Imo: Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha Allegedly Arrested For Whistleblowing

May 28, 2021
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Information reaching me has it that the popular socio-political crusader, Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha was arrested by men of the Department of State Services (DSS) by 8:20pm this evening at his Ikenegbu extension layout residence. An eye witness account stated that the security operatives who came in a commando style for the operation with two hilux vehicles , were about eight in number and armed to the teeth.
There was no reason given for his arrest at the time of this article. However, feelers from a reliable source has it that his arrest may not be unconnected with his whistleblowing on the monumental corruption in the office of the Auditor-General for Local Government, Mr. Reuben Osita Nwosu. It is public knowledge that some time ago, Citizen Iwuoha wrote a petition to the governor of Imo State raising alarm on the embezzlement  of Imo people’s money to the tune of about N13bn, by a cartel at the office of the Auditor-General for Local Government.
The petition which was acknowledged by the government did not receive immediate attention.  However, the governor later assigned the matter to the DSS to investigate and report back to his office. Many political observers queried the governor’s sincerity to investigate the alleged graft when he assigned the matter to the DSS, instead of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which are the bodies empowered by the constitution to investigate financial crimes.
Their suspicion appeared to have been confirmed when Citizen Iwuoha raised fresh alarm on the inexplicable delay by the DSS to report back their findings to the governor, after a protracted period of investigation. He even accused the DSS of compromise and called on Gov Uzodinma to compel the DSS to submit their report on the investigation. As usual, the governor kept mute and the next thing that followed was his arrest. And I ask, what crime did Citizen Iwuoha commit to warrant his arrest by heavily armed security operatives?
Since when did it become a crime for a good citizen to fight corruption in the government and the society? The alleged embezzled sum of N13bn if recovered can help the government to clear majority of it’s financial obligations. It’s heart rending to see that the man who made such helpful revelation is now being persecuted instead of being commended. To make matters worst, Citizen Iwuoha, surprisingly, has been an ardent supporter of this administration. Is this arrest his reward for giving a clearly undeserved support to Uzodinma’s administration?
If an ardent supporter like Citizen Iwuoha could be treated this way, it means others like the loquacious Ambrose Nwaogwugwu who jumped ship from PDP to APC may not be safe.  However, many political observers are not surprised as it has become crystal clear that the governor is bent on silencing any dissenting voice by force, even if they are his supporters or members of his political family. Recently, the governor sacked his Commissioners in the most disgraceful manner based on an alleged suspicion of treachery. 
In addition, apart from Ambrose Nwaogwugwu who was the first victim of the governor’s intolerance to opposition, before he cowardly decamped, Prof. Protus Nathan Uzoma, a critic of the governor was also recently arrested, detained and tortured for several months. Radio personality Mazi Chinomso Uba (Nonso Nkwa), the publisher of Watchdog Newspaper, Comrade Precious Nwadike and my humble self have all received several threats from suspected government agents. In all there seems to be no end to Gov Uzodinma’s despotism.
It must be said here that this is a democracy and there is no room for despotism in a democracy. Opposition is the beauty of democracy. If President Buhari hasn’t arrested, detained and tortured his critics, why should Gov Uzodinma do so? Is he superior to the president? What is happening in Imo State is further painting the All Progressives Congress (APC) in bad light thereby making the party more unpopular in the southeast. If the governor is not comfortable with criticism then he has no business in the government house, he should resign and become an ordinary citizen where no one will criticize him.
Finally, while the governor is busy blaming political opponents for the high rate of insecurity in the state, he should also take stock of the way and manner he has managed the people he was meant to lead. His harsh actions and inactions is obviously heating up the state. He must understand that despotism breeds public angst and resistance. He should endeavour to change tactics and know that Nigerians are weaned of despotic rulers. If they can survive the Abacha regime, they too can survive his own regime. If Gov Uzodinma thinks he can break the will of the opposition by intimidation or force, then he has made a big mistake. Infact, he should get ready to arrest many if not all of us because we will not stop speaking truth to power. 
Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu EsqPublic Affairs Analyst27/05/2021

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