There is no gainsaying that when His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma assumed office as the Governor of Imo State on January 14, 2020, he swore an oath to abide by the letters of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, with a pledge to be fair to all manner of persons without affection or ill-will. He premised his administration on the 3Rs (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery) which are parts of basic programmes that seemed to had made the Ihedioha short-lived Ihedioha government popular and accepted.
On the heels of the departure of Ihedioha government, Uzodinma took off initially with some of the populist programme of the former and seemed to be upholding the avid pursuit of the recovery of public funds and property known to have been carted away, confiscated, looted and acquired illegally, converted by the erstwhile Rescue Mission government of Rochas Okorocha and family.
Imolites have all ears and eyes to watch and witness the results and reactions of this government to the many panels set up in 2019 and adopted by Hope Uzodinma in 2020. One of the panels which results are being largely expected is the panel on recovery of public fund and public property that were willfully and criminally converted to private estates which the state government is wasting undue time to recover. We do not require much ado to repossess the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) quarters at Orji in Owerri North that was forcefully acquired and renamed “Rochas Foundation College of Africa” including some personal private lands, which original owners were deprived of their bonafide right by coercion.
We had written so much on the need for Hope Uzodinma to repossess the Eastern Palm University at Ogboko, built with state funds. The government seems not to be interested on portions of the old secretariats along Orlu and Okigwe roads percelleted and sold out as well as portions of the controversial shell Camp and Alvan quarters, all of which were public lands craftily and forcefully converted to private property by Rochas Okorocha.
Imo artisans and the public are yet to know Uzodinma government’s stand and the fate of artisans or traders of the two mechanic villages located at Nekede and Orji (about 5000) who were forcefully displaced and the property ill-acquired or demolished in the heat of the fury and reign of the lethal hitler and Idi Amin – Rochas Okorocha.
When will the present government make a categorical statement on the status of Udenwa quarters as well as the projected/proposed Government House, New Owerri. Shop, stall owners in the various local markets like Orie Amaraku, Afor Umuaka, Aka Atta and host of others that were demolished and their owners deprived of their statutory rights and sources of livelihood.
Equally, Imolites are eager to know the condition of Imo Houses in Abuja and Lagos as well as the public owned Imo Transport Company, loading bays in some state capitals like Enugu, Abuja, Lagos, Calabar and so on. One of the remarkable landmark achievements that will go into the records of the administration of Senator Hope Uzodinma will be the total recovery, rehabilitation and full recovery with repossession of these public lands, properties and buildings illegally confiscated and ill-acquired, we shall dwell on the public funds another day.
We want Hope Uzodinma to rise up to the occasion and recover the Imo legislative quarters and the Imo Government House scheme at New Owerri, where Okorocha built his private schools, civic centres and filling stations. It is only an accomplice or an intending acolyte who wants to compromise on his integrity that will over look these public enterprises to a private estate.
Most worrisome is a situation where a panel on Eastern Palm University, Ogboko has since submitted its finding, that the institution was registered at the National Universities Commission as second Imo State University. Whet then is Uzodinma waiting for?