The government of Imo State has responded to the purported phone conversation made by former governor Emeka Ihedioha, in which he allegedly stated, “There will be no peace in Imo State until I return to power.”
In the video that went viral on social media, someone allegedly taped a phone call in which Mr. Ihedioha stated that there will be no peace in the state as long as he is not in office.
The voice replied“They can continue to be in Government House….—they will not succeed in doing anything so long I am there,”
Mr. Ihedioha, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), served as governor of Imo State until January 2020, when the Supreme Court removed him from office and pronounced Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the victor of the 2019 governorship election.
During a phone chat with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, the Imo State commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, asserted that Mr. Ihedioha made the phone call and that the state has considerable evidence to prove it.
However, in a statement released on Sunday, the former governor denied making the phone contact and accused the government of Imo State of “forgery.”
Mr. Ihedioha, a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, also elaborated on a purported letter he wrote to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, urging the federal government not to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), despite the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“How does that make sense? If anyone should be afraid of a free Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, it is Hope Uzodimma. The fact that he and fellow characters will concoct such a letter shows the level they are prepared to go in order to hang on to the power they acquired through dubious means,” he said. he added.
Therefore, Mr. Ihedioha demanded an investigation into the two claims made against him.
In response to the remark, Mr. Emelumba stated that the former governor made the call on Friday and that the state administration is challenging him to deny making the call.
According to the commissioner, Mr. Ihedioha’s statement did not categorically deny making the call.
“I expect him to come out and say that was not my voice, that ‘I never spoke to anybody and I can prove it. You know it is not easy to prove.
“I am challenging him—he is lying. That is his voice. I am challenging him that he is lying, and he knows it is his voice. He had a phone conversation with somebody on the telephone on Friday in the afternoon or evening time. He knows that he stated that. It is not enough to hide under the cover that the government did it. That is nonsense.
“He knows that he is lying, I am challenging him. If he comes out categorically that ‘i did not have any telephone conversation with anybody on Friday and the voice on that audio is mine. I will come out and give evidence that it is him. As far as we are concerned, he has not denied anything, he is only running around and away from the fact,” the commissioner said.
Mr. Emelumba further stated that the government considers the matter to be of the utmost gravity and that security authorities are now examining the phone conversation.
The inquiry, according to the commissioner, will reveal that Mr. Iheidoha made the call.
“Like I said, he is trying to divert attention that won’t work. I believe security agencies are investigating the matter.
“Saying the state will have no peace until he returns to power and all the rubbish he said. As far as we are concerned, it is not a matter of him calling for a probe or not, the important thing is that it is a serious matter that state security agencies must look into. I can assure you that it will be proven at the end of the day that he called, and shame will be his.”
In recent years, the state has been the epicenter of insecurity in the South East, with numerous attacks on civilians and military personnel.
Some of the murders and attacks have been attributed to the outlawed Eastern Security Network, the militant wing of IPOB, and the unidentified gunman.
Although Mr. Uzodinma has repeatedly threatened to identify the state’s sponsors of insecurity, he has failed to do so.
In addition to Mr. Ihedioha, the governor is engaged in a protracted political conflict with Rochas Okorocha, one of his predecessors. Their repeated conflicts have increased tension in Imo and exacerbated the state’s security problems.