National Chairman of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu has described the alleged acquisition of properties belonging to private citizens as well as land belonging to Imo State by the former government led by Senator Rochas Okorocha as mind-boggling, insisting that the looting-spree was disgusting and a disrespect to President Muhammadu Buhari government’s mantra of zero tolerance for corruption.
ZLP National Chairman in a statement on Monday also warned those who are not citizens of Imo state who have been taking briefs from the former governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha and have been attacking the present government of Senator Hope Uzodinma to desist from such unpatriotic actions, or face being listed as beneficiaries of proceeds of corruption.
A Judicial Commission of Inquiry instituted by the immediate past government of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to probe the eight years of the administration of Rochas Okorocha, noted that contracts were awarded whimsically without recourse to due process; Lands belonging to both government and private citizens were forcefully acquired by the Senator Okorocha’s administration for his private use and that of his immediate family; the Owerri Master plan desecrated and flagrantly abused by that administration amongst others.
Recall that Senator Rochas Okorocha was recently arrested by the police for forcefully breaking into a premise sealed by the state government.
However, Governor Uzodinma explaining why his government is determined to comply with the verdicts of the various commissions of inquiry said, “The restoration of Owerri Master Plans means that those who abused the processes would be punished. Those who took land from the government and private individuals would be forced to return them. In short, all looted assets of Imo people must be recovered and Imo State must be for all Imo people.”
But, the ZLP National Chairman warned that the actions against Sen. Okorocha should neither be politicized nor jettisoned for whatever reason as the people are not only watching the development but are also solidly behind the government of Senator Uzodinma’s resolve to return all the looted common patrimony.
He said, “I want to call on the former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha to return all the common patrimony he took from the state for himself and his family members.
“I want to emphasis here that there is no issue between the former governor, Senator Okorocha and the incumbent governor, Senator Uzodinma and his government, rather, he has issues with the people of Imo state.
“Governor Uzodinma has the mandate of Imo people to recover every single property that belongs to the state as well as properties belonging to private persons which former Governor Okorocha forcefully acquired.
“These acquisitions are simply insane and the people are not happy with the development. It has nothing to do with the political party he belongs or other people belong. We are talking about our common patrimony.
“Senator Okorocha should save the energy he is using to engage hirelings who are also part of the common patrimony stolen, including the outsiders who he has engaged. These will not persuade the people because they are determined to recover everything stolen from them.
“It is only an insane person in office that will grab peoples land and government properties and convert them into his personal use. This is an era where one of the mantras of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is no tolerance for corruption. Stealing is abhorred but that was what transpired in the last government in Imo state. There is no way bad behavior can be rewarded.
“That Rochas Okorocha’s government has not only showed disrespect to the mantra of Buhari’s government by looting as if there is no tomorrow; the action was indeed disdainful.
“Let me at this juncture warn those who are not citizens of Imo state who have been taking briefs from the former governor and have been attacking the present government to desist from such unpatriotic actions. They should obey the result of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the previous administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha to stay clear of the affairs of Imo state because they are not wearing the shoes to know where it pinches.
“We are also considering very seriously of putting their names down as beneficiaries of proceeds of corruption because there is no basis for them to be defending a man and a government who allegedly looted without a soul.”
Chief Nwanyawu also assured Governor Uzodinma of the support of majority of Imolites If he successfully recovers the common wealth of the people frittered in the past administration and that his government will have a place in the heart of the people.
“Over 95 percent of Imo people are behind Governor Hope Uzodinma even though we belong to opposition party in the state. No wonder there has been wild jubilation in the state including in Ideato, country home of Senator Okorocha.
Governor Uzodinma should also up his tempo on efforts to recover all the stolen property. If that is the only thing they would do for Imo state, they would have put Uzodinma’s name and that of his government at the level where Sam Onunaka Mbakwe is in the state. We need this funds for development urgently.
“People are watching with keen interest the actions of the government and they know what to do if these efforts are truncated from any quarters by anybody. There can never be any amicable settlement other than returning all that was forcefully and mindlessly stolen from the people.
“If Rochas Okorocha has shame in him, he should not be heard or seen considering the monumental looting that took place under his watch”, Chief Nwanyanwu said.