An explosion has rocked the Prefab area of Aladinma, Owerri, bringing down the bungalow of immediate past governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, in the Imo State capital. Ohakim’s wife, Chioma, says they escaped death in the attack, which took place last night, only because they passed the night in their
Both Ohakim and wife have lamented their fate while Governor Rochas Okorocha has condemned the unfortunate incident.
An Owerri resident who spoke News Express said the explosion was so deafening that they thought Boko Haram had invaded the city.
Ohakim insinuated in an interview with newsmen that the attack has political undertone. He unequivocally condemned it, recalling that no case of terrorism occurred in Imo throughout his four-year tenure as governor from May 2007 to May 2011. He disclosed that he acquired the bungalow in 1992 and that it was the only house he currently had in Owerri contrary to claims in some quarters that he owns several houses in the city.
Lamenting his fate, Ohakim said that his severance allowances have not beenpaid while his guest house which he is entitled to as a former governor had been confiscated along with his personal effects.
The former governor, however, vowed not to be cowed and to go ahead and make significant political statements this Saturday, May 17.
Speaking on how they survived the incident, Lady Chioma Ohakim said that when they returned for the funeral ceremony of her husband’s uncle scheduled for today, she convinced her husband that they should rather pass the night in their Okohia village rather than in the Owerri bungalow as they usually did.
Mrs. Ohakim is of the opinion that those behind the explosion apparently expected them to sleep in the house. She thanked God for saving their lives.
Reacting promptly, Governor Okorocha condemned the attack on Ohakim’s house as unfortunate and unacceptable. Like Ohakim, he also read political meanings to the attack.
Okorocha said in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo: “The attention of the Imo State Government has been drawn to the dastardly and despicable act of setting ablaze the residential building of the former Governor of the State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, situated at Prefab Aladinma Owerri by unknown elements with properties in the house all burnt down.
“And for the former Governor’s house to be burnt on Wednesday night, barely forty-hours to his reported declaration of his intention to run for the 2015 governorship of the state calls for concern.
“The Imo State Government condemns the act in its entirety. It is an act of cowardice. It is barbaric and unfortunate, in all ramifications.
“The government of the day with Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been preaching tolerance and politics without bitterness among Imo politicians, and the governor has also been demonstrating that both in words and in
actionsince he came on board in 2011.
“And that is why, politicians in the state irrespective of their political parties have been coming to the state to say whatever they like or do whatever they want to do, without any interference or disturbance. Journalists in the state have also been writing whatever they want to write without anybody disturbing them.
“So, the burning of the former Governor’s house for any reason is condemnable and unacceptable. The former governor has not done anything to constitute a threat to anybody since he left office, to warrant anybody or group of persons burning his house.
“He has the right as an illustrious son of Imo state to vie for any position he desires to run for. Anybody who feels threatened by his interest should have the option of quitting the race or dropping his aspiration.
“The government calls on the Commissioner of Police in the state and other relevant security agents in the state to dig into the ugly incident with the aim of bringing those behind the wicked and ungodly act to book.
“The government also warns that it will not fold its hand and watch those who do not love the state and her people, to import political violence into the state. The government will deal decisively with anybody or group of persons trying to blackmail the state and her people by engaging in indecent actions that are foreign to the people of the state, and in the name of politics.
“A word should be enough for the wise.”
•Photo shows Ohakim’s house razed by the explosion.
Source News Express