Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has denied reports of plans to issue identity cards to northerners resident in the state.
The governor spoke through his Senior Special Assistant, SSA, Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, yesterday, in reaction to a statement in Abuja by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Sulaieman Kawu Sumaila, alleging that the state government had begun registration of northerners with the aim of issuing them identity cards following the recent discovery of bombs at the premises of Winners’ Church in Owerri, the state capital.
According to Onwuemeodo: “The Imo State government has not begun any registration of northerners in the state and does not have plans to do so”.
He insisted that registration of human beings is not done in secret, saying those behind the allegation could not mention the locations or offices where such registration is taking place.
The governor described the claims as totally false, stressing that for the legislator in Abuja to issue a press release on the issue without first verifying the authenticity of the claim, gives credence to where those behind the falsehood are coming from.
Gov. Okorocha, argued that northerners have enjoyed long standing hospitality in Imo more than any other state in the South-East and blamed those desperate for power as being behind the attempt to damage the cordial relationship between indigenous people of the state and the Hausa community.
The governor explained that it was northerners in the state under their leader, Alhaji Baba Saidu Suleiman, who decided to have what they called a ‘data bank’, to enable them check infiltration.
The Sarikin Hausawa and other leaders like the Chief Imam of the state, and Waziri Hausawa, Alhaji Dauda Onyeagocha and their council members, had also held a press conference to tell the world that what they were doing was had no bearing to the state government.