The Labour Party in Imo State has accused the State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, of plotting to rig the forthcoming November 11 governorship election in the state.
At a press conference in Owerri, the state capital, on Thursday, while condemning the arrest and brutalization of the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the state chairman of LP, Calistus Ihejiagwa, said that Uzodimma was clamping down on all opposing voices, including union leaders, journalists and activists.
The LP chairman said that the arrest and brutalization of Ajaero on Wednesday in Owerri was further confirmation that Uzodimma was desperate about his reelection ambition.
According to Ihejiagwa, the alleged N5 billion planned for renting all the hotels in Owerri from November 4 and November 11 was the All Progressives Congress plot to use thugs to rig the scheduled governorship election in the state on November 11.
The LP demanded the immediate redeployment of the heads of the security agents in the state before the polls, adding that the security chiefs in the state had not hidden their bias for Uzodimma ahead of the election.
The party said, “You are not strangers to the atrocious, obnoxious, suppressive and tyrannical occurrences in this Imo State under the current administration of the outgoing Governor Hope Uzodimma.
“You are all also aware of what happened in Owerri yesterday. We wish to unequivocally condemn the Gestapo-like arrest and brutalization of Comrade Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, by thugs allegedly led by state government agents and operatives of the Imo State Police Command.
“Rather than focus on developing sustainable policies, programmes and opportunities that elevate as well as provide a meaningful living to workers and the people, the governor continues to champion discriminatory, divisive, dictatorial and violent policies that depress and dehumanize workers and citizens.
“The latest arrest of Comrade Ajaero calls to mind the destruction at Ikenga Ugochinyere’s home in Akokwa, Ideato North LGA, the abduction of a seasoned journalist, Nonso Nkwa, and several others, including the traditional rulers that have tragically lost their lives in the last three and half years.
“We hereby draw the attention of the security agencies, INEC and federal authorities to this unfortunate development and insist that steps must be taken to ensure that nothing is done to scuttle or compromise this all-important election in Imo State.”
In reaction, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communications, Collins Ughalaa, said that the LP in the state was chasing shadows.
He said that the state governor was ready to win the election on November 11, having performed credibly and campaigned in the length and breadth of the state.