VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri
Confusion seemed to have engulfed the administration of Imo State at the 27 local government councils headquarters of the state as sacked local government chairmen of All Progressives Congress (APC) extraction allegedly stormed the council headquarters with the view to forcing themselves back to office.
The former council chairmen and councilors who were towards the end of the last administration of former governor of the state Rochas Okorocha brought into office were however sacked by the incumbent administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
The aggrieved council chairmen and their councilors had since engaged the state government in a legal battle to reclaim their offices, though the matter is still pending in an Owerri High Court.
However reacting to this development, the Secretary to the government of Imo state, Uche Onyeagocha in a statement warned “the former council helmsmen to discard their plot or be prepared to face the full weight of the law”.
Barrister Onyeagocha noted that these council chairmen and their councillors have presented themselves as politicians who have the intension to disrupt the peace, unity and tranquility being enjoyed by the people of the state pointing out that the state government would deal decisively with any individual, group or association trying to foment trouble in the state.
He therefore advised traditional rulers, religious and community leaders, town union officials to caution their subjects against being used by politicians to cause confusion in the state adding that security agents had been placed on alert to deal with anybody who causes confusion in the state.
Meanwhile, the ex-council chairmen were visibly present in 19 L.G.As of the state claiming that their action was as a result of the Supreme Court judgment to that effect.
The apex court had ruled that state governors lacked powers to sack or to suspend elected council chairmen and councillors in the country.
However, confusion later broke out when security men acting on information that the sacked council chairmen had bulldozed their way back to office quickly rushed to the councils and barricaded their gates and prevented them from gaining access into the premises.
The skirmishes that ensued sent shivers down the spinal cord of staff of the council who hurriedly left office for fear of the unknown.
ln Aboh Mbaise, the DPO of the area reportedly stormed the council headquarters where the chairman Hon. Chidi Nwatuuruocha and councillors have begun work , with more than 20 armed police men, teargased the councillors and locked the office of the chairman, with Nwaturuocha inside the office.
Still on Aboh Mbaise LGA: The Area Commander also came with his own team of armed mobile police men and joined the DPO and his own team to prevent the chairman, Chidi Nwaturuocha and the councillors and APC members who followed the chairman and councillors to the council headquarters to resume work, in line with the supreme court judgment.
The police was said to have locked up Nwaturuocha in his office for hours and used teargas to disperse the APC members and shot randomly in the air to also cow their targets.
One of the police men allegedly hit a councilor, Mr. Jaspez Nwachukwu with gun and he sustained injury on his neck.
ln Owerri North, Owerri West, Njaba, Orlu and Nwangele local government areas the situation was the same as the former chairmen and police had a faceoff.
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