Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and Senator Chris Anyanwu have given divergent versions of a fracas involving their convoys at Azaraegbelu, Owerri North in Imo State on Wednesday.
Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, on Thursday, Anyanwu, who represents Imo East Senatorial District, said she had visited Okorocha earlier in the day to felicitate with him on the up-coming wedding of his daughter.
Thereafter, the Senator said she proceeded to Mbaise for a function and was on her way back when she noticed, “an intimidating convoy bearing down on her convoy with full compliments of security operatives, conventional and non-conventional”.
Anyanwu, a former broadcaster, said it was about 5.30pm and she had directed her convoy to veer off the road and stop for the governor’s convoy to pass, but to her surprise, the governor’s security men stopped and blocked her convoy, dragged out the driver of her pilot vehicle and beat him to pulps.
She added, “The unwarranted beating and assault on my convoy compelled me to alight from my vehicle and even at that, the assault continued.
“They had dragged my driver into the bush to shoot him when I started shouting that their action was ungodly and barbaric. To my utter shock, Okorocha was watching the entire episode complacently and had even shouted orders to his men saying ‘disarm her security’.”
The Senator described the assault on her convoy as “a misplaced show of power.”
But, the governor’s Special Assistant on Media, Ebere Uzoukwa, dismissed Anyanwu’s claims as false, saying Okorocha escaped death when the Senator’s convoy rammed into his convoy.
Uzoukwa said the Senator after breaching the governor’s convoy, alighted from her vehicle and ordered her Naval security personnel to open fire.
He said, “The Senator further went berserk and descended on the security men slapping both the governor’s Aide-de-Camp and Chief Detail. She also rained abuses on the governor as well as calling him unprintable names.
“However, it is interesting to mention that the governor’s security men exhibited decency, professionalism and maturity as they never fell into the temptation of mahandling anyone in the Senator’s convoy irrespective of her unruly attitude and that of the Naval ratings in her convoy.”The statement added, “Recall that His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha recently banned the use of siren by unauthorised persons in the state as part of stringent security measures to fight crime. This calls to question why a serving senator, who obviously is not authorised to use siren, has chosen the part of dishonour, lawlessness as well as refusing totally to subject herself to constituted authority.”