By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Imo state Governor Hope Uzodinma has once again vowed to implement the government White Paper on the Recovery of Public Assets as directed by properly constituted Imo State Judicial
Commission of Inquiry.
Addressing Imo State Stakeholders at the weekend in Owerri, the state capital, Uzodinma stated that no amount of blackmail will deter him to betray the trust bestowed on him by Imo citizens who elected him to lead the state to the part of prosperity.
Reading from his address titled: ‘Imo State Must Be For All Imo People’, the Governor told his audience that: “I call this meeting special because it falls within the ambit of our one year in office anniversary, and even more because it is coming on the heels of disturbing security challenges and some bizarre happenings in the state.
“I know that many of us will be eager to take home, from me, a list of the achievements of our government in the last one year. I also know that we want to have clearer insights into the events in Orlu, in particular, as well as what exactly happened in Owerri on the fateful Sunday of February 21st, 2021.
“I assure you that on all scores you will not be disappointed as I intend to update you on all the issues”.
“Our shared prosperity agenda anchored on our 3R mantra of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery are on course”.
Uzodinma first presented the stakeholders with his one year scorecard, pointing out that his government has done well on infrastructural development, fight against Covid-19 pandemic, civil service and educational sectors and restoration of accountability in governance.
Elaborating on the fued between Imo state government and ex- Governor Rochas Okorocha which came to a head on Sunday, February 21, 2021, Uzodinma told the stakeholders he cannot but also report the activities of a former governor of the state.
Said he: “This brings me to the events of
few days when on a bright Sunday morning when most people were busy in churches in devout supplication to God, a former Governor of the state decided to take the laws into his hands by importing thugs to invade the state.
“You are aware of the various Judicial Commissions of Inquiry instituted by the defunct government of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. These commissions were set up to investigate what happened in government between 2011 and 2019. This was particularly with respect to the award of contracts and land use and related matters.
“It was clear that these commissions were set up in response to the yearnings of our people. The people saw, in black and white, that in eight years of the administration of Rochas Okorocha, there was no due process in governance. Contracts were awarded whimsically without recourse to due process. Lands belonging to both government and private citizens were forcefully acquired by the administration for the private use of relations and their cronies.
“The Owerri Master plan, jealousy preserved for years by previous administrations, was recklessly desecrated and flagrantly abused by the Okorocha administration.
“In resume, that era was rightly seen by many as the dark years in the history of governance of Imo State, characterized by lawlessness, abuse of office and ill-informed audacious attempt to supplant democracy with aristocracy.
“Against this background, the sentiment then, as it remains now, is that there must be a holistic probe of the administration of Rochas Okorocha. It was only natural therefore that when we came on board, we validated the mandate of the commissions and conferred legitimacy on them in accordance with the law.
“I want to leave it on record that some of the dramatis personae embroiled in the mindless looting of the state approached me to disband the commissions, arguing that it was set up by PDP to witch- hunt APC. I politely turned down the request, on the grounds that the mood of the people favoured the setting up of the commissions.
It was later that it dawned on me that the earlier show of solidarity I received from these characters, including attending my inauguration and pledging to work with me, was just a smokescreen to persuade me to disband the commissions”, Uzodinma alleged.
The Governor however said: “Today we have the reports of the Commissions, The White Paper is out also. And it has been gazetted. Our duty remains to ensure faithful implementation of those recommendations”.