There was palpable tension in Owerri, the Imo State capital as angry youths resisted attempt to break into the private residence of the immediate past governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha by members of the taskforce set up by the government to recover government property.
It will be recalled that the Recovery Committee led by Jasper Ndubuaku had in similar manner raided the business places of the daughter and wife of the former governor, in search of stolen property belonging to the state government, which they claimed where hidden in the business premises.
However the plan to raid Okorocha’s Spibat home, expansive premises that houses the Rochas Foundation College of Africa, was met with stiff opposition as irate youths barricaded the entrance to the compound.
Angered by the perceived harassment of the former governor, the youths were said to have pounced on the Chairman of the Committee and his men had escaped, sensing danger.
Simultaneously, while the Ndubuaku-led Committee was trying to gain access to Okorocha’s home, thousands of youths believed to have been mobilized by the state government had laid ambush for the former governor at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, who was reported to be visiting the state.
But they had to disperse after it was discovered that Okorocha was not returning to the state as they had believed.
Meanwhile, briefing journalists after the incident at Okorocha’s home, Ndubuaku, said that he was attacked by thugs camped at Okorocha’s compound.
According to him, he went to the former governor’s home to recover government properties that were hidden in the premises.
He said, “We went to search the compound with valid Court Order and inventory of the government properties we want to recover, but when we got to the gate, the security men collected the inventory and asked us to wait, while they check if the items were there.
“While we were still waiting, some armed thugs came out from the compound and attacked us, I was shot severally and cut with machete but it could not pierce my body.”
Meanwhile reacting to the incident, the former governor, said that the attempted invasion of his private home by agents of the state government without any Court Order, was a continuation of the harassment meted out to him and his family members by the Emeka Ihedioha led administration.
A statement signed by the Media Adviser to the former governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, read, “our attention has been drawn to the Press Conference held today, August 29, 2019 by the Chairman, Imo State Property Recovery Committee Mr. Jasper Ndubuaku accusing the former governor of the State Owelle Rochas Okorocha recruiting thugs to attack him and his team when they wanted to invade the private residence of the former governor at Sipbat, Owerri. And we want to simply state as follows:
“The former Governor, Owelle Okorocha has not been in Owerri for days now. Mr. Ndubuaku stormed the private residence of the former governor at Sipbat with more than 700 thugs and he had informed the public when his committee was set up that he had recruited 6000 youths to help him recover government properties.
“They were about to surge into the Sipbat residence of the former governor when the information came and youths with sympathy for the former governor rushed to the place to stop them.
“Ndubuaku and his thugs were there without any Court Order. And they have failed or refused to publish whatever they think the former governor has in his possession which they think belongs to the government as we had demanded. They had also in one of their invasions slapped the daughter of the former governor, Mrs. Uloma Rochas Nwosu”.
It continued that, “their hostility against the former governor has snowballed since they saw the mammoth crowd that received him when he came back the previous week which was the first of such visit since he left office on May 29, 2019.
“Governor Ihedioha should pursue peace and ensure peace. Trying to engage his predecessor in all fronts isn’t advisable”