell the police how to arrest a suspect’’. The Commissioner was emphatic that the Okorocha’s son- In-Law had’’run afoul of the Law and the police has the right to arrest him’’, stressing that nobody should dictate to them how to do it’’. This is an indication that the state government did not play any role in Nwosu’s arrest by the police.
He may have given an insight why the politician was arrested by the police, when disclosed that’’ there might have been information at the police disposal which are not known to the public which may have informed his arrest’’.
But Senator Okorocha, would not take it. He has continued to rain abuses’’ on Uzodinma, the Imo state governor, for master-minding the arrest of his son In-Law. The Imo state born Politician had said that Uzodinma, deceived Baba, the IGP, into desecrating the Church worship by arresting Nwosu, his son-In-Law. He had told those that care to listen that’’ the Wife Nkechi, was pushed to the ground while the clothes of Uloma, the first daughter was tore’’.
Appealing to the Police IGP, to release Nwosu, his son-In-Law or take him to Court within the stipulated 24 hours as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended, had confirmed based on reports from hiscontacts in security circles, that the IGP, had given approval to Hussain, the state Commissioner of Police, to arrest Nwosu, in what he had described as a ‘’high –level misinformation from Hope Zodinma, the state governor’’.
He may have shocked Nigerians when he said that Uzodinma had shown tremendous hatred for his family ever since he assumed office in the state’’, stressing that the House of Assembly members who had attended the son-In-Law mother’s burial a few days ago were suspended from participating in Legislative activities.
Sam Onwuemeodo, a former Chief Press Secretary to Okorocha, as governor of the state had said that Uzodinma is doing everything to rubbish the achievements of the former governor, now a senator. The former CPS, had faulted the Imo state governor’s claims that Okorocha ‘’begged him to disband a Committee on the recovery of Land set up by the state government’’. He noted that Uzodinma, who political analysts believe is on a revenge mission had also written several petitions against the former governor to the Abdulrasheed Bawa, led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in order for the agency to pick him up.
According to him, ‘’ Governor Uzodinma has continued to make his frivolous claims without putting anything on the table to back it up’’., stressing that he has made the claim a recurring blackmail issue’’. Political Observers believes that what Nwosu is currently going through in the hands of security Operatives was the climax of the political rivalry between Okorocha and Uzodinma in Imo state.