Kinsmen of the ousted governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha on Wednesday said they have taken his removal from office as the governor as an act of God.
The people, who conveyed their views through Olu Owerri, a top socio-cultural in Owerri (Zone) Senatorial District, said they were no longer mourning Ihedioha’s exit as whatever God did sanction never came to fruition.
Addressing a press conference in Owerri, the Imo State capital, President General of Olu Owerri, Chief Martin Opara said the people were disappointed in the removal of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of the state because of their belief that his emergence would have corrected the skewed zoning arrangement in the governorship position of the state.
“But, we have taken his exit as an act of God. Anything God did not sanction or approve will never happen. For us, just like our brother, Emeka Ihedioha, stated in his recent reaction to the review judgement of the Supreme Court, we want to submit to the will of God in this matter and leave everything in the hands of God.
“Owerri Zone has cried for equity and agitated for justice over the governorship seat in Imo State. Since the creation of this state, especially during democratic administrations, we have only had an opportunity to govern this state through Evan Enwerem. But he only lasted for 18 months in 1991. Another opportunity we had was this Emeka Ihedioha outing that was cut short after just seven months on the saddle.
“Whereas Orlu Zone has had 16 years through Achike Udenwa and Rochas Okorocha, who governed the state eight years apiece. Now another Orlu man, Senator Hope Uzodinma is there and is sure to govern for four years. Already, Okigwe Zone has governed Imo for four years leaving Owerri Zone with less than two years on the saddle,” Opara said.
While thanking the people of Imo State for the support they gave to Owerri Zone by ensuring that power was given to Ihedioha through their massive votes, the Olu Owerri leader said, “Let no one lament and blame any zone for what happened because all the three zones in Imo State did their best.
“We had thought that the issue of zoning for the governorship position in the state had been corrected when the people of the state massively voted for our brother, Ihedioha until the Supreme Court did the unthinkable by returning governorship seat to Orlu Zone.
“Our only solace in the short outing of Chief Emeka Ihedioha is that he restored the people’s confidence in governance. He laid foundations for solid infrastructural projects across the state, institutional reforms, civil service and pension reforms. The results started coming in and our pensioners and civil servants started getting their full payments as at when due. Major roads that constituted nightmares to the people of the state such as Owerri-Okigwe Road, World Bank roads, Nekede-Ihiagwa Road amongst others, were being attended to.
“We, the people of Owerri Zone are proud of the achievements recorded by Ihedioha in his short stint as the governor of Imo State. We’re glad the people of the state were happy about that. Unlike what happened last, Ihedioha spread appointments evenly across the state.
“A lot of people criticized him for allowing local government areas choose who their caretaker chairmen became. People also criticized him for allowing the party has inputs in who became commissioners. He was also being criticized for not giving his appointees official vehicles. This shows he laid more emphasis on governance than pecuniary interests. There are other instances where friends also accused him of not favouring them with appointments.
“We want to also place on record that contrary to what happened in 2019 when Rochas Okorocha was exiting office, Ihedioha ordered his appointees to return all government properties in their custody and all of them complied with that directive. This is what governance is all about.
“We want to tell him that he should not despair about his removal but hold his head high. We can assure him that the people of Imo State will vote for him any time he comes out in future to seek their votes.”