Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker, has described the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha as a “dictator” and a danger to Nigeria’s democracy.
The gubernatorial aspirant in the state made the remark while accusing Okorocha of intolerance to contrary political views, freedom of choice and the right of others to aspire to any position in the state without his consent.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu, the former House of Representatives member said it was regrettable that the impeachment process of the state’s Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere one would have thought that “Okorocha should, at the twilight of his failed administration, be pre-occupied more with how to salvage the state he is set to leave behind without any legacy to show,” than engage in duel against perceived political enemies.
According to Ihedioha, “The Deputy Governor’s obvious offence is his legitimate aspiration to run for the highest political office in the state, contrary to Okorocha’s preference of his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.
“This unfortunate development is, particularly, alarming and, indeed, worrisome to all advocates and defenders of democracy and rule of law in Imo and the country at large.
“It is, therefore, incontrovertible that this move, being undertaken by Governor Okorocha and Imo House of Assembly, is a colossal assault on all known democratic tenets, including freedom of choice, freedom of association and the right of an individual to aspire to any political position in the land.
“The present, unfathomable and inherent danger lies in the manner Governor Okorocha is wheeling the state lawmakers to plunder the mandate of the people on flimsy, narrow-minded and self-centered basis, contrary to prescriptions of relevant sections of the constitution.
“Section 143 of the constitution provides that the governor or his deputy can only be removed from office by the House of Assembly if any of them is proven to have engaged in “gross misconduct.”
“The compelling question is whether aspiration to political office amounts to gross misconduct? It is unfortunate that Madumere is a victim of his own political ambition in a constitutional democracy.”
He noted that it was “regrettable that Imo State is about to have a third deputy governor in Governor Okorocha’s administration, as he has, once again, demonstrated his clear intolerance to alternative political stance and viewpoint.”
“As it is typical of his administration, he has, once more, dishonorably pushed Imo in the news for the wrong reasons, thus, provoking salient questions, bordering on the institutionalized misrule and impunities that have enveloped the state in the past seven years of his administration.
“Governor Okorocha’s penchant for intimidation and betrayal is evidently legendary,” he added.