House Of Reps Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha Disgrace Rochas At Mbaise New Yam Festival

An altercation between Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, almost marred yesterday’s Iri ji Mbaise (new yam festival) in Uvuru. This was just as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, described Okorocha, as an “embarrassment to democracy.”
At the event, Okorocha’s microphone was repeatedly switched off for as long as five... minutes, as the people jeered the governor. Receiving the governor in Mbaise, Ihedioha told Okorocha that he would hand over to him in 2015, noting that the governor’s exit was non-negotiable. Ihedioha also challenged the governor on what he described as a “lack of state government presence in Mbaise.”
Ihedioha said, “The major projects in Mbaise are those executed by the Federal Government. In the few areas credited to the state government, we only see projects that are very poorly executed. It is evident that the governor has run out of ideas, so as a matter of expediency, it is expected that he would hand over the reins in 2015 so we can help out.” Responding, an angry Okorocha said Ihedioha’s trademark green cap did not qualify him to become governor. He said, “Green cap will not make anybody governor in Imo State.
As a matter of fact, there is nobody in Imo PDP that is his match in an electoral contest. My three years in office have been more productive than the 12 years spent in Imo by the PDP. Imo people have rejected PDP because PDP is worse than the Ebola virus.”
Okorocha’s microphone was switched off again when he said he had laid the foundation for a campus of the Imo State University to be sited in Aboh Mbaise/ Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency. The confusion was followed by skirmishes between Okorocha’s supporters and those of Ihedioha, but security personnel quickly contained it. Okorocha, however, advised Ihedioha to secure the PDP governorship ticket first before thinking of unseating him and left the venue shortly afterwards.
Onwuliri, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the event, attacked the governor while speaking with newsmen after the event. She said that from the conduct of the governor, it was obvious that he was not interested in the festival but just came to create confusion and derail the event.
“Since Okorocha assumed office in 2011, he has never attended the Iri ji Mbaise until this one that precedes an election year. This is not the ground for venting personal animosities. He even left before the actual ceremony began. He just brought trouble to the event and this is an embarrassment to the state and its people. I am positive that by 2015, we will all have a chance to redress this anomaly.”.
Following last week’s altercations between Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, at the annual new yam festival (Iri ji Mbaise) of Mbaise community, the state government has demanded an apology from Ihedioha, who was also the chief host of the event and the entire Mbaise nation, over what government desc...ribed as ‘unprovoked verbal attacks’ on the governor.
Speaking through the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, government alleged that there was an elaborate plan to embarrass Governor Okorocha and deny him the opportunity of addressing the people at the occasion. A statement signed by the governor’s spokesman reads: “After those attacks, and the fruitless effort made to prevent the governor from addressing his people, we have waited till Sunday, August 17, to see whether the Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives or leaders of the Mbaise nation, could be guided by the rules of decency to apologise to the governor for those needless attacks and actions, but all to no avail.”
The statement also accused Ihedioha of using every opportunity, at the occasion, to attack the governor, saying when the Deputy Speaker was handed kolanuts to present to visitors, instead of doing the simple task, he deviated to bluntly tell the governor how he would not return to office in 2015.
“As if that was not enough, when Hon. Ihedioha was also called upon to address the audience, instead of using that opportunity to tell the crowd what he has been able to attract to his people for twelve years, he opened another round of attack on the governor, telling the people how all the projects of the Okorocha administration were inferior..
According to the statement, government expects Ihedioha, leaders and traditional rulers of Mbaise to be decent enough to apologise over the unwarranted verbal assault on the governor.
Reacting to the statement, however, Ihedioha, who spoke through his Media Aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu, made his position clear saying; “We owe Okorocha no apology; he should as a matter of fact apologise to the Mbaise nation for defiling their festival.”
Ihedioha denied claims that he did not welcome the governor properly; saying kolanuts were duly presented to the governor. The statement by Ihedioha’s spokesman reads in part:
“Ihedioha was simply expressing the opinion of the Mbaise nation and indeed the totality of Imo people, who have rejected Governor Okorocha for his mis-governance of the state as reflected, for instance, in the lack of state government presence in the land.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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