Twenty-four hours after the swearing-in of Governor Emeka Ihedioha, there was an attempt on Thursday to demolish the Akachi monument built by the immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
The monument is located off the Owerri-Aba Road in Owerri, the state capital.
While the earth-moving equipment allegedly sent by the government were demolishing the monument, soldiers numbering over 25 chased the operators away.
The soldiers, who barricaded the environment, prevented the residents, who had come to catch a glimpse of the demolition, from gaining access to the site.
The development caused a rowdy session in and around the area.
The soldiers stopped people from taking photographs or recording video footage of the scene, leaving the residents to observe the unfolding drama from affair.
Our correspondent, who listened to discussions among people around the scene, reported sharp disagreement among the crowd.
While some commended the new administration for the attempted demolition, others viewed it as a vendetta mission.
One of the operators of the equipment, who was chased out by the soldiers, told journalists that he and his colleagues were sent by the state government.
He stated that they had briefed their boss, whom he said was reaching out to the governor on the development.
He said they were waiting for directives from their boss on the next line of action.
However, the Imo State Government said it was not responsible for the attempted demolition of the Akachi monument.
The Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Steve Osuji, said, “The governor or the state government has no hand in it.”
He stated that the demolition of the monument was the least of the worries of a government that came into power just 24 hours before.
Osuji said, “The Imo State Government has no hand in the demolition of the Akachi monument. This is the least of the worries of an administration that just came to power 24 hours ago.
“The outgone governor never handed over to us. I tell you that we have no hand in what is happening to the Akachi monument.
“While reacting to the attempted demolition, a media aide to Okorocha, Sam Onwuemeodo, said the development was suspicious.
Onwuemeodo said in a statement, “We want to use this opportunity to inform the general public that 24 hours after inauguration, the new PDP government in the state carried out its first assignment on Thursday, May 30, 2019, by demolishing the Akachi (the symbolic hand of God) erected by the former governor. This is suspicious.
“They have also changed the Imo Trade and Investment Centre to Ahiajoku. The former governor had taken certain steps to bring Imo people closer to God. We have also heard that they want to close the Government House Chapel. In all these, we only want to say, ‘Time will tell’.”