BY JOHN MEZIEM
Former Governor of Imo State and Senator for Imo West Senatorial District Senator Rochas Okorocha has warned his successor Senator Hope Uzodimma to stop claiming his projects, even as he alleged that Imo State domestic debt is now over #150 billion.
Okorocha gave the warning in a release he issued through his media aide Sam Onwuemedo on Sunday and availed Daily Nigerian Horn.
The release further reads:
“With every sense of responsibility, we want to solemnly state that the popular Akachi Road, Owerri, which Governor Hope Uzodinma brought the President of the Senate, His Excellency Ahmed Lawan to Commission last Friday, was Constructed by Senator Rochas Okorocha when he was governor.Governor Uzodinma also dropped AKACHI and gave the historic road, a new name, Chief Evans Enwerem road. And he did that, to ensure that the road won’t be associated with Okorocha again.
Most Imo people and Nigerians who had visited Owerri from the Imo Airport or Aba road and vice visa, must have used the Akachi road. It was one of the first roads, Okorocha Constructed when he became governor in 2011. And it has remained strong.The place in question was Imo State government’s official site for refuse dump. It was a place where refuse generated within Owerri and environs since the State was created in 1976, were dumped or dropped. And criminals had used the area as hideout until Okorocha came in as governor”Okorocha evacuated the mountainous refuse at the place. Opened up the place. Constructed a road with a befitting bridge and named the road, Akachi, because nobody had believed that the place could be useful again.
“Akachi means the HAND OF GOD. The reason being that, it was only God that had made it possible for the site to become what it later became. The bridge Constructed on the road, was also called Akachi bridge.”Okorocha also built the famous AKACHI TOWER, meaning, the Hand of God Tower, at the place. It was meant to be a tourist centre. Governor Uzodinma commissioning the road Okorocha Constructed and dropping the name Akachi and replacing it with Evans Enwerem, would be like giving the glory of God to a human being.”President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other Senior Federal Government functionaries had severally used that road before now. And the Senate President only did what he was asked by the governor to do.
“We want to appeal to the governor to stop Commissioning Okorocha’s projects. There are many virgin areas the governor could take up and Construct his own roads, and take the credits, full-time.Before now too, the governor had changed the doors of the Nick Banquet Hall Okorocha built inside the Government House and Commissioned it again, with a new name. We also cried foul.
“The governor had also Commissioned again the Imo FOUNDATION Okorocha built and Commissioned. Which had also effectively been in operation about Six years before the coming of governor Uzodinma. And if not the general outcry, the governor would have also Commissioned ISOPADEC Headquarters again, also built by Okorocha.And we are once more, raising this alarm over the Akachi road, because if we Continue to keep quiet, the governor may “re-Commission” the more than one thousand verifiable projects Okorocha built or erected as governor.”We also want to use this opportunity to inform the general public that, we decided to leave the Imo Governor and his government in the Court of Public Opinions, over their allegations against Okorocha Concerning the unfortunate and worrisome Owerri attacks.
“Nigerians of good spirits have been able to “download” or dissect the allegations and have decided on their own, to hold the briefs of Okorocha. And we are satisfied with that.An incident that happened on the wee hours of Monday, April 5, 2021. By 3pm, the same Monday, the governor had issued a statement and said, it was IPOB that was behind the attacks. Forty eight (48) hours after, the same governor said that, aggrieved Politicians from the State were behind the attacks and no more IPOB.
“ The same day, the governor’s Commissioner for Information, Hon. Mbadiwe Emelumba said, it was former Governor Okorocha who was behind the attacks.First, he claimed that Okorocha brought those he granted Amnesty to carry out the attacks. He later said that Okorocha brought Northern Youths to carry out the attacks. On a serious security issue of that magnitude?
“While trying to justify the porous claims, Mbadiwe said that Okorocha wanted to stop the government from implementing the Whitepaper. These are not the kinds of things we should be reacting to. And the same government had also talked about investigations going on. Why investigations again, when you said you have known the culprit? And those who have read the much orchestrated Whitepaper would know that, those who gave the reports leading to the production of the Whitepaper, had set a trap for the government. And it has fallen into the trap.
“The Whitepaper is 99% against the public especially Imo people and honest investors, and not Okorocha.The truth is that each time the governor wants to take a fresh loan, he would raise an issue against Okorocha to divert the attention of Imo people and the general public. The domestic debt of Imo now is N150 billion. And Poverty level has gone up to 65% as against 19 percent in January, 2019. The Imo government should lower the antenna of war and raise that of peace, in the overall interest of the State and its people.Sam Onwuemeodo“Special Adviser (Media) to the former Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha”