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New varsities, polytechnics not to burden Ihedioha — Okorocha

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…promises the hitch-free transition
…As clerics call on INEC to release Okorocha’s Certificate of Return

By Chinonso Alozie & Prince Okafor

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State yesterday said that his newly created six universities, four polytechnics and two colleges of education would not be a trap for the incoming government of Emeka Ihedioha. 

Ihedioha  and Okorocha
Ihedioha and Okorocha

Okorocha spoke to newsmen at Government House,  Owerri where he also inaugurated a team headed by Professor Chima Iwuchukwu to pursue the take-off of the said higher institutions in the next two weeks by getting the approval from the National Universities Commission, NUC.

He also promised a hitch-free transition, saying: “I will guarantee a hitch-free transition. I am still the governor till May 29. It is not what anybody should be afraid of. It will be done according to the constitution.”

Okorocha noted that part of the plan of his administration was to engage investors in the education sector under the Public Private Partnership, PPP, as backed by the law established by the Imo State House of Assembly.

He stated that investors in the education sector would partner with the government to ensure that the standard is maintained in the new higher institutions.

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According to Okorocha, “With these institutions put in place, the dreams of our people would have been achieved. Education will remain the industry of Imo State. What we plan was to lure investors into Imo State. They will come and invest in our institutions, under the Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement to assist us in the full take-off of the universities.

“For those of you who are conversant with the history of Imo State, education is one of the viable industries in the state.

“When I came into office in 2011, I told IMO people that my top priority is education and I want to tell you that we have done a lot in this area.

“We have created six new universities, four polytechnics and two colleges of education. By the time they take off, this will accommodate thousands of our children who go outside the state in search of admission and in most cases, they do not get it. Now, the opportunity is here for them to take advantage of.

“We have set up a team headed by Prof Iwuchukwu. They have two weeks to meet with the NUC to get the approval for the tertiary institutions.”

Release Okorocha’s certificate of return, MPO tells INEC

Meantime, Missionaries and Pastors Organisation, MPO, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to as a matter of urgency, release the certificate of return of the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.

MPO is an umbrella body of pastors and missionaries of all denomination in Nigeria.

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However, Archbishop Onyeagoziri Okeugo of the MPO, during a press conference yesterday in Lagos, said: “Having watched with keen interest all the events that took place during our last election across the nation, we want to say kudos to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the work they have done. But the job is yet to be completed.

“We are calling upon INEC to release the certificate of return of Okorocha who was duly declared the winner of Imo West Senatorial District by the returning officer.

“We believe the right thing to do is to give the certificate of return to him and anybody who is offended should go to court which is the hope of the common man.

“We are calling on INEC to take note that the eyes of the international community are watching, even a common man in the street knows that politics is being played somewhere and could destroy the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari who stands against corruption.

“I hereby, on behalf of MPO, call for the release of Okorocha’s certificate of return and urge  Nigerians to always be ready to stand up against impartiality.

“It is happening against Okorocha of the southeast today; it can happen to anybody of the south-west, north or anybody across the nation tomorrow.”

It should be recalled that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, last week withdrew from the suit filed by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in respect of his Certificate of Return.

Justice Taiwo announced his decision to withdraw from adjudicating on the matter based on allegations of bias against him.

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