By Elizabeth Uwandu
OWERRI— GOVERNORSHIP Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, yesterday lamented that governor Rochas Okorocha has reduced traditional rulers in the state to pupils, saying he will restore the dignity of the traditonal institution in the state if elected governor.
His reaction followed the lamentation of a traditional ruler in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area, who narrated how his salary and that of some other traditional rulers were seized in 2016 when they met with one of Okorocha’s political opponents.
Uzodinma who spoke when he met with traditional rulers in Ihitte Uboma and Obowo when his campaign team landed in the areas, regretted that Imo Traditional rulers can no longer speak as royal fathers due to the persistent intimidation and harassment from the state government.
According to him, “the dignity of our royal fathers have been reduced to nothing by Okorocha. I will restore that dignity because I will not join Rochas to enjoy the accident that awaits him at the polls as regards his third term ambition through his son in-law. I will rule with the fear of God.
“I feel so ashamed that majority of the traditional rulers I have visited, stay in an uncompleted building while Rochas and his family stay in different mansions in Owerri and Abuja. Rochas and Uche Nwosu owns more than half of the luxury properties in Owerri today.
“Yet they refused to allow our traditional rulers enjoy peace. They order them to Owerri even at midnight, Okorocha turned them to pupils. It is sad because these people are supposed to be the custodians of our customs and traditions”.
While urging the royal fathers to remain steadfast to their duties, Uzodinma promised to restore all “that we have lost under Rochas. This is a fight between the poor masses of Imo and the Billionaire Rochas Family. You can imagine a boy who have not worked anywhere in his life apart from being a Personal Assistant to Rochas but today he owns choice properties all over the world.”
At Ihitte Uboma, one of the traditional rulers who came to welcome Uzodinma, narrated that “in 2016, when some of us met with a top politician who Okorocha said is his enemy, the governor seized our salaries. Infact it was Senator Hope Uzodinma who heard about it and sent each of us N200,000 to cushion the effects of what Okorocha did to us.
“That was when I knew that we have another Pharoh in Imo State but today we are all happy that God has sent Uzodinma to liberate Imo State” he stated.
Senator Uzodinma’s campaign train had also stormed Njaba and Nkwere LGAs where he was recieved by mammoth crowd.