By NBF News

Hundreds of people including youths, old women, red cap chiefs, interest groups and other stakeholders from Owerri zone, yesterday converged on Emekuku, in the Owerri North Local Government council in solidarity with the Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho over the recent call for his removal.

By the Imo State House of Assembly.
The solidarity rally came on the heels of the motion passed by the state legislature calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to drop Capt. Iheanacho from his cabinet on the grounds of dereliction of duty and usurpation of the ministerial slot of Orlu zone. The protesters who began converging on Emekuku earlier than 7.00 am along the Owerri-Umuahia expressway, carried placards and chanted solidarity songs.

One of the placards displayed by the aggrieved people read: 'Imo legislators please go home and consult with your people before taking decision.'; 'Owerri zone supports the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for 2011', while another read, 'Owerri zone supports Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho. We have implicit confidence in the Interior Minister and condemn the resolution passed by the Imo State House of Assembly.'

Addressing the mammoth crowd, Capt. Iheanacho said that it was futile for the House of Assembly to pronounce on a matter outside its jurisdiction and legislative competence.

He said that President Jonathan who employed is fully informed about his performance in office, stressing that he is only person that has right to say anything about him. 'The action of the state legislature is politically motivated and not founded on facts. It is certainly bound to fail,' Iheanacho said, adding that the House ha no right or power to direct Mr. President on what to do with his cabinet members.

Reacting to the unfolding political drama, traditional ruler of Ihiagwa autonomous community in Owerri West LGA, Eze James Muruako described the decision of the House as an insult to Owerri senatorial zone saying that if the Minister had erred, the state legislature should have consulted the monarchs and other stakeholders in the senatorial zones before passing the resolution.

Eze Muruako called for caution pointing out the state legislature had no hands in the appointment of Captain Iheanacho as a Minister. He stressed that power rested on the President to choose who he would work with.

Also speaking with Sunday Sun, leader of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee in Owerri North, Chief Marcus Onwuanaibe described the Minister as their illustrious son who has contributed immensely to the growth of the zone.

Onwuanaibe called on the state legislature to concentrate on enacting enabling laws for the growth of the entire people of the three zones, rather than supporting detractors whose stock in trade is to ensure that peace does not exist in the state for their selfish interest.