Owerri – Thousands of women in Imo on Tuesday embarked on a peaceful demonstration, protesting alleged intimidation and harassment of state government officials by anti-corruption agencies.
The women, drawn from the 27 local government areas, marched through the major streets of the state capital as early as 7 a.m., causing a gridlock on the roads.
The women alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) had been distracting the administration of Gov Rochas Okorocha.
The Coordinator of the women group, Mrs Tessy Ohanuba, said they came out to express their grievances over the alleged incessant harassment of the state government officials by the anti-graft agencies.
“They are sending EFCC and ICPC to come and harass the people working with the governor.
“We are happy with the way the governor is running the state. The women have never had it so good.
“Today, our children are beneficiaries of the free education programme of the state government.
“There is infrastructural development, good road network and good healthcare delivery system,” she said.
Ohanuba called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the matter to enable the governor to concentrate in providing democracy dividends to the people.
“We are calling on the gender-friendly president to listen to our call, see the tears of the women and call on those harassing the state governor and his team to order,” she said.
Another woman leader, Chief Mrs Adaku Agbugbaeruleke, condemned the alleged activities of the anti-corruption agencies.
“No one should stampede the governor anymore because of his choice of political party.
“He saw the need to move to the All Progressive Congress (APC) and we are solidly behind him,’’ she said.
Mrs Hope Anyanwu, an octogenarian, questioned the authority and sincerity of the anti-graft agencies.
“Okorocha is holding Imo resources in trust for us and we are not complaining about the way he is managing it neither have we petitioned to the EFCC, ICPC or any other agency.
“All we are saying is that enough is enough,’’ she said.
The women also visited the INEC office on the Port Harcourt-Owerri road to demand the conduct a re-run election for the Oguta state assembly constituency.
The Accountant-General of the state, Mr George Eche, and the Speaker of the state assembly, Mr Ben Uwajimuogu, were reported to have on different occasions been invited for questioning by the security agencies. (NAN