Hundreds of Imo State women under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who yesterday staged a protest in Owerri against the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state, for a town hall meeting with traditional rulers, have accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of misleading them.
The women, who expressed regret over their being used to embarrass the president, claimed that they were deceived and brought to Owerri, the state capital, for a purported seminar only to be turned to protesters against Jonathan’s visit.
According to some of the aggrieved women, they arrived at the former chambers of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Owerri, now designated Imo Women Development Centre, WDC, to attend a seminar.
They disclosed to journalists that they only realised that they were mobilised for a protest against the use of the place by some traditional rulers led by the embattled Eze Cletus Ilomuanya to receive President Jonathan.
The protesters had blocked the roads to the centre, a situation which led to policemen and soldiers to disperse them using canisters after all appeals for them to leave the venue were ignored.
One of the women from Okigwe Local Government Area, who gave her name as Mrs. Ngozi Anorue said: “We were invited by the governor for a seminar at the centre. But we didn’t know that they only brought us here to protestagainst the president of our country. They invited us aswomen leaders from our communities; that’s why you could see hundreds of us.
“We thought we were coming for CGC seminar as they told us; we didn’t know we were called out to come and fight their fight.
“Please stop blaming me. Do I have any problem with President Jonathan? I don’t. So, why should I come and begin to protest against the president. In fact, most of us believe that we will vote for President Jonathan and later vote for Rochas. So, we were deceived to protest against President Jonathan.”
The embittered woman accused the state government of always using the women and children to fight the governor’s political battle.
Some of the women sustained injuries during their scuffle with the police and soldiers.