Uzodimma: Crude Oil Thieves Should Not Be Treated As Sacred Cows

Governor Uzodimma of Imo State.

 

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has urged the Federal Government to identify the brains behind crude oil theft in Nigeria and bring them to justice.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja, he asserted that the act is a cancer that must be dealt with to stabilize the economy.

He warned against treating perpetrators as sacred cows, underscoring that anyone involved in the practice must be brought to book irrespective of whose ox is gored.

READ ALSO: Buhari Laments Rising Insecurity, Says Resources Are Stretched

Governor Uzodimma maintained that attention should defocus on the single-faith presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Instead, he said the country should dwell on the dwindling crude oil production and the nation’s inability to produce substantial crude oil due to theft.

According to him, it is time to put an end to the Muslim-Muslim presidential candidate debate and leave Nigerians to decide whom to elect.

Uzodimma Never Advocated Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket, Says Imo Govt

A file photo of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

 

Imo State Government has debunked the claim by some media outlets that Governor Hope Uzodimma advocated a Muslim- Muslim ticket for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba in a statement in Owerri on Wednesday (June 14) said at no time did the governor canvass such a position.

He said rather, Uzodimma was emphatic that religion was not mentioned as a factor in the Constitution for the election of a President or his Vice, adding that what the country needed was a good government that will accommodate the religious and ethnic diversity of the country.

“How can this position amount to advocating for Muslim/ Muslim presidential ticket?” the Commissioner asked.

He regretted that mischief makers twisted the answer given by Uzodimma to State House Correspondents.

READ ALSO: Without Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket, APC May Not Win In 2023, Says Orji Kalu

Emelumba noted that the exact words of Uzodimma on the choice of a Vice Presidential candidate was that it was the prerogative of the presidential candidate alone to choose, not him or the governors.

“His Excellency made it clear that there is no part of the Constitution where religion is a factor in choosing the  president or his vice.”

“What we are looking for is good governance that will unite the country and take cognizance of every tribe, every religion and every denomination,” he quickly added.

He said Uzodimma was emphatic that APC was looking for a ticket that will face the issue of governance squarely and not to talk of divisive issues.

The commissioner enjoined those in doubt of what the governor said to obtain a clip of the recording from channels television.

He deplored a situation where the governor will be deliberately misquoted for ulterior motives.

Mr Emelumba further noted that the governor was clear that the choice of a running mate for the APC presidential candidate was not his to make.

He wondered: “How then can the same governor at the same time be advocating which religion or tribe that should be the running mate of the presidential candidate.

“It  just doesn’t add up,” the commissioner declared.

2023: Calls For Interim Govt In Place Of Election Will Lead To Anarchy – Uzodimma

A file photo of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

 

The Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has cautioned those calling for an interim administration at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, saying that it is tantamount to a call for anarchy.

Governor Uzodimma who gave this note of warning on Tuesday after a meeting with the President questioned the process of selecting such an interim government suggested by a prominent legal luminary, Afe Babalola recently.

Briefing State House Correspondents, he insisted that the constitution can be amended but not be abandoned.

Any superior arguments on the matter he notes should be taken through the due process at the National Assembly.

The Governor noted that the nation’s constitution has no room for an interregnum should an election not take place by May 29.

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Afe Babalola, had earlier advised the Federal Government at a press conference on Monday to suspend the 2023 elections to allow a six-month interim government after the President’s tenure.

This according to him will allow for the establishment of a new constitution that will address insecurity, and economic, and political challenges bedeviling the country.

“As soon as the President, the present government completes its term, do not hold a new election,” he proposed. “Rather let us have an interim government for a short period to discuss a new Constitution,” Bababola stated.

“This will consist of all retired presidents, vice Presidents, governors, and some selected people.”

Babalola also declared that the country was already bankrupt, citing the exchange rates of the naira to the dollar which he described as a free fall, as well as the level of external debt as the basis for his assertion.

“The naira, which was N199 to $1 in 2015, is now over N570 to a dollar,” he lamented. “The external debt which was $10.7 billion in 2015 is now over $38 billion. The government is borrowing more, and spending more.

“Moneybags now control the lever of powers, if we allow the present Constitution beyond 2023, what we will be getting is recycling leadership who will continue the old ways.”

The legal icon, who also expressed worry that politics has become a money-spinner and business venture in Nigeria, called for a new order whereby the legislature works run part-time.

Buhari Summons Uzodimma, Power Minister, Chief Economic Adviser

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma; the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu as well as the Chief Economic Adviser, Prof Doyin Salami to a meeting at the Presidential Villa.

According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President is scheduled to meet separately with them on Monday afternoon.

President Buhari is expected to receive a briefing on the latest developments in Imo State, the power sector, and the state of the economy.

READ ALSO: Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking To Halt Umahi’s Removal From Office

This is coming 24 hours after the President condemned the spate of violence in Imo State in the aftermath of the destruction of buildings, police assets, and the attack on the home of the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor. He also pledged to review the security situation in the southeast region.

President Buhari also voiced concerns last week over the frequent power outages, apologising to Nigerians and assuring them of quick relief to the situation.