Imo Govt Seals Rochas College In Owerri

 

A photo combination of Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma and Senator Rochas Okorocha.
A photo combination of Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma and Senator Rochas Okorocha.

 

The Imo State Government on Tuesday sealed off the premises of the Rochas Foundation College in Owerri.

The College is owned by former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha.

According to the state government, the College was sealed off to implement the recommendation on a white paper report by a Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Recovery of Lands and other related matters which alleged that Mr Okorocha had acquired the property illegally.

READ ALSO: President Buhari To Meet With ALL Senators On Tuesday

Mr Okorocha, who is currently serving in the ninth Senate, was Governor of Imo State between 2011 and 2019.

In February, he was arrested by police for allegedly breaking into a government-sealed building in Owerri but was subsequently released.

He has denied any wrongdoing and accused current Imo state Governor Hope Uzodinnma of a witch-hunt.

Illegally acquired?

Tuesday’s seal-off was implemented by a task force set up by the state government to implement a judicial commission’s white paper recommendations.

According to the state government, the white paper report recommended that the state government should recover the property which, according to the state masterplan, was owned by the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation, serving as the staff quarters.

The Imo state government sealed off Rochas Foundation College on July 13, 2021.
The Imo state government sealed off Rochas Foundation College on July 13, 2021.

 

However, according to the state government, the staff were forcefully ejected and the property was illegally acquired by then Governor Okorocha to build his Rochas Foundation College.

Meanwhile, Okorocha has described the action of the state government as a political vendetta urging the Uzodimma-led administration to face governance and stop any vendetta mission against perceived opposition.

Speaking through his spokesperson Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said the true position is that some part of the land was reallocated legally to Rochas Foundation by the Ministry of Land which followed due process.

According to Onwuemeodo, over 4,000 children from Imo state are enjoying free education in the school.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also sealed off the premises in 2019.

Nobody Can Tell Me Why APC Should Not Win Next Election – Uzodinma

 

The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma says no one at moment can give him a reason why the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not be reelected in the next general elections. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Uzodinma challenged Nigerians to give reasons why the ruling party should not win the 2023 polls.

Uzodinma said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has performed well and should be applauded.

While responding to a question of whether more governors from the Southeast would defect to the APC, the governor said, “Not just from the South-east, many governors in Nigeria will join the APC”.

READ ALSO: Suspension: FG Should Have Sued Twitter, Not Place A Ban – Falana

Imo APC Faction Expels Hope Uzodinma
A file photo of Governor Hope Uzodinma.

“Part of the problem of this government is the deliberate attempt by some group of people to pull (it) down.

“Because nobody is telling me that this government is not performing, that salaries are not being paid or that the roads are not being constructed or the railway is not going or the various intervention funds to empower our youths are not being given out.

“Nobody has come in concrete terms to accuse this government of one failure or the other. All we hear is that herdsmen and farmers are fighting and for that reason, 200 people are kidnapped. People are shot down there, people are killed there.

“What do you want the government to do? We must be realistic. I believe in pragmatism. I believe in doing things right. Can anybody come and tell me one, two, three, four reasons why this APC should not win in the next election?

“All I hear is that because of insecurity this, insecurity that. But you send people out in the night to go and cause trouble and use it in the day to blame the government,” the governor said in reference to the high rate of insecurity in the country.

‘I Alone Cannot Restore Security In Imo’

Speaking on the crisis in Imo state, Governor Uzodinma called on fellow leaders to join hands to bring an end to the insecurity in the state, noting that himself alone cannot restore security.

He appealed to all stakeholders including traditional rulers, religious leaders, and politicians, to engage more with the issues in order to engender peace in the country.

He also stated that former political office holders who have failed to speak out against the security crisis in the country have questions to answer.

According to him, if all leaders speak out condemning perpetrators of insecurity, a lot of changes would be visible.

“Anybody worth his onions as a leader should be able to speak out. How many of them are speaking out.

“How many of them are condemning what is going on. rather what you see is leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, the governor said.

He also stated that anyone found culpable in the destruction of government property would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

‘I Alone Cannot Restore Security In Imo’ – Uzodinma

 

The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has called on fellow leaders to join hands to bring an end to the insecurity in the state, noting that himself alone cannot restore security.

He made the appeal on Tuesday while addressing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House.

Governor Uzodinma called on stakeholders including traditional rulers, religious leaders and politicians, to engage more with the issues in order to engender peace in the country.

He also stated that former political office holders who have failed to speak out against the security crisis in the country have questions to answer.

Read Also: Police Operatives Rescue Five Kidnap Victims In Kaduna

According to him, if all leaders speak out condemning perpetrators of insecurity, a lot of changes would be visible.

“Anybody worth his onions as a leader should be able to speak out. How many of them are speaking out.

“How many of them are condemning what is going on. rather what you see is leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, the governor said.

He also stated that anyone found culpable in the destruction of government property would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

PDP, APC Trade Words Over Insecurity In Imo

 

A war-of-words has ensued in Imo State regarding the security situation which has continued to be a thing of great concern for the Imo people and Nigeria as a whole. 

Reacting to what it termed a continually degenerating situation, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday asked Governor Hope Uzodinma to resign.

The opposition party urged the governor to throw in the towel, arguing that he (Uzodinma) has failed to secure the lives and property of the Imo people.

At a conference in Owerri, the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Charles Ugwu, said the call has become necessary because of an evident lack of the capacity of the ruling party to guarantee the safety and security of lives and property in Imo.

READ ALSO: Gulak’s Death: A Clear Case Of Political Assassination – Gov Uzodinma

According to Ugwu, emerging developments suggest that the governor has no answer to the spate of killings in the state.

The PDP urged the Federal Government to set up a high-powered panel to investigate the actual cause behind the gruesome murder of former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak, which occurred in the state on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the Imo State Government through the commissioner of information Declan Emelumba said the statement credited to the PDP over the present state of insecurity in Imo is a clear case of self-indictment of the party as the real perpetrators of the chaos.

Emelumba called on security agencies not to wait for any further evidence in arresting and prosecuting the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party in the state for fueling unrest.

He asserted that the PDP in several fora has made it clear that they will make the state ungovernable for Governor Uzodinma, adding that the recent happenings in the state are a clear manifestation of PDP’s plans which was escalated by the gruesome murder of Mr Gulak.

We Will Crush Anyone That Attempts To Attack Imo Again – Uzodinma

File photo of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has asked residents to ignore rumours of a planned attack, warning that his administration would crush anyone attempting to attack Imo people again.

He described reports making rounds that hoodlums were targeting some institutions and government facilities in the state as unfounded.

“Imo people and residents should go about their businesses without fear of molestation or harassment. What happened in the past weeks will never repeat itself again,” Uzodinma was quoted as saying via a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesman, Oguwike Nwachuku.

“We will crush anybody that attempts to cause mayhem or attack Imo people again. Government cannot surrender to blackmailers, hoodlums and perpetrators of violence who have sworn to make the State ungovernable.”

READ ALSO: Treat Military Plane Crashes As National Emergency, CAN Tells Buhari

Speaking after a church service at the Government House Chaplaincy in Owerri, Governor Uzodimma said that such rumours were designed to put fears in the mind of Imo people and assured them that no such thing would happen.

He also seized the opportunity to reiterate his earlier stand that those perpetrating the violence and evil are mostly not Igbo people but hired machinery, insisting that the government under his watch will not allow those who visited mayhem on the people to operate again in the state.

Uzodinma reiterated that over 400 of those who carried out the threats on the state in the past have been arrested and undergoing trials in the courts, adding, “the good thing there is that over 70 percent of them are not Igbos.”

While enjoining Imo citizens to “feel free so long as you are not a criminal,” Uzodinma advised those planning to visit the state with any form of violence to have a rethink as “government is more than ever ready and prepared to keep Imo safe and secured.”

Those Behind Violence In Imo Will Be Exposed Soon, Says Uzodinma


 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, says security agencies are compiling a comprehensive report to reveal the sponsors of violence in the state.

He gave the hint on Wednesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today where he highlighted the government’s effort at restoring peace in Imo.

“I want to allow the security agencies to do their job and because the matter is still under investigation; I don’t want to pre-empt the investigations that are going on.

“But I can assure you that sooner than later, you will see a comprehensive report that will expose identities of those behind what has happened in Imo State and what is possibly happening in other states of the country,” the governor said.

He was reacting to the attacks on security facilities in the state, including the incidents at the Custodial Centre and Police Headquarters in Owerri, the state capital.

According to him, Nigeria is a federation and people can see the trend of crime and violence in various parts of the country.

Governor Uzodinma insisted that the present security challenges in Imo and some other states were being sponsored by those bent on bringing down the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.

A file photo of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

 

‘Our National Treasure’

He alleged that some politicians were taking advantage of the security problems to score political points ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The governor stated that Nigerians would be shocked when the identities of the sponsors of violence were revealed, saying that would be done soon.

On the creation of state police, he faulted those blaming President Muhammadu Buhari as he argued that it was not in the President’s power to make that happen.

Governor Uzodinma said, “You don’t blame challenges of governance when it has to do with security on President Muhammadu Buhari because he is not the author of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“I was in the 7th Senate and we did everything to amend the Constitution to allow for state police, we carried out a public hearing but it was voted out. In the 8th Senate, we did everything to allow for state police, it was voted out.”

“President Muhammadu Buhari is not in the National Assembly and he cannot work outside the Constitution he has sworn to defend. If you want state police, call on the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to allow for the creation of state police.

“The President cannot amend the Constitution on his own and he cannot administratively create state police, he will be violating his oath of office. Let us not allow our selfish interests and ambitions blindfold us to the extent that we will do things that will destroy the country – that is our national treasure,” he added.

‘Think Twice And Save Our Country’, Uzodinma Tells Politicians ‘Sponsoring’ Violence

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has insisted that the violence in parts of the country were sponsored by those he described as aggrieved politicians.

He also asked politicians in the country to take responsibility as the government makes effort to tackle the security challenges in the country.

“I have said this times without number that the crisis that is happening today in Nigeria is sponsored,” said the governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

He added, “I don’t want to pre-empt the investigation that we are carrying out currently but at the end of the day, when the report is ready, Nigerians will know the truth.

“I want to challenge those politicians who are aggrieved, who had the opportunity but could not deliver, to think twice and save our country because the unity and interest of this country are more important than any individual interest.”

In this file photo, a man is seen holding some guns tied together.

 

A New Government?

Governor Uzodinma alleged that the present security challenges in Imo and some other states were being sponsored by those bent on bringing down the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.

He also claimed that some politicians were taking advantage of the security problems to score political points ahead of the 2023 general elections.

According to the governor, a comprehensive report is being compiled and Nigerians will be shocked when the identities of the sponsors of violence are revealed soon.

“What is happening in the country today, not only in Imo State, it not ordinary; from all indications, this is a sponsored programme by some people at it is targeted at the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC, and the whole idea is to discredit this government, whether rightly or wrongly with a view to coming up in 2023 to see how they can put in a new government,” he said.

Governor Uzodinma added “I want to say that politics must be played with some level of decorum, people must have consciences, people must do things with the fear of God.

“This government of President Muhammadu Buhari must be allowed to function… let us support him and build our country. This is the only country we have and we have no other country that we can call our own.”

Attack On Uzodinma’s House Is Taking Criminality To Reckless Heights – NGF

A photo combination of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and his country home in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has condemned the attack on the country home of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

In a statement on Sunday by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the governors described the incident as taking criminality to reckless and irresponsible heights.

According to them, those responsible for the attack must be mindful that they do not have the monopoly of violence.

The governor stated that all hands must be on deck to apprehend the attackers whom they said constituted a small league of persons trying to harm the corporate existence of the nation.

Rather than engaging in criminal acts, the governors believe the mantra for every Nigerian at such a challenging time should be how to forge peace and unity across Nigeria’s divides and to shun violence and wanton destruction.

A screenshot taken on April 25, 2021, shows the residence of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Omuma.

 

They sympathised with Governor Uzodinma and condoled with the victims of the incident which occurred on Saturday morning.

The governors also called on Nigerians to cooperate with the nation’s security agencies and the government to build a civil, safe, and secure environment for the people.

Channels Television had reported that the assailants, numbering about 15 driving in a motorcade of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper loaded with used tyres, stormed Governor Uzodinma’s residence in Omuma in an attempt to burn down the house.

They were, however, repelled by the security operatives attached to the governor’s house, but some vehicles parked on the premises were burnt.

Read the statement from the NGF below:

Razing of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Country Home – Message from Colleagues

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum deeply sympathises with Governor Hope Uzodinma and commiserates with all those that have been injured, maimed, or killed.

The Forum calls on all good citizens to cooperate with the nation’s security forces and the government in trying to build a civil, safe, and secure environment for our citizens.

For those behind these crimes, they must understand that they do not have the monopoly of violence. This is taking criminality to reckless and irresponsible heights.

All hands must be on deck to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act as in our view, they constitute a small league of persons trying to harm the corporate existence of our beloved country, Nigeria.

The mantra for every Nigerian at such a challenging time in our history must be how to forge peace and unity across the nation’s divides and to shun violence and wanton destruction.

Only then can we have a country to call our own.

Dr. John Kayode Fayemi

Governor of Ekiti State &

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

‘Uzodinma Has Stirred The Hornets’ Nest’: IPOB Reacts To Killing Of Commander

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on May 28, 2017, supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) march through the Osusu district in Aba.  STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP

 

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to the killing of one of its leaders, saying Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, “will pay dearly”.

The Nigerian Army on Saturday said it had led a combined team of security forces to raid “the operational Headquarters of the IPOB/ESN terrorists in Awomama Village, Oru East LGA of Imo State.”

During the raid, Ikonso – who the Army said was the mastermind of the April 5 attacks on the Imo State Police Command and the Owerri Correctional Center, in addition to multiple attacks in the South East and South South regions – was neutralised along with six of his top Commanders.

IPOB, in a statement signed by spokesman Emma Powerful on Saturday, said “the killing of the heroic innocent Biafrans protecting our communities and towns from Fulani terrorists herdsmen masquerading as cattle herders in cold blood is very painful.”

READ ALSO: Security Forces Bust IPOB HQ, Kill Number Two Man – Army

The statement added that “the Supreme Court Administrator of Imo State Hope Uzodinma and all those who had a hand in this wickedness will pay dearly.

“Hope Uzodinma and his cowardly Nigerian security agencies that cannot confront Fulani terrorists but only flex their muscles when they see Biafra agitators. For murdering Ikonso, the ESN unit COMMANDER in in cold blood, Uzodima has stirred the hornet nest! He should get ready for a sting.

“Uzodima decided to kill Ikonso because he refused his offer to head Ebubeagu ghost security outfit formed by South East governors. Uzodima has tried but without success to lure ESN operatives into EBUBEAGU. He had made irresistible offers to them which were turned down, hence his resorting to elimination of these patriotic heroes who vowed never to betray Biafra.

“Hope Uzodinma sent a lot of emissaries to beg Ikonso and other ESN officers to join EBUBEAGU security outfit. So, because of their refusal to betray Biafra agitation and our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the hopeless governor mobilized joint security forces to attack them today.

“Contrary to claims by the cowardly security forces who flee from terrorists but kill innocent citizens, they were not able to peneterate into the camp of Eastern Security Network ESN. They only ambushed Ikonso but we promise them hell for this cowardly act!

“Hope Uzodima has murdered sleep, so he should be ready to stay awake! FULANI terrorists pretending as cattle sellers in Enugu destroyed Police van and attacked Government officials on lawful duty with AK-47 but no Army, police or DSS attacked them till now. But ESN operatives defending our communities against the terrorists are being hunted like games everyday. The world has kept quiet over this atrocity until we begin our own madness.

“Hope Uzodinma as you the body of Ikonso was paraded by Fulani Jihadists in police and Nigerian army, so shall it be your portion one day.”

Gunmen Attack Governor Uzodinma’s House In Imo

 

Gunmen have attacked the country home of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state

They were said to have invaded the governor’s village house in the early hours of Saturday, before torching it.

The Commissioner of Information in the state, Declan Emelumba, confirmed the attack to Channels Television via a telephone conversation.

 

He however explained that the attack was repelled by a combined team of security operatives attached to the house.

“Gallant security operatives this morning repelled an attack on the Omuma country home of the governor of Imo State, Sen Hope Uzodimma,” he said via a statement.

READ ALSO: 50 Suspects Arrested Over Imo Attacks, Says Uzodinma

 

A photo combination of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma and his country home in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state.

 

“At about 9 am today, Saturday, April 24th, a group of hoodlums numbering about 15 driving in a motorcade of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper loaded with used tyres, stormed the country home of the governor in Omuma,  Oru East  LGA and attempted to burn down the house.

 

“However, vigilant security operatives attached to the Governor’s house successfully repelled the attack and consequently minimised the damage they had planned to unleash.

“In the crossfire that ensued a few casualties were recorded.  Preliminary investigation suggests that the foiled attack may have been politically sponsored.”

The commissioner noted that security agencies have been asked to investigate the incident, promptly apprehend the sponsors and their agents and bring them to justice

Although it could not be ascertained if there was any loss of life, reports say two security operatives were killed during the attack.

 

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but sources alleged that the attackers are suspected members of the Eastern Security Network of IPOB.

According to eyewitnesses, one security detail in the compound was shot in the process.

The attack comes barely 24 hours after Governor Uzodinma accused politicians of funding banditry to run down the present administration.

Briefing reporters shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, the governor condemned the recent attacks by armed bandits on communities, especially in the northern part of the country, challenged the security agencies to urgently reveal the names of their sponsors.

He also condemned the call for secession, stressing that criminals particularly in Imo were a combination of individuals within and outside the state.

Imo State has been experiencing series of attacks lately.

50 Suspects Arrested Over Imo Attacks, Says Uzodinma

 

Following the attacks on the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service and the Nigeria Police in Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodinma said about 50 suspects have been arrested.

Gunmen had invaded the two public facilities on April 5, razing down the institutions and freeing over 1,800 inmates.

During the attack, one person suspected to be a fleeing inmate was hit by a bullet while carrying his travel bag.

But speaking during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa on Friday, the Imo State Governor said the arrested suspects are helping security agencies with useful statements.

READ ALSO: At Least One Dead As Gunmen Attack Imo Prison, Police Headquarters

“As at the last count, we arrested almost 40 to 50 people, who also made useful statements and confessed to the crime,” he said.

“I continue to tell you that this issue of banditry is something that we must all rise up as people to condemn and then support security agencies to be able to provide an enabling environment for people to go about their businesses, without fear of any molestation.”

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, visits President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on April 23, 2021.

 

He also blamed the criminal activities happening across the country on opposition elements, insisting that they were funding criminals to discredit President Buhari’s administration.

While condemning the recent attacks by armed bandits on communities, especially in the northern part of the country, Governor Uzodinma challenged the security agencies to urgently reveal the names of their sponsors.

The Imo governor also condemned the call for secession, stressing that criminals particularly in Imo were a combination of individuals within and outside the state.

He added, “What people are doing is to sponsor crisis to the extent that those funding banditry are politicians and I challenge and call on the security agencies to make their names available to the press because what they want to do is to distract a government that is focused.”

Politicians Funding Banditry To Run Down Buhari’s Govt, Says Uzodinma

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has accused politicians of funding banditry to run down the present administration.

He made the allegation on Friday while briefing reporters shortly after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The governor who condemned the recent attacks by armed bandits on communities, especially in the northern part of the country, challenged the security agencies to urgently reveal the names of their sponsors.

He also condemned the call for secession, stressing that criminals particularly in Imo were a combination of individuals within and outside the state.

“What people are doing is to sponsor crisis to the extent that those funding banditry are politicians and I challenge and call on the security agencies to make their names available to the press because what they want to do is to distract a government that is focused,” the governor said.

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, visits President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on April 23, 2021.

 

He told reporters that it was necessary for Nigerians to offer more support for the Federal Government to weed out sponsors of crisis and enemies of progress in the country.

Governor Uzodinma stated that since the inception of the present administration about six years ago, it has been fulfilling its promises of providing infrastructure, jobs, and social interventions, among others to the people.

He, however, said it was not out of place to criticise a government for not doing well, noting that he would be one of the first set of people to call it out.

“This country is blessed by God. From 2015 to date, I thought what the problem would be people saying there is no job creation, that people are not feeding, that salaries are not being paid, that infrastructure is going down, that social interventions are not approved by the government, but these things are available.

“A pass mark for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. A situation where you will leave the ethical way of playing politics to sponsor banditry to bring down a government, we should rise up and condemn it – all of us,” the governor said.