•Shooting, clashes mar Imo APC South-East rally
Tension heightened in Imo State yesterday, after the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari disagreed with Governor Rochas Okorocha, after the governor boasted that his son in-law, Uche Nwosu will win the governorship election rather than the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Imo state, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The governor’s comment angered the APC leaders and women who came from the five states of the South East, forcing them to leave the stadium.
The first lady spoke at the South East Women and youths rally in Owerri yesterday. The mammoth crowd was watching keenly the show of force between the governor’s men and supporters of Senator Hope Uzodinma who flooded the stadium.
The Master of Ceremony hired by the state government refused to recongnise the presence of Senator Uzodinma and Senator Ben Uwajumogu.
But pressure from party leaders who came from Abuja and APC supporters in the state forced the MC to recognize their presence even though he praised Uche Nwosu who the APC supporters protested his presence at the stadium, throughout the programme.
Initially the state government and their agents were seen destroying posters of Senator Uzodinma but Uzodinma’s supporters came out to stall the move and insisted that the posters of the governorship candidate of the APC must be displayed.
After several altercations they overwhelmed the governor’s forces who were pasting Uche Nwosu’s posters inside the stadium.
As a matter of fact, there were gun shots from security operatives when the wife of the Imo State governor was addressing the crowd. Two women sustained gunshot injuries and were rushed to the hospital.
Security agents had to check the looming fight between the two camps so as to save the situation. The governor’s wife refused to recognize Senator Hope to the chagrin of APC supporters. The angry crowd booed her.
However, the National Woman Leader of the APC, Hajia Salamatu Bewa Eluma, urged the crowd to vote President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Hope Uzodinma and all APC candidates in the South East. Other speakers concurred and called for votes for APC candidates which did not go down well with governor Okorocha who is supporting his inlaw Uche Nwosu the candidate of the AA.
But governor Okorocha who looked visibly angry, lampooned the APC, asserting “ the APC has not been fair to us, we are only being calm because of President Muhammadu Buhari, who already has won in Imo State. We are going to support Buhari but let me tell you people, after we were cheated by the APC, in order to deliver the President, we formed an alliance with other political parties and leading among them is AA led by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu.
“Do not be deceived, Uche Nwosu of AA will win the governorship election in Imo State because he is on ground. We have no other candidate; we will not support those with stolen mandate”.
But the first lady represented by Mrs Osinbajo, disagreed and urged the crowd to vote all the APC candidates both in the state and the South East.
“I am happy with the crowd we saw today it shows that Imo is APC and I want to urge all our youths not to fight, avoid any form of crisis because President Buhari is a peaceful man. From what we have seen today President Buhari has won the South East the same way all our APC candidates have won” she stated.
She further urged APC faithful to remain steadfast, asserting that “ a vote for Buhari is a vote for progress. APC has done well and we must all support all APC candidates”.