There are emerging indications from inquiries and clinical evaluations that are beginning to place ‘Governor’ Hope Uzodinma of Imo State under suspicion of sabotage in the attacks on the Police Headquarters and the Prisons Yards by gunmen in the state last Monday. Several reports over the detonation of explosives at the Imo Police Command and the subsequent attack and release of inmates at the Correctional Centre, Owerri, had revealed that the gunmen had luxury of time for pre-attack activities, singing and dancing, adjacent to the Imo Government House, before they struck at their targets. The gunmen successfully carried out their attacks without a modicum of response from any security agency, but Uzodinma was quick to point accusing fingers at aggrieved politicians in Imo State.
Meanwhile, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, speaking to the ARISE NEWS Television on Saturday monitored by National Daily from Lagos, made a lucid evaluation that the crime scenes were very close to the Imo State Government House which would have made it difficult for the gunmen to operate freely without interventions.
Professor Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, had indicated the proximity of the Police Headquarters and the Prisons to the Government House, which would have provided sufficient security or protection to the facilities or the environs. He also pointed out that Government Houses are known to install CCTV cameras within and on the entrance to the environs, saying the cameras capture activities and movements within and around the Government House.
Professor Akinyemi highlighted that the Imo Correctional Centre shares a fence with the Government House and shares a fence with the Headquarters of the State Police Command. The former Foreign Affairs Minister wondered why the CCTV cameras at the Government House, including the security structure failed to notice the movement of a mob towards the Government House, then raise alarm; or how the gunmen operated for the duration of the attacks from one facility to the other without any security response or intervention. He, then, questioned if there was sabotage from the state authorities.
The gunmen were said to have gathered at a roundabout in front of the Government House, Owerri, where they sang songs for some minutes before proceeding to hit their target.
Professor Akinyemi had declared: “The prison yard shares a common fence with the Police Headquarters; the prison yard shares a common fence with the Government House, Owerri.
“You and I do know that CCTV cameras or any camera system are usually fixed to monitor movement around the Government House with a central control.
“Does it mean that the CCTV or the camera system didn’t see the approach of a mob to the Government House and didn’t raise an alarm. Did not the camera pick what it was supposed to pick or was there sabotage.
“If the Government House is attacked without resistance, then, who is safe.”
While the Imo governor has been trading blames, shifting responsibilities of the attacks to opposition political leaders in the state, some stakeholders in Imo were also expressing that the ‘Governor’ Uzodinma may be going through a legitimacy crisis.