By Idowu Bankole
The Town Unions of over six hundred Autonomous Communities and collaborating Apex Zonal Social Cultural Organization have demanded the probe of the former Governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, accusing the former governor of allegedly plunging the state into unprecedented debt which amounts to the tune of 200billion naira under the supervision of his son-in-law, Mr Uche Nwosu.
The group, in a letter to Gov Emeka Ihedioha, obtained by Vanguard, stated that “the eight years that Chief Rochas Okorocha held sway as Governor of Imo State were allegedly characterized by unprecedented and unbridled plunder of their common patrimony and have come to demand justice.
The statement reads: “We are the leadership of the Association of Imo State Indigenous Town Unions (AISITU) in collaboration with Orluzurumee, Olu Owerri, Olu Okigwe, Amalgamation of Imo Professional Associations (AIPA), the students’ unions and the various youth groups in the State”.
“We are concerned and indeed compelled to protest and make this demand on Governor Emeka Ihedioha to act because we represent the vast majority of the poor and defenceless citizens of Imo State at grassroots who suffer the greatest detriments of bad governance”.
“During the ruinous misrule of Okorocha, Imo went through a sort of untold financial haemorrhage, as resources were frittered away and public assets looted and converted to private use”.
“As if that was not enough, Chief Okorocha so cruelly plunged the State into irredeemable debt slavery to the tune of over N200 billion, a debt stock that will remain unpayable even by ten generations unborn. Yet under the watch of Chief Okorocha, the bailout funds to Imo State inexplicably disappeared under the watch of his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, and he neither budged nor stirred”.
“ Worse still, allocations to the twenty-seven local government areas of the State were allegedly hijacked and looted, and the system stifled and made moribund. On this note, we wish to inform the Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, that we deeply appreciate his innovative approach to the Imo Local Government system which now makes the Local Government Areas of the State have their complete monthly allocations”.
“Staggering sums were voted for the construction of supposed general hospitals which never saw the light of the day. Revenue-spinning investments of the State, notably the Concorde Hotels and Adapalm etc., were sold off to unknown investors and at unknown rates”.
“ The Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of the State, on a monthly basis, nearly one billion Naira disappeared, even the civil servants got their salaries slashed by thirty to forty per cent. Imo pensioners, men and women who expended their youthfulness, their brains and their brawns in service of our State, were allegedly left unpaid for nearly sixty months and they died in their tens on a daily basis”.
“These senior citizens were subjected to the most excruciating torture so much so that even their three successive chairmen died in quick succession holding dud cheques in their hands. These pensioners are still dying till date. Indeed, Imo had a Governor that was any other creature other than human beings. We, therefore, call on Governor Ihedioha to kindly intervene to save our pensioners from further deaths”.
According to the groups, “We are aware also that there are some people who preach that let bygone be bygone and that the incumbent Governor should forget everything that happened in the past. We wish to assert categorically that anyone who holds such opinion is equally a suspect in the plunder of Imo State. The insistence of Imo people is that everything stolen by the past administration must be recovered with mathematical precision. This must be done in a civilized and legally permissible manner because that is what good governance is all about”.
In specific terms, The groups call on Governor Emeka Ihedioha to quickly act and recover the following from former Governor Rochas Okorocha:
- The N21.6 billion taken from the local government system of the State.
- The Eastern Palm University built with our money.
- The N96 billion being the stolen portion of Imo’s IGR for eight years.
- Over N40 billion looted through the failed 27 general hospital projects.
- The Old IBC premises at Orji: Before now, everybody in Imo State knows that the Old Imo Broadcasting Corporation premises at Orji is government land. The former Governor used his office as Governor to convert the asset to himself, after building gigantic blocks at the facility with government money. We request that this government property be recovered without further delay.
- The Nekede and Orji Mechanic Villages:
We also wish to inform the public that the vast expanse of land occupied by the artisans and mechanics at the Nakede mechanic village as well as Orji Mechanic village was allegedly forcefully taken by the former Governor and given to his family members and cronies.
- The Adapalm in Ohaji which Okorocha said was leased out to investors and left in ruins till date.
- The Concorde Hotels, an enviable investment of the State which was acquired by Okorocha through some proxies.
- Westbrook Hotels which is linked to Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.
- WODDI Wellness Center owned by Okorocha’s wife, Nkechi, built on the former Imo State Secretariat Annex, a land forcefully acquired from the State by Uche Nwosu as Commissioner for Lands.
- The Reach FM owned by Uche Nwosu, without any knows legitimate means of owning such huge property.
The multi-billion Naira Farmers Market built by Geraldine, Okorocha’s sister, on land belonging to the State.
- Extervia Mega Supermarket opposite Civic Center Estate allegedly owned by Ogechi Ololo.
- House of Freeda Malls in Owerri, Abuja and Lagos allegedly built by Uloma, Uche Nwosu’s wife.
- A mighty poultry farm beside Shoprite owned by Uche Nwosu on land forcefully acquired.
- A probe into the JPROS financial sleaze perpetrated in Okorocha’s first term.
- Recovery of over N800 million given to Okorocha’s sister, Geraldine per annum, for Christmas trees.
- Recovery of the N600 million diverted through the supposed renovation of the Imo State Secretariat.
- Recovery of the N18 billion for the construction of primary school blocks across the State.
- Recovery of all the markets in the State which Okorocha has allegedly claimed 30% ownership.
- Recovery of the ISOPADEC funds and the 13% oil derivation funds which amount to over N20 billion.
- Recovery of the cardboard industry at Owerri-Ebeiri in Orlu.
- Recovery of the N2 billion diverted through the construction of the completely worthless Akachi Tower.
- A probe into and recovery of over N120 billion diverted through failed road projects. There is no single road project done by Okorocha that is not a failure.
- Recovery of hundreds of plots of land taken from the State.
- Recovery of Imo’s security votes which Okorocha allegedly personalized for eight years.
- Recovery of the billions of Naira through the construction of deadly concrete beams on the roads and overhead iron projectiles, which serves no purpose while people are dying daily of hunger. These death traps should be dismantled.
- Recovery of IRROMA equipment worth billions of Naira.
- Recovery of ITC vehicles and investment, and many more loots!
- The high powered probe of all the billions wasted in the “supposed” infrastructural development of the new universities in the state, as none of the substandard buildings has been completed.
More startling reports and revelations are coming and as they do, we continue to update your Excellency and the public.
We urge the Governor to swing into action and ensure that justice is done in Imo State.
However, in a swift reaction, the aide of the former governor has said that the protesters are PDP’s agitators merely looking for ways to discredit the achievements of former Governor Rochas Okorocha.