Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Saturday punched a protocol officer who refused to allow him sit on a chair reserved for the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, at the 80th birthday celebration of former vice president, Chief Alex Ekwueme, in Enugu.
The incident occurred 20 minutes before most of the invited guests arrived.
The Couch was reserved for the host Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime and Peter Obi. The Deputy Governor, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, represented Chime who is still out of the country.
The protocol officer, Mr. Ifeanyi Onukuba, who works with Obi, was shocked at Okorocha’s action and before he could recover from it, a police officer attached to the Bomb Disposal Unit in Anambra State, Mr. Felix Alumona, pushed Okorocha when he was removing the tag bearing Obi’s name from the seat.
Our correspondent observed that Okorocha’s Aide de Camp, Gabriel Onu, immediately pounced on Alumona, hitting and tearing his uniform, while other security details attached to the Imo governor joined in the scuffle.
Sensing that the matter was beginning to attract people, Okorocha quickly waded in, saying, “Hey, please stop the fight! Let us not fight over an ordinary seat. I will share the seat with Peter Obi.”
Minutes after the fracas, Okorocha’s aides where heard grumbling saying, “Why is it that anywhere we go, they always reserve a special seat for Obi. Is Okorocha not the leader of Ndigbo?”
When Obi arrived, he squeezed himself in the couch, sitting between Onyebuchi and Okorocha.