The former governor of Imo state, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, has cancelled his scheduled return to the state following panicgenerated over his plan.
Ihedioha, who also accused the state government of hiding under the guise of his return to cause mayhem and arrest his supporters, said he would prefer not to cause further tension by cancelling his planned return.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) had on Wednesday accused Ihedioha and the Peoples Democratic Party of plotting to use his return to carry out another protest against the Supreme Court review judgement as well as visiting mayhem on the state.
In view of that alarm, the State Police Commissioner, Bolaji Fafowora, issued a statement warning against any gathering, warning that the ban on protests and rallies was yet to be lifted.
But in a release issued Thursday, Ihedioha contradicted allegation instead said the government was planning the arrest and detention of his supporters and visit mayhem on the expected crowd coming to welcome him as well as turn around to stigmatize his party with the toga of violence.
He said the postponement of his return to the state was in line with his non-violence stance because his visit was not worth the life of any citizen of the state.
Ihedioha noted that since the January 14 judgment that ousted him from office, he was yet to visit the state, adding that he was unaware that he had been banished from the State.
“While I have in recent weeks elected to stay away from family and friends in Imo, I am not aware that I have been exiled out of the state”.
According to the former governor, he had planned to participate in the ongoing congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tomorrow.
“Unfortunately, the statement by the Imo state government, made several spurious allegations, including that I plan to lead violent protests as well as import thugs to perpetrate violence.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. I am not, and have never been, a violent person. My reputation is that of peace and fair play. I have never propagated or tolerated violence. And I never will.
“On the contrary, I have been informed that the government of Imo state, acting in concert with some rogue elements within the security apparatus, is planning the arrest and detention of many of our supporters and to visit mayhem on the expected large crowd which they anticipate will come out to welcome me back home.
“By judging me by their own character, their scheme is to stigmatize and garb us in the toga of violence. These are the tendencies of unpopular and illegitimate regimes.
“It is therefore for the foregoing reasons that I have decided to postpone my trip to Owerri so as to frustrate their evil plans and machinations. My visit is not worth the life of any Imo citizen.
“However, the massive deployment of security personnel by the government as well as thugs cannot deter us and the majority of our people from pursuing our collective vision for a better Imo State”.
He maintained that as a Nigerian citizen, he has the right to freedom of speech and movement, saying nobody can take that away, even as he disclosed that he will visit the state at a later date which according to him will be very soon.