Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and some top officials of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are allegedly behind a plot to use the judiciary to sabotage the mandate of Enugu State Governor-elect, Peter Mbah.
The Citizens Arise for Democracy (CAD), which raised this alarm at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, said the plan is to use the backdoor to impose a governor against the people’s will.
Speaking to the press, the group’s convener, Okwa Dan, said this is a well-thought strategy by Uzodinma to expand his influence in the south-east and would subsequently assert himself as the de-facto leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the region.
Dan noted that this is the second phase of Uzodinma’s plan having already secured a ruling from a Federal High Court in Kano State that nullified the election of Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti of the Labour Party.
According to him, the Imo State governor has not only compromised the NYSC, but he has also taken his desperation to the judiciary.
“We are concerned that Uzodinma will export this criminality to the national level if he is allowed to get away with this usurpation of public office. Nigerians must think of the implication of people like Uzodinma using senior officials of the NYSC to steal public mandates. It means the nation will one day get to the point where votes would no longer count because some criminal-minded people have perfected how to abuse government institutions for hijacking power,” Dan said.
The Citizens Arise for Democracy, therefore urged the people of Enugu State to be “vigilant to curtail the shenanigans of Uzodinma and his associates”, calling on them “rise to the occasion and reject this attempt by the Imo state governor to colonialize their state. ”
The group also urged the law enforcement agencies to immediately investigate the relationship between the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Yisha’u Ahmed and Uzodinma.
“Such investigation should include their call records and those of their associates to establish that there were indeed instances of communication between them. We also want the anti-graft agencies to review the bank accounts of the NYSC DG and those of the senior staff of the NYSC given the huge sum, the $3 million, that was reportedly paid to induce them to act in the manner they did,” the statement added.
The group, however, appealed to the APC to caution Uzodinma while advising him to seek other less destructive means with socially acceptable and legally compliant means of growing himself into a geo-political leader for the party.