Tension in Imo over PDP’s Ideato victory
…Ihedioha withdraws from PDP’s guber race
From Basil Ukwegbu, Owerri
PANDEMONIUM broke out simultaneously in Urualla and Dikenafai communities in Ideato North and South Local Government Areas of Imo State, respectively around midday yesterday, following report that House of Reps member-elect for Ideato Federal Constituency, Ikenga Ugochinyere has ‘won’ a case challenging his qualification to contest the recent February 25 National Assembly election during which he was declared winner.
The stampede arose after news came to Urualla that unidentified gunmen that are sympathetic to those moving for Ugochinyere’s removal were mobilising to raid market places in the two communities in order to vent their dissatisfaction.
According to residents, while people were discussing the development in Urualla, sporadic gunshots started coming from Dikenafai side prompting a melee to ensue.
Motorcycle riders, commercial buses, pedestrians, shop owners and others wasted no time halting their businesses before fleeing in different directions, creating heavy traffic gridlock in major roads as people run to avoid being caught up in a mayhem that may result.
It will be recalled that a High Court sitting in Abuja, had on Tuesday, restrained police from inviting and arresting Ugochinyere and two other People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts in Imo State, after setting aside an invitation letter dated March 13, 2023, sent to the three defendants who were being investigated over allegations of murder kidnapping and arson.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has pulled out of the Imo governorship race and has withdrawn from the People’s Democratic Party governorship primary.
Ihedioha announced his withdrawal in a letter and made public on Tuesday.
Explaining his choice as a ‘personal sacrifice’ Ihedioha said he chose the path in compliance with the party’s moves for a consensus candidate.