•Gov’s aide: Senator breached security
FROM GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
Senator Chris Anyanwu, who represents Imo East (Owerri) in the National Assembly, yesterday described as a misplaced show of state power by Governor Rochas Okorocha whose convoy did not only push her car off the road but that the governor allegedly ordered her security to be disarmed and watched from his car while her drivers were dragged out of the cars and brutally assaulted.
But the state government in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa, said that the Senator allegedly committed serious security breach against the governor which requires further investigations.
“The Senator’s vehicle suddenly rammed into the governor’s convoy close to the staff car, cutting off the pilot security vehicle after allegedly overtaking dangerously and in a very suspicious manner,” Uzoukwa said.
However, Senator Anyanwu, who spoke with journalists at her Owerri residence yesterday, described the actions of the governor’s securitymen as frightening and brutish, alleging that she had been harassed, intimidated and threatened in the past at several occasions in the state.
Explaining the clash between her convoy and the governor’s securitymen, Senator Anyanwu said that, “my day started around 9.30am when I visited the governor at the Government House on Tuesday to exchange pleasantries. He asked if I had adequate security and I said yes after which I left for my hometown, Mbaise.
“When we got to Azara Egbelu along Owerri/Umuahia Road, we heard a siren coming behind us and when it grew louder, we parked to allow the convoy to pass, but surprisingly, the approaching convoy which comprised of truck loads of armed and stern-looking men double-crossed us and pulled out two of my drivers and dragged them into the bush where they were mercilessly beaten and left one of the drivers, Odilichukwu, with broken skull and bruises.
“When I could not bear it any more, I rushed out of my car with bare feet and started shouting: I am Senator Chris Anyanwu, please, don’t kill my driver, but one of the armed men charged at me and threatened to shoot me for running into the governor’s convoy. All these while, the governor was sitting in his car with the glass rolled down and I heard him shout at his securitymen to disarm my orderlies”, the Senator said.
Anyanwu, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, described the governor’s action as “a misplaced show of power. The power of the state is so enormous and you don’t need to intimidate, harass or kill your people to assert your powers as a governor. I am tired of all these abuses and harassment in this state. It is not only in Imo State that they have female legislators. If they could do this to me, what would happen to the ordinary people? This has to stop,”Anyanwu said.
However, the state government described Senator Anyanwu’s conduct as a security breach, unbecoming of someone of her position, adding that her outburst of anger could have resulted to heavy casualty if not for the discipline of the governor’s securitymen, who displayed high sense of decency, professionalism and maturity.
“Surprisingly, Senator Anyanwu who no doubt knew the convoy was that of the Governor of Imo State alighted from her car and allegedly ordered her naval security personnel to open fire. The senator further went berserk by slapping both the governor’s aide-de- camp and Chief Security Detail. She also allegedly rained abuses on the governor”, Uzoukwa said.