By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
The Imo state government has said that the former governor, Emeka Ihedioha, was desperate to return back to power as governor to cover up allegations of fraud against him (Ihedioha) and his cronies.
The commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, spoke to newsmen in Owerri, adding that the government is now waiting for reports on the various panels investigating Ihedioha’s dealings within seven months.
He said: “Recently petition to the State House of Assembly by a whistleblower accusing Ihedioha of misappropriating state funds totaling ₦78billion, has confirmed its stance that the former governor’s desperation to cling to power was motivated by selfish reasons and not for the interest of the people.
“It was only a man driven by selfishness and avarice that would seek further judicial interpretation of a matter already decided by the Supreme Court in favour of Gov Hope Uzodimma, simultaneously at both a high court and Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court removed Ihedioha as governor early this year, the former PDP candidate had been engaging in vile propaganda, subterranean and subversive activities to see if he can return to power.
“Apart from abusing court processes by filing multiple suits on matters already resolved by the Supreme Court, Ihedioha had been sponsoring protests against the government of Hope Uzodinma in the vain hope of portraying it as unpopular.”
The commissioner said that, the government was aware that Ihedioha, “is using his aide to drop the name of Catholic priest and prophet, Fr Ejike Mbaka, claiming that he prophesied the sacking of a South East Governor this year, which, Mbaka has unequivocally denied.
“Unlike Celestine Omehia of Rivers State, Prof Osunbor of Edo and Chris Ngige of Anambra, who were removed by the supreme court and accepted their fate, Ihedioha has been obdurate and recalcitrant as if the office of Governor of lmo State is his birthright.
“The mind-blowing revelations by the whistleblower, which was published in National Newspapers, concerning the misappropriation of ₦78b by Ihedioha has now properly situated the man’s desperation to return to power.
“It is now clear to Imo people why Ihedioha wants to cling to power. He wants to escape justice as questions are being asked about the whopping sums of money he cannot account for.
“Above all, he wants to raise funds to continue with his billion naira projects which have been stalled since his removal as governor.
“It was hypocritical and heartless of Ihedioha to have claimed the rains hindered him from executing road projects when he took over, yet the rain did not stop him from building palatial mansions and estates for himself”.
“Unlike Ihedioha who used the rain as an excuse to escape responsibility, Gov. Uzodinma has been executing roads and other projects, the raining season notwithstanding.
“The clear difference between the two administrations is that whereas the former came to loot and impoverish Imo State, the present is driven by service and altruism.
“He described as unfortunate the various acts of sabotage and subterfuge engineered by Ihedioha and his cohorts against Uzodinma and warned them to desist forthwith as the governorship of the state has been settled.
“Ihedioha as a young man with a political future ought to have moved on after the Supreme Court judgement instead of squandering whatever goodwill he has left on unnecessary and repetitive litigations.”
“If truly he is working for the interest of lmo people why this level of desperation and why is he afraid of a probe? These are the questions men of goodwill should ask Ihedioha.
“It was scandalous for a man accused of misappropriating such a colossal m of money to attempt to return to power instead of seeking restitution.
“The executive arm of government was waiting for the outcome of the various panels investigating the former administration before moving in to recover Imo people’s money from the looters,” Emelumba said.