The candidate of Nigeria’s leading opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo West (Orlu Zone) Senatorial election, Hon. Jones Onyeriri was nearly assassinated on Thursday 7th March 2019. The assassins who laid siege in his house missed the target and shot uncontrollably at his security personnel. Information has already filtered into town that Hon. Jones is dead without knowledge that he was unhurt owing to the mistaken identity by the assailants.

Honourable, Jones Onyereri

Meanwhile, the security personnel is said to be responding to treatment at the hospital having survived the incident.

The assassination incident further underscores the volatility of Nigerian society to untethered violence and the state of lawlessness in Imo state. The question remains, who masterminded this dastardly act? Who wants the lawmaker, Honourable Jones dead? Till date in Nigeria, the electoral violence perpetrated in the buildup and aftermath of its presidential elections has gone unpunished. It follows therefore, for one to wonder if the masterminds of this ugly incident would ever be punished.

It may be recalled that the Returning Officer of Imo West district election, Professor Ibeawuchi Okechukwu Innocent of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, confirmed last week that he announced the outgoing Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha (candidate of the ruling political party in Nigeria, the All Progressive Congress – APC) the winner of the senatorial election under “duress” to save the life of his wife, children, family and his head. 

These incidents in Nigeria indeed are disturbing. One peculiar phenomenon is the seeming silence of its citizens to the unabated attack on democratic values. It is uncalled for, for Imo Nigerians to keep mute over such desperation by Governor Rochas Okorocha, who is the purported culprit and brain behind the said assassination. Again, one wonders what exactly the Nigerian government, President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies are doing about this intimidation of her citizens by Rochas and hired assassins? Could it be that the Governor is now more powerful than the Federal Government of Nigeria? Mr. Okorocha now walks freely in town with various forms of arms, threatening people including the Returning Officer of Imo west district election as earlier mentioned, without caution from any quarters or recourse to law. The happenings in Imo, Nigeria are totally condemnable.

Governor Rochas recently vowed to stake the last drop of his blood to ensure his son in-law Ugwumba Uche Nwosu(AA) is declared winner as next Governor of Imo state. Even his wife has also vowed same. As it stands, there are alleged strange faces/thugs deployed to Imo state to deliver son in-law as the next Governor of Imo state. Rochas has also vowed that he must be senator of Imo west district otherwise heavens will fall. All these point to the fact that the perpetrators or those behind the assassination attempt on the life of Hon, Jones are not farfetched. All stakeholders in Nigeria are therefore, encouraged to throw their full weight and support towards achieving justice for Hon. Jones Onyeriri whose mandate was unscrupulously stolen by the autocratic Governor. Peace loving Nigerians should seek to call Governor Okorocha to order and end his reign of impunity in Imo State. Nigerians should realize that it isn’t normal for citizens to continue to live in a state of morbid fear and intimidation by a Governor. It remains to be seen, what the Federal Government of Nigeria and security agencies intend to do to address the unmitigated intimidation and harassment of citizens in Imo State by Governor Okorocha.

One gubernatorial aspirant who holds such resolve to end the quagmire in Imo, Nigeria is Ikedi Ohakim the Accord Party aspirant. Mr. Ohakim holds a promise for the Imo people, premised on his newly found life of humility which has necessitated a desire and resolve to restore dignity to Imo indigenes. Surprisingly, the former Governor has also sworn an affidavit affirming his desire to turn things for the better for “ndi Imo” (Imo indigenes) in Nigeria. Imolites are hereby called upon to troop out en masse on Saturday 9th March 2019 and vote who will deliver them.

The time to act is now!

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