By EDISON Okereke
The former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has cried blue-murder! over the conversion of the Eastern Palm University buildings Ogboko to the state University campus.
Daily Nigerian Horn in its Thursday, August 1, 2019 edition in its screaming headline story reported: “Incredible! Imo Government ‘scrapes’ Eastern Palm University, with a rider: .Converts buildings. to IMSU campus”
In a statement signed by Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, the former governor describes the action as counter-productive.
The statement also accused the chairman of the “Committee on the Review of Newly-established Tertiary Institutions” in the state, Prof. Jude Njoku as ‘exceeding his bounds.’
Okorocha, therefore, appealed to the State Government “to take things easy and always think deeply before acting on issues instead of doing otherwise.”
The former governor sees the whole thing as destruction of his legacies in the state which he laboured eight years to build.
The ten-point statement entitled “The Taking Over of Eastern Palm University & Scrapping Other New Universities & Institutions Built By Senator Rochas Okorocha When He was Governor, By Imo State Government,” reads:
“We have read in the media the Statement Credited to Prof. Jude Njoku, Chairman, Committee on the Review of Newly Established Tertiary Institutions set up by Governor Emeka Ihedioha stating that, the PDP government in the State has taken over the Eastern Palm University and making it campus of the Imo State University.
“Prof. Njoku was also quoted to have said that all the newly established Universities and other Tertiary Institutions built by the Senator Rochas Okorocha’s administration have been scrapped.
Following these actions by Prof. Njoku’s Committee our reaction goes this way:-
“Going by the nomenclature and task given to the Committee, which is “Committee on the review of Newly Established Tertiary Institutions”, the Chairman, Prof. Njoku exceeded the job of the Committee by announcing immediate takeover of the Eastern Palm University and Scrapping all the Tertiary Institutions built by Okorocha.
“What was expected of the Committee at the end of its assignment was to submit their findings or reports to the governor, who would then handover the report to the Attorney-General of the State, to look at all the legal ingredients involved in the establishment of the Universities and others, before making any specific pronouncement on them.
“Prof. Njoku’s action only showed the speed and zeal with which the government of the day wants to destroy all the landmark projects of the APC government in the State which Senator Okorocha had headed.
“Right from the outset, Okorocha had continued to say that the Eastern Palm University was a PPP venture. And what the government would have done in the circumstance was to look at the whole scenario including the legal undertones and then take the appropriate action in the overall interest of the State, her people and humanity in general.
“Equally, Scrapping the six Universities, four Polytechnics and three Colleges of Education built by Okorocha’s government, which have already taken off, with befitting structures on ground and their operational licences gotten, was obviously counter-productive. It was not the best of actions.
“The government would have looked at the ideas or vision behind the building of the institutions and their advantages both short-term, and long-term and then take things easy with them, in lieu of being hasty in Scrapping them.
“Obviously, the governor was looking at the man behind the Institutions, Okorocha, instead of looking at their in-built merits both now and in the nearest future.
“We want to let Governor Ihedioha know that Okorocha had done 8 years as governor and cannot be governor again. He should stop acting as if he is in Contest with the former governor. We are saying this because the zeal with which the governor has been destroying and discrediting all that the former governor laboured to put in place, has become worrisome to all Imo people, and others too. All the facilities Okorocha used to beautify Owerri, the State Capital, have all been removed as if INEC announced him governor for the sake of removing or destroying all that Okorocha built.
“It is also worth mentioning that since his inauguration as governor he has not been able to do any other thing apart from inspecting, removing, destroying and discrediting all that Okorocha did, which means, we didn’t lie when we claimed that Okorocha had more than one thousand verifiable projects as governor.
“We appeal to Governor Ihedioha to take things easy and always think deeply before acting on issues instead of doing otherwise.”