Against the backdrop of claims by Governor Rochas Okorocha that he would build houses for former governors of the State, his immediate predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim has come hard on him again.
In an apparent response to the governor’s posture, Ohakim asked to be left alone by accusing the State governor of engaging in primitive acquisition, especially in the area of alleged takeover of government property.
According to a statement from Ohakim signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Collins Ughala, Ohakim alleged that the governor has acquired for himself some government property.
The statement tagged “Dr Ikedi Ohakim Deserves Praises” states as follows;
“Those who have followed Governor Okorocha’s recent media outing would know that His Excellency Dr Ikedi Ohakim deserves praises both from Governor Okorocha and the people of Imo State for rendering selfless service to the people for the four years he was Governor, 2007-2011.
“Governor Okorocha had in a media briefing with journalists at the Government House on Thursday, April 19, 2018, confessed that Dr Ikedi Ohakim and other former governors were not corrupt, did not acquire wealth and left office as governor’s poor, to the extent that he is now building houses for them and to celebrate them.
Since Governor Okorocha said Ohakim does not have a house, is not corrupt and did not acquire wealth, contrary to false accusations he had leveled against him for seven years now, it means Ohakim deserves praises.
“A governor should not be talking anyhow. This is why we had advised that a governor should behave with decorum, and that governance is not the same thing as wearing pampas. In 2012 and 2013 Okorocha said he had built houses for Ohakim and Udenwa, and in 2018 he is still building the houses. This is why no one takes him serious anymore.
“Okorocha had also on live television accused Ohakim of embezzling N100bn and owning 50 houses in the whole of Owerri, with 10 houses at Wetheral Road alone, a hotel in South Africa and other foreign investments. Today Okorocha has confessed that those allegations are false and that Ohakim is not corrupt, does not own a house and did not acquire wealth. This is why we had said that Okorocha has run amok and that he needs a team of psychiatrists to attend to him before he runs off naked to the market.
“Dr Ikedi Ohakim ran one of the best administrations in Nigeria and was preoccupied with governance and rendering selfless service to the people that wealth acquisition never crossed his mind. All the lands Okorocha has acquired for himself, such as the IBC quarters Orji which he turned to Rochas Foundation College, the Orlu Road Secretariat which he has turned to WODDI Center, Ekeukwu Owerri which he has turned to his shopping mall, Nkwo Orji where lockup and open shops are being sold for him by proxy developers, Old Stadium at Tetlow Road which he has turned to Rochas Foundation Sports Academy, etc, were there but Ohakim did not acquire them. Sam Mbakwe, Evan Enwerem, Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim were not fools but they never eyed any public assets. If they had acquired public assets Okorocha would have met nothing on ground to acquire.
“This inordinate acquisition of wealth by Okorocha and other anti people actions have since alienated him from Imo people who are embarrassed at the indecorous conducts of their Governor to the extent that they no longer take him serious.
“To show that Okorocha is not a leader that Imo people should take serious and obey the whole world is watching to see how many communities will comply and pay the illegal N6M monthly levy without government’s use of coercion.
“Henceforth His Excellency Dr Ikedi Ohakim will not be joining issues with Okorocha who has from all indications run amok and not regarded by the people, who have consistently shown his belief in the mundane.
“Dr Ikedi Ohakim does not believe that happiness derives from the number of wealth one acquires. Therefore he does not need any house from Okorocha. He urges Okorocha to save himself the pain of building any house for him and rather use the money to pay pensions and gratuities of retired civil servants, including retired Judges who have not been paid their pension and gratuity for four years now.
“The level of excruciating pain, hunger and poverty in Imo State today is as a result of Okorocha’s wanton acquisition of public assets, including the collapse of the health system and the economy since he assumed office. But Imo people should rest assured that Ohakim will return in 2019 to correct these anomalies and move Imo State forward.
“Ohakim will come back to run a government where no one will acquire public assets, where inordinate acquisition of wealth and public assets will be anathema; where selfless service will be the overall guiding principle and governor behaves with decorum: a government where inferior projects will be banished, traders and artisans allowed to do their businesses and live meaningful lives”.
“Ohakim handed over power to Okorocha and he knows what he handed over. When he comes back he will ensure that the civil service and the local government system regain their lost glory with vibrant and satisfied civil servants, a government that places premium on the payment of salaries, pension and gratuities and honours its contractual obligations, not a government that is always in court with the people, that is always fighting the people it is supposed to serve and protect. Ohakim will run a government where no one will grab people’s lands nor destroy their sources of income, a government run with transparency and fear of God; a government where development partners will find the confidence to invest and create jobs for the over One Million unemployed Imo youths.
“Ohakim will run a government where resentment will not show up nor be encouraged by the government against the people, the elite or any other segment of the society. Imo people are proud people who love each other and the government should not be spreading or encouraging resentment amongst them. He will run a government everyone will be proud to call “Our Government”. He will not loot because he did not loot before. He will not acquire wealth or public assets because he did not do that before. He has been living happily with his family in his three-bedroom bungalow at Prefab, the only house he has in the whole of Owerri which was built in 1992. He will not be greedy because he was not greedy. He can be trusted. He will deliver”.
Efforts to get the reaction of Okorocha’s Media Aide on the allegations Ohakim leveled against the Governor proved abortive as the phone number of the media aide was not available as at Press time.
Meanwhile, another governorship aspirant from All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA, Hon Uche Onyeagocha has asked the Okorocha to make public the names of contractors handling projects in Imo State since he became governor to debunk the allegation that all projects executed are through proxy by using surrogates.
While demanding to know the identity of the government contractors since no sign post gives details of the names and supervising ministry or agency, Onyeagocha challenged Okorocha to publish within two weeks, the list of the names of all the companies or face appropriate legal action in two weeks time.
Meanwhile, in a WASAP reaction by the Imo State Commissioner for Information, Prof Nnamdi Obiaraeri, against the allegations of obtaining Imo State property leveled against Okorocha by Hon Uche Onyeagocha and His Excellency, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, the Commissioner said all the allegations lack merit and are baseless, challenging both men to provide evidences that Okorocha acquired such property.
According to the reaction obtained online, Obiaraeri stated that “Onus of proof lies with the accuser. I challenge Ohakim and Uche Onyeagocha to prove their allegations against the Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha”.