IMO: MBAITOLI LGA ON FIRE, AS MANY FEARES DEAD OVER 2019
By Emeka IwujiNo fewer than 20 able bodied youths were feared dead at Mbaitoli local government area along Umuaka-Orlu road on Monday, February 19th, 2019.According to a source, trouble ensued when some strange individuals dressed in blue vest T-shirt numbering over 500 suspected to be working under the instruction of the Chief of Staff, Government House and son-in-law to Governor Okorocha stormed the council to endorse Mr. Nwosu.According to the source, the strangers were stopped at the gate of the LGA by security officers to ascertain their mission, the source maintained that the action of security agents infuriated them leading to sporadic shooting.The source further disclosed that during the shooting, over 20 individuals were feared dead while many that sustained various degrees of injury were whisked away to undisclosed hospitals.In a chat with one of the securities stationed at the LGA who wouldn’t want his name in print said, “see ooo, we were here this morning, some individuals who came with over 25 coaster buses tried to force themselves into the council Chambers, and when we tried to identify them, one of them told us that they were sent by the COS, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu to do anything possible to endorse him at the council Chambers but when we asked if they got authorization from the management, they became uncomfortable and before we knew it, they opened fire leading to the lose of lives, while about three persons were said to missing”.When we contacted the Imo Police Public Relations Officer, Dsp Andrew Enwerem, to confirm the situation, his phone was switched off.
Many people were injured on Monday when the supporters of the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, and those of the son-in-law to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Uche Nwosu, had a violent altercation at a political meeting.The clash happened at the council hall of the Mbaitoli Local Government Area, at Nworubi, where the supporters of Okorocha’s son-in-law had allegedly gone to endorse him to run for the 2019 governorship election.
Mbaitoli LGA is where the deputy governor, Madumere, hails from.Both Madumere and Nwosu are angling to succeed Okorocha in office, but the governor had, last week, publicly announced that he would support his son-in-law who is currently his chief of staff should he declare interest to contest.Sources at the meeting told our correspondent that a political structure knownas “I believe Movement,” which is pro Nwosu; and supporters of the deputy governor attacked one another immediately the mission of the visitors was announced.
According to an indigene of the LGA who was at the meeting, the visitors had sent them a text message, inviting members of the public to a gathering without stating the agenda.The indigenes, according to the source, became enraged when the visitors announcedthat the essence of the political gathering wasto endorse the governor’s son-in-law for governor.
“Members of ‘I believe Movement’ took us for granted. They came to our Local Government Area to endorse the governor’s son-in-law, as against our son who is the deputy governor ofthe state.“They want to use us to score a political point against the deputy governor, who is our son.
“The annoying aspect is that they didn’t inform us why they invited us.“Immediately we realised what their plan was, we told them categorically that we were supporting our son, who is the deputy governor, for the governorship election.“They started shouting ‘I believe Movement in support of Uche Nwosu;’ and we started shouting ‘Madumere.’
“They picked offence and started fighting us,” the source explained.According to the source, the indigenes had to call for reinforcement, which led to alleged bloody clash.“Our people regrouped and came to the hall tosave us.
They started using stones, bottles and other weapons on us.”Our correspondent learnt that the free for all and exchange of punches led to many of those involved sustaining injuries. Some members of I Believe Movement, our correspondent learnt, ran home half Unclad when the indigenes overpowered them, as it took the intervention of security men to bring the situation under control.