It has come to my attention that the Imo State government, yesterday issued a statement on my planned visit to Owerri this morning. As most people are well aware, I haven’t visited the state since the Supreme Court judgement of 14th January 2020 and was planning to come in to participate in the ongoing Congresses being conducted by my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). While I have in recent weeks elected to stay away from family and friends in Imo, I am not aware that I have been exiled out of the state.
Unfortunately, the statement by the Imo State government, made several spurious allegations, including that I plan to lead violent protests as well as import thugs to perpetrate violence. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am not, and have never been, a violent person. My reputation is that of peace and fair play. I have never propagated or tolerated violence. And I never will.
On the contrary, I have been informed that the government of Imo State, acting in concert with some rogue elements within the security apparatus, is planning the arrest and detention of many of our supporters and to visit mayhem on the expected large crowd which they anticipate will come out to welcome me back home. By judging me by their own character, their scheme is to stigmatize and garb us in the toga of violence. These are the tendencies of unpopular and illegitimate regimes.
It is therefore for the foregoing reasons that I have decided to postpone my trip to Owerrri so as to frustrate their evil plans and machinations. My visit is not worth the life of any Imo citizen. However, the massive deployment of security personnel by the government as well as thugs cannot deter us and the majority of our people from pursuing our collective vision for a better Imo State.
The constitutional rights, including the right to free speech and to freedom of movement, are inalienable. And nobody can take that away from me. I will certainly, by the grace of God, be visiting the state very soon.
Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON.