The immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Friday told his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, that he was not elected the governor of the state to fight him.
This followed the report of a seven-man committee inaugurated by Ihedioha to investigate the status of the newly established tertiary institutions by Okorocha. The committee had recommended the sack of all the vice-chancellors, rectors and principal officers of the institutions.
But, reacting to the development, Okorocha, who is now the senator representing Imo West in the Senate, said the committee had no right to scrap the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education he established while in office.
The former governor said this in a statement issued by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo.
The statement read, “Going by the nomenclature and task given to the committee, which is committee on the review of newly established tertiary institutions, the chairman exceeded the job of the committee by announcing immediate takeover of the Eastern Palm University and scrapping the tertiary institutions built by Okorocha.
“Prof Jude Njoku’s action only showed the speed and zeal with which the government of the day wants to destroy all the landmark projects of the APC government in the state, which Senator Okorocha had headed.
“Scrapping the six universities, four polytechnics and three colleges of education built by Okorocha’s government, which have already taken off, with befitting structures on the ground and their operational licences obtained, was obviously counter-productive. It was not the best of actions.
“The government would have looked at the ideas or vision behind the building of the institutions and their impacts – both short and long term – and then take things easy with them, instead of being hasty in scrapping them.
“Obviously, the governor was looking at the man behind the institutions, Okorocha, instead of looking at their in-built merits both now and in the nearest future.”
Chairman of the committee, Prof Jude Njoku, in a press briefing in Owerri on Friday, urged the state government to recover the property belonging to the schools in the custody of the affected officials.
He said, “The appointment of all the vice-chancellors, rectors, principal officers and members of governing councils of the newly established tertiary institutions should be terminated by the government appropriately and all the properties belonging to those institutions recovered.”