In the list of Senators-elect, there were 109 slots, however, Okorocha’s name was omitted following claims by the returning officer for Imo West Senatorial District, Professor Innocent Ibeabuchi, that the results for the district and the declaration that followed were pronounced under duress.
Governor Okorocha, however, said that the action by INEC was an insult to his person and a mockery of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.
Addressing some youths at the government house in Owerri, the Imo state capital, Okorocha alleged that he was aware that INEC had colluded with some of his political enemies to deny him his mandate.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has raised an alarm over what he described as a fake court order.
The governor on Thursday alleged that the fake court order was used to remove Uche Nwosu’s name as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
He also added that a purported court injunction served on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish Hope Uzodinma’s name as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state is fake and has no authenticity from any court or judge in Nigeria.
“Information reaching me shows that a fake court order was used in removing the name of the candidate of APC in Imo State which is Nwosu. That report seems to be very authentic and that is what INEC may have relied on to do what they did.
“This is because as at today in the morning till around 2:00 p.m., Uche Nwosu’s name was still there to be published in line with the two court orders supporting his candidature.”
He, therefore, called on both the leadership of the party and INEC to explain the reasons for the alleged deliberate attempt behind the removal of Uche Nwosu’s name as the governorship candidate of APC in Imo State.
The governor has had a running battle with the party’s chairman is challenging the party and the INEC on the authenticity of the court order that informed INEC’s decision to publish Senator Hope Uzodinma’s name as the party’s governorship candidate in Imo State.
Less than 24 hours to the scheduled All Progressives Congress (APC) state congress in Imo, a Federal High Court in Owerri has issued a court injunction stopping anyone from participating in the state congress.
The court injunction signed by Justice Lewis Allagoa says all members of the party in Imo State including the state chairman, Hilary Eke, should restrain from organising any congress in the state pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction.
The court order was served to the APC on Friday night.
The APC faction led by the Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha has approached the court seeking interim court injunction to stop the state congress earlier scheduled for tomorrow until issues surrounding the ward and LG congress are resolved.
However, the Other APC faction under the umbrella of Imo APC coalition group says Okorocha faction is acting on its own as no court has served them any notice of any injunction stopping the Congress insisting that the Congress will still go on as scheduled by the National working committee of the party.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Tuesday blasted Governor Rochas Okorocha for granting amnesty to ‘notorious cultists’ behind the New year Day killings in Omoku community which led to the death of about 23 Rivers residents.
He said this amnesty granted by the Imo State Governor to the cultists will have no impact in Rivers State and the N20 million bounty placed on them by Rivers State government remains.
He told journalists at the Government House in Port Harcourt that the cultists whom Governor Okorocha pardoned are kingpins of the slained Don Waney cultist group who have been declared wanted.
“Yesterday, the Governor of Imo State granted amnesty to the cultists we declared wanted. These are cultists of the Don Waney gang who killed 23 persons on New Year Day.
“These are cultists who have been killing security agents. That amnesty offered by Governor Okorocha cannot cover Rivers State. These criminals are still wanted for their crimes against Rivers State and her people,” he said.
He claimed that the action of Governor Okorocha is a proof of the ‘intelligence’ made available to the Rivers State Government of the plans to grant Amnesty to wanted cultists for political reasons.
Wike also lamented what he described at the introduction of politics into security affairs.
“There is no need playing politics with the security of lives and property. Before Governor Rochas Okorocha granted amnesty to those who killed our people, he did not deem it fit to call me.
“They should always weigh the implications of these actions to the security of the region. Whether you are in PDP or APC, there is no need to politicise security,” Wike said, adding that the state government will continue to work towards improved security.
In reaction to the controversies trailing the relocation of the Ekeukwu market in Owerri by the Imo State government, Governor Rochas Okorocha has held an emergency meeting with stakeholders.
Security chiefs, market trader associations and government officials in the state were among those who met with the governor to address the lingering issue.
The meeting comes four days after the demolition of the Ekeukwu market by the Imo State Government which generated a lot of controversies, with traders accusing security operatives of brutality.
The Governor, during the meeting reiterated that the relocation of the market is “in the best interest of the state following the ongoing urban renewal programme by the government.”
At the meeting, the traders at the market disclosed that the relocation is untimely as the proposed relocation site is not ready for trading and commercial activities.
However, the Imo state Governor while addressing the meeting said, “the relocation of the market is in the best interest of the people of the state. He said the action is borne out of the determination to give Owerri city a face lift.
He also said some other illegal market and shanties within the city should move within the next seven days.
The Governor, however, promised the people that the state government will speed up all necessary construction work in the market so they can move into the market under construction, as quick as possible.
The Imo state government has reiterated its resolve to promote golf as a sporting event for youths in the state.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Eze Madumere, said this while addressing journalists shortly after performing a tee off of the first ever Four Clubs Caddies between the age of 12 and 25.
The event was organised by West African Golf Tour Academy at the Arsenal Golf Course, Obinze Owerri west, Imo state.
The Deputy Governor described golf as one of the sporting activities that has not been given the needed promotion in the state, promising that the Okorocha administration would help to bring back the past glory of the game.
“Golf is one of the sports that has not really been promoted, it needs to be showcased more in Imo state and Nigeria at large.
“Although we have Oguta Golf Course, Arsenal Golf Course and other wonderful places one can easily come down and play, some people look the other way because of the wrong impression that golf is an elitist sports.
“I disagree. I feel the problem is because people do not get to see people who play golf around them like other sports.
“It takes one to influence another. I therefore urge golfers around others to also help to encourage youngsters by talking to them about golf.”
Speaking generally on sports development in the state, he said the state appreciates the importance of sports in relation to its role as a career line and taking children off the street.
He averred that the government is doing a lot in sports development especially at the foundation level, which he described as strategic.
Furthermore, Madumere congratulated the organisers of the game and promised to confer with Governor Rochas Okorocha to support the golf project with hindsight of its value chain especially in tourism.
The Deputy Governor after tee-off was conducted round the golf course by the captain of the Arsenal Country Golf Course Club, Mr Emeka Ohaegbu, who expressed gratitude to the governor for giving hope to the young golf players.
The Federal Government has successfully completed a 100-unit housing estate in Imo State under the Ministerial Pilot Housing Project of the Ministry of Power, Works and Hosing.
The project was built through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to provide low cost housing for public workers across Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, said the Federal Government through the ministry would continue to strive to ensure that the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria was surmounted.
He added that it was government’s plan to build mass housing units across the country for public workers over the next three years through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.
The minister was speaking in company of the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, who represented Governor Rochas Okorocha at the commissioning of the housing unit at Naze industrial layout in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
He explained that national housing models have been designed and approved for each geo-political zone, to ensure the use of standard building materials.
“This housing unit is a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement which will be affordable to Nigerians, especially public servants.
“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has signed a two billion Naira MoU with Shelter Afri (an African shelter company), to build affordable houses for Nigerians.
“So I want to call on workers in Imo State to take advantage of this scheme,” Shehuri said.
Hope To Middle Class Earners
Commending the Federal Government for the project, Mr Madumere said the project would go a long way to complement the policies of the State Government in providing affordable housing units for workers in the state.
He disclosed that the State Government was already in talks with the labour union in Imo State on the matter.
“This housing scheme is apt and what the state needs at this critical time; Imo residents need roofs over their heads. This is giving hope to the middle class earners.
“For us, it is a commendable effort. My leader and Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, is ever ready to continue to partner with the Federal Government in such programmes and projects, since it is geared towards making life better for the people of Imo State,” the Deputy Governor said.
In his address, the Managing Director of the mortgage bank, Mr Richard Esin, said the bank and the project have become effective vehicles through which the Federal Government actualises its policy for the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.
He added that with the consistent contributions of the National Housing Fund Scheme, Nigerian workers would become eligible for mortgage loans at concessionary interest rates of 6% per annum.
“Through this scheme, over 2200 houses have been built for public workers by the Federal Government in all the six geo-political zones of the country. This in turn will surely address the housing deficit in the country,” Mr Esin said.
Climax of the occasion was the launch and cutting of the tape of the housing estate as the dignitaries were taken on a tour round the facility.
The 100-unit housing estate comprises of 48 units of 3-bedroom fully detached bungalows, 40 units of 2-bedroom semi-detached bungalows and 12 units of 1-bedroom terrace.
As disclosed by the mortgage bank, the sum of 592.3 million Naira was invested for the development of the 100-unit housing estate.
The Imo State government has commissioned a 24-hour emergency response centre aimed at delivering quality healthcare to the people of the state.
Governor Rochas Okorocha explained that the gesture by the state government was to address the deficiencies in the health sector.
He added that it would also cater for the tough challenges faced by people with petty and immediate health issues before being referred to a bigger hospital for treatment.
The Governor enjoined the people of the state to take advantage of the newly commissioned facility.
He noted that his administration was committed to delivering quality and qualitative healthcare to the people of the state, saying it has been demonstrated in the building of 27 general hospitals across the state and the ‘health at your door step initiative’.
The launch comes few days after the state government floated a new airline for commercial purposes.
In her address, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Ngozi Njoku, revealed that the centre, which is located in the heart of Owerri, has state of the art medical facilities that can cater for immediate health challenges.
She said it also has a 24-hours rapid response telephone services and stationed ambulances to help discharge its primary duties as stipulated.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was a special guest at the event, commended the Imo State government for the development.
Professor Adewole described it as a laudable gesture that would add value to the healthcare delivery system in the state.
Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, has disclosed that no fewer than 15 governors, ambassadors and other top government functionaries are expected to participate in the December 28 event at the Carnival Calabar 2016.
Ayade disclosed this to newsmen at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar shortly on arrival from the maiden edition of Imo carnival held in Owerri, the Imo State capital, were he and over 250 carnival troupe from Cross River State participated.
The Governor described the synergy as a welcome development as it will promote healthy competition, confirming that “a lot of governors have indicated that they will be here for our carnival this year.”
Offering further insight on his participation in the maiden Imo carnival, Ayade explained that, “Rochas thought it was wise for me to participate in the Imo Carnival to add value to the event as well as offer them the opportunity to learn from the masters themselves”, adding that with this kind of synergy and collaboration, “you will see the carnival taking a different level”.
Ayade who was not unmindful of the fact that Imo Carnival is starting stronger and may likely become a brand to reckon with said: “I have no fear in my mind that with the way Governor Rochas Okorocha is going, he is definitely going to give Carnival Calabar a big fight in the next one or two years.
“Like I promised Nigerians and indeed tourists all over the world, this year’s Carnival will be something to remember because of its rich content and it is taking a different dimension.
“As we speak, I just received a message from an international agency which will be revealed”.
Ayade further said: “With all these taking place, Cross River will soon become a final signature not just for Carnival but for tourism in sub-Saharan Africa which is why we taught it wise to build a special tourism city known as Calas Vegas to be sited in Calabar twin island to complement these efforts to attract more visitors”.
The Imo State Government has cancelled all agreements entered into by the leaders of oil producing communities in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Local Government Areas with oil companies operating in the areas.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, announced the agreement cancellation on Wednesday at a meeting with stakeholders and traditional rulers from Oguta and Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State at the Imo International Conference Centre in Owerri, the state’s capital.
He said the decision had become pertinent following complaints by the people of the affected communities that their leaders and elites from had short-changed them with such Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by collaborating with the oil companies. The residents have threatened to take the laws into their hands for such reason, a decision the governor believes would be forestalled by the cancellation of the agreement.
He further directed that such MoUs would now be signed between the communities and oil companies with the full involvement of the government so that the locals would not be schemed out of such exercises.
The governor regretted that the oil companies had leveraged on the dubious activities of some leaders in the affected communities to deny the communities what should be due to them for the development of the areas.
“The oil companies have been reported to have always been insensitive to the plights of the oil producing communities and they have continued to adopt divide and rule tactics in the communities to achieve their selfish aims.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that my administration would no longer fold its hands and watch the oil companies cheat the oil producing communities again. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
“Henceforth, the government will be actively involved in all the agreements reached with all the oil companies operating in Imo State. It is not like that in other oil producing states. This time around things will definitely take a new tone,” the Governor said.
Ohaji Egbema and Oguta communities are the two oil producing communities in Imo state and overtime residents have continued to complain of marginalisation and underdevelopment.
The Federal Government has flagged off the Rice Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Imo State, to provide farmers with credit facility made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The programme was launched on Sunday at the Imo State International Conference Centre in Owerri, the state’s capital in southeast Nigeria.
Governor Rochas Okorocha explained that the aim was to provide food and guarantee food security in the country.
He added that the development was also targeted at empowering the teeming unemployed youths and create the much needed dividends of democracy to the people.
Governor Okorocha called on the people of the state, especially farmers to support the programme, which he described as a “laudable gesture by the CBN”.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace agriculture as Nigeria battles with recession, disclosing that the sum of nine billion Naira has been earmarked to support farmers in the state for the programme.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources in the state, Udo Aguoha, also highlighted the benefits of the programme.
The event was witness by the Kebbi State Governor, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu and representatives from the CBN led by the Head of Development Finance, Mrs Nkechi Osuji.
Mrs Osuji revealed that Kebbi State government had already gotten access to 20 billion Naira credit facility on the programme.
With the support, she expressed hope that the state government would harvest at least one million tonnes of locally made rice by the end of 2016.
Governor Bagudu, on his part, corroborated Osuji’s disclosure.
He commended the Federal Government for the intervention programme, saying it would help to cushion the effect of the economic recession in Nigeria.
The Rice Anchor Borrowers’ programme is an initiative of the Federal Government through the CBN and its primary aim is to provide credit facilities to rice farmers.
It is targeted at encouraging local production, reduce rice importation as well as providing food and job security for the citizenry.