Gov. Okorocha's Supporters beat up Journalist


In the midst of the euphoria that greeted the victory of the Imo state governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Owerri, his supporters threw caution to the winds and descended on an Owerri based journalist, Henry Ekpe, inflicting severe injuries on him.

Ekpe, who is the Editor- in- Chief of the Trumpeta newspaper ,was thoroughly humiliated as the irate supporters took turns to beat him as the security men at the premises of the Tribunal were too busy to notice his ordeal. gathered that it was a premeditated attack as an unnamed supporter adorning    the vest of Okorocha's party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA), spotted Ekpe, while he exchanged pleasantries with Okorocha's Special Assistant n Print Media, Ebere Uzoukwa.

According to the source,”Immediately he left Uzoukwa, the crowd descended on him kicking and slapping him in the process, he was a pitiable sight as he made to put himself together after the attack.”

Ekpe , who served as Chief Press Secretary to ex- Imo state governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, whom Okorocha defeated at the polls, was on his way to the hospital when our correspondent called to confirm the incident, even as he claimed that he is yet to know why the crowd would subject him to such attack. also learnt that Ekpe has been a critic of the Okorocha government.”He has been a critic of the government. The governor's supporters have continued to see critics as 'enemies' of the state, this may have been the reason for he attack”, a source added.

It would be recalled that in recent times, Okorocha's supporters has employed violence in a bid to settle issues with opponents. Last week, a section of the supporters led by Chief Udo Agoha, a factional leader    of APGA, allegedly backed by the governor, stormed the state secretariat of the party, broke into offices and reportedly carted away, documents and cash.

Before Okorocha joined the party, his supporters also attacked the Vice Chairman of the party , based on rumours that he is working against the interest of the then aspirant, who later emerged governor.

The Horn newspaper, also based in Owerri also got the rough side of Okorocha's supporters as its corporate offices were invaded with properties looted while the Editor was taken away to an unknown destination.

Some members of the public who declined to have their names on print, condemned the conducts of the supporters and urged the governor to call them to order before they cause a state wide crisis.

To Chief Ken Agu ,an APGA member, ”Okorocha should be blamed for the current spate of indiscipline in the party. He has sidelined the founding members and brought his people to assume every position. Where is the state Chairman of the party, Prince Nwaka, who toiled to install him in power? Has he been allowed to reap the fruits of his labour? No. Who is now enjoying government patronage? is it the Rescue team, Okorocha's campaign structure, they are the people causing problems, the founding members have been sidelined”, he concluded.