Posted by Sam Egburonu | 8 September 2019 | 723 times
Imo State political leaders and associates of both Governor Emeka Ihedioha and the immediate former governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, are worried that their previous efforts to resolve the face-off between the two political leaders have failed woefully. As a result, some of them have approached selected prominent Igbo elders and other influential leaders outside of the Southeast to help reach out to the rival political leaders. A source close to Imo State Government House, when contacted to confirm fresh negotiations to ensure a less confrontational way of resolving the misunderstanding however said on Friday that even if it is true that some elders and associates of the former governor may prefer a less confrontational approach to recover our looted resources, I am not aware of any formal meeting that has held in the last week where some leaders or elders specifically requested for a less confrontational way of resolving this matter.
According to him, instead, I can tell you today that here in Imo, both our elders and youths are evidently satisfied with the way the matter is being handled.
Another concerned politician, who will not want to be named, because, according to him, he worked closely with the two leaders in the past, however told The Nation during the week that “in as much as most Imolites will want Ihedioha to recover their land, property and money from Okorocha, they would prefer a more amicable settlement because the heat has become rather too much and therefore embarrassing to Ndimo. We are therefore seeking a more friendly way of resolving this matter. Of course, nobody is saying the current government should not recover all proven looted funds and other resources, but we would be happy if this can be achieved without the two leaders necessarily fighting each other in the public.”
The source, an elderly statesman, confided that some unnamed groups have listed political leaders they want to reach out to intervene in the Imo crisis. “We want to reach out to elders and leaders within and outside Imo. For some reasons, I will not give out the names of the leaders from Imo we intend to reach out to. But outside Imo, we want to talk to some selected PDP and APC leaders in the southeast like Chris Ngige, Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu, Orji Uzor Kalu, Ohanaeze President and all the former Senate Presidents from the zone. They are others I will not like to name. We expect that they will persuade the two leaders to resolve this matter more amicably,” he said.
But an estranged top official of former governor Okorocha’s state government, who said he is still being owed several months of salary arrears, said in a telephone chat on Thursday that “Governor Ihedioha’s aggression is understandable given that over N30b debt to officials, workers and contractors have already been ascertained. So, we can all understand why the new governor must recover stolen resources. If he fails to recover these resources, it will be very difficult for him and his government to pay up these embarrassing debts and still deliver dividends of democracy to Imo people. Perhaps more than money, I can tell you that Imo people are desperate to recover their land from Senator Okorocha. So, they have put Honourable Ihedioha under severe pressure to change the narrative. This explains why it has been difficult to persuade the governor to change tactics. Anyone who knows Okorocha knows that except Ihedioha adopts this tactics, it would be difficult for him to recover anything from the former governor,” the source said.
•Excerpted from a report by The Nation.
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