Deputy governor of Imo state, Prince Eze Madumere
• Opposition parties allege threat to democracy
Security operatives yesterday barricaded the entrance to the office of Imo State deputy governor. The complex, popularly known as Twin House, is located at the left hand side of the governor’s office within the Government House, Owerri.
Last Monday, 19 of the 27 members of the State House of Assembly impeached Prince Eze Madumere amid a High Court order restraining his removal as deputy governor.
Governor Rochas Okorocha immediately nominated the Head of Service, Calistus Ekenze, as his replacement. His swearing in is however pending following an injunction by a state High Court restraining Chief Judge Paschal Nnadi and other respondents from taking any action until the substantive suit filed by the embattled deputy governor was heard and dispensed with.
Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri, said the incident might not be unconnected with recent events in the state.
The professor of Law said the Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandachi, might have acted to beef up security for government property, acknowledging that support employees were allowed in.“You are aware of the impeachment of the deputy governor. We have another one approved by the House of Assembly. Maybe the security men are ensuring custody and protection. The CP might also be taking necessary steps to ensure security. It is a preventive action by him,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a coalition of opposition political parties has risen from an emergency meeting in Abuja expressing concern over what it called the “increasing threat to democracy in Nigeria.”It called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to be tolerant with opposing views.
Meeting yesterday under the auspices of the Coalition for New Nigeria (CNN), the national chairmen of the various political parties alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was being starved of funds for adequate preparations for the 219 polls holding some six months away.According to the National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Abubakar Abdulsalam, the “prevailing suffocating political atmosphere in the country is disturbing.”
The National Chairman of the Action Peoples Party (APP), Ikenga Ugochiyere, claimed that a plot to truncate the nation’s democracy had been uncovered, vowing that the opposition would resist any such move.