The Imo Equity Movement (IEM) has accused Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha of being behind the kidnap of its Secretary, Barrister Kingsley Ononuju. This was made known on Saturday night in a statement released to the media by IEM’s Director of Media and Strategy, Tobechi Chigbu.
In fingering the governor as being the mastermind behind Ononiju’s travail, IEM said Okorocha was uncomfortable and intimidated by the activities of the group, which is pushing for the next Imo State governor to come from Owerri zone. It is alleged that the governor is not amused by this, as he is said to be fighting tooth and nail to install his son-in law, Uche Nwosu, who is from Orlu zone, as the next governor. Mr. Okorocha has been criticized widely across the state of turning Imo governance into a family business – with at least nine members of his immediate and extended family holding key positions in his government.
The statement partly read, “In the afternoon on the day of his kidnap, Barrister Kingsley Ononuju and his colleagues stormed Ngor Okpala to flag off the Owerri Zone Townhall Meetings of Imo Equity Movement wherein they sensitized the masses about the merit of ensuring that the next Imo Governor in 2019 should come from Owerri Zone.
“This objective since it was declared about three months ago, has been vehemently and viciously opposed by the serving governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. The next Townhall meeting of Imo Equity Movement was billed to hold in Barrister Ononuju’s Mbaitoli Local Government Area on Saturday, 1st July 2019.
“We hereby accuse Gov. Okorocha of being behind the abduction of Hon. Barrister Kingsley Ononuju for very obvious reasons and charge him to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of our Secretary since this new wave of intimidation will in our judgment, only heighten the already tense security situation in the State.”
Mr. Ononuju was on Thursday abducted by unknown gunmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital around 8pm.
His abductors have reportedly contacted his family, demanding N6 million ransom for his release. The vehicle in which he was travelling at the time of his kidnap has also been recovered by the police on Saturday at Elele in Rivers State, after two men, who were inside the car at the time of recovery, had absconded into the bush on sighting the police. The vehicle is now parked at Elele Police Station.
But Ononuju is still in captivity as at the time of filing this report.