– Builds 5 star hotel in his ancestral home
It is on record that at the inception of the first phase of the urban renewal programme in Orlu, Imo state, when Ichie Best Mbanaso was the Mayor of Orlu zone, the people of the area were subjected to untold hardship, sorrow and agony, arising from the demolition of many residential homes and high rasing buildings along Owus Avenue and other places.
According to a source, the most touching and pathetic of all the demolitions, was that of one Imo Gogo, a onetime councilor that represented Umuna government station ward, and also one of the founding members of Orlu Recreation Club, whose ancestral home was demolished and a personal five star hotel is being presently erected on the site.
It was reported that shortly after Okorocha’s emergence as Governor in 2011, he personally led a team that visited Gogo, told him and occupants of his ancestral home to vacate the place with the promise of relocating them to the former Udenwa estate that is presently a campus of the school of Nursing Amaigbo.
“On the strength of the Governor’s directive and promise of relocation, Chief Gogo and his family vacated their ancestral home, which was subsequently demolished. When the man eventually waited for a while, for the governor to make good his promise of relocation without result, he became frustrated, developed high blood pressure and later stroke, which led to complete paralysis”.
According to our source, “it was at this point that Chief Mbanaso rented a two bedroom flat for him and paid rent for just one year. When the rent eventually expired and was not renewed, the landlord ejected and threw the man and his family out of the apartment, rendering them homeless. Imo Gogo’s whereabout is presently unknown as he does not have a permanent place of abode”.
However, when the relations of the now bedridden Gogo found out that their ancestral home that was falsely and forcefully acquired was not actually for public use, they threatened to go to court. This was said to have temporarily compelled government and their agents, to temporarily suspend construction on the site, “as Imo Gogo periodically came there to weep and threaten to die, instead of forfeiting his property”.
Continuing, our source said, the governor feigned ignorance of the demolition and fronted one Gary, an Irish farmer turned engineer, who is said to be incharge of virtually all construction projects in the state, as owner of the said hotel under construction. But investigations have revealed that the five star hotel being constructed on the site of Imo Gogo’s demolished ancestral home is allegedly owned by Governor Rochas Okorocha. The source further availed that, after the Governor’s visit to the site on Thursday, 18th January 2018, work fully commenced on the project, the next day. Our reporter, who visited the site last Friday, confirmed that, work was earnestly in progress. A source close to the construction site revealed that the Governor mandated the engineer to ensure that the hotel is completed and ready for official commissioning before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, it is gathered that Gogo, the original landlord of the site is now critically ill and no effort has been made to pay compensation for his land that was forcefully and cunningly acquired, or any form of palliative measure taken to alleviate his suffering and plight.
When contacted, Gogo’s younger brother, Dr. Cornelius Gogo, said they kept quiet all long, because they thought “those planning to selfishly appropriate the land had jettisoned the idea. But as it is now, we are presently studying the situation and will take a stand very soon”. He described the treatment meted out to his family by government, as “the height of wickedness and insensitivity”.