Police foil attempt to form shadow government in Imo
The police, yesterday, foiled an attempt by a group in the opposition camp to form what they called Imo Shadow Government.
The Guardian spotted heavy police presence at the venue of the proposed event at Alike in Obowo Council of Imo State.
But the group, in a statement, shortly after police took over the ground, stated: “Imo Shadow Government cannot be intimidated with heavy security build-up and presence in Alike Obowo. We are law-abiding citizens with constitutional right to freedom of expression and association. We are not involved in the Shadow Government to challenge the government in power.”
The statement broadcast by the spokesperson and arrowhead of the group, Dr. Fabian Ihekwueme, through WhatsApp, added, “We are only expressing ourselves to ensure that Imo people are not shortchanged.”
Ihekwueme, popularly called Omu, is a loyalist to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections in the state, Hope Uzodinma.
On Monday, the group had issued a statement that an electoral committee had been constituted to oversee the smooth conduct of the election of the first Imo shadow governor.
“The Shadow Governor will constitute his cabinet after the swearing-in tomorrow,” it added.
But the Imo police command promptly issued a warning statement directing Imolites to desist from such activity, insisting that the constitution recognised the government in place in Imo.
The statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police (CP), Rabiu Ladodo, read in part: “The attention of the Imo State Police Command has been drawn to the planned establishment of ‘Shadow Government’ by a group of people, scheduled to hold in a primary school at Alike, Obowo. This move is absolutely illegal and capable of causing anarchy and breach of peace.
“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not recognise any such structure or composition. The present political dispensation does not accommodate such as well.
“In view of the above, the Commissioner of Police warns the group to desist from any plan to constitute the said ‘Shadow Government’ or any other composition under any guise, as anyone arrested will be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
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