Opinion: Imo Political Cabal and Obowo Council Funds By Kenneth Uwadi

By Kenneth Uwadi
The sense of self-congratulation and seeming detachment from reality of Governor Rochas Okorocha has left thousands of Imolites thunder-struck by the arrogance of a man who is determined to enslave Imo State further to his ridiculous ambition to continue to rule Imo willy-nilly. Even as respected and credible clergymen, Bishops and Archbishops in Imo State and outside the State have continued to attack the stupidity, undesirability and futility of Okorocha’s second term enterprise he is as shamelessly daring as ever. His confidence is curiously up because he believes his financial muscle and the weapon of state terror to intimidate opponents either into retreat or submission is with him.

The member representing Owerri Senatorial Zone at the Nigerian Senate, Senator Chris Anyanwu who spoke against his looting of state funds got a tiny dose of his medicine recently at the 2014 edition of Oru Owerri Cultural Festival. She was publicly insulted. Okorocha told the crowd that trooped out to the event not to allow a woman who slaps her husband in public to govern the state. Referring to Anyanwu who was present at the occasion, Okorocha said ‘’ You must not allow a prostitute, ono na di acho di (a married woman who has pleasure in sleeping around with other men) to govern or represent you anymore. You must not allow a slippers thrower and a husband beater to be your governor in 2015’’. He simply exhibited barbarism by referring to the distinguished senator as a prostitute. This calls to mind the last time he made a blanket statement calling all Imo women prostitutes at a rally in Orlu. Who knows, if Anyanwu was not a senator he probably would have sent his thugs after her as he did to Nigerian Horn Newspapers in 2011.

Okorocha went further to tell the crowed that time has come for them not to allow criminals and 419’s to occupy leadership position in Imo anymore. This statement is true for we all know the thieves and criminals that can never rule Imo again . The cabal (Okorocha, Uwajumogu and Ejiogu) can never rule Imo again. Some months ago, I told you that over 3 billion naira was looted and carted away by the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu. I told you that the Imo Speaker awarded fraudulent Road Contracts to himself in Imo State using his friends as fronts and used the money he got from the road contracts scams to acquire eye popping mansions in Nigeria.

I shouted because In the midst of abundant human and natural resources, the vast majority of Imo working masses live in abject poverty. The vast majority of Imolites are kept in unstable and difficult socio-economic conditions while a tiny fraction have exclusive access to things and comforts of life. I called Uwajumogu the International Thief Thief number one of Imo State.The entire money stolen by Uwajumogu alone is enough to begin to rebuild failed infrastructures in his Okigwe constituency.

The International Thief Thief number two that will never rule Imo again, another VIP (Vagabond in Power) is Jude Ejiogu. I told you that he stole 1billion naira from the Imo State LGA Pension fund when he was the Chairman of Local Government Service Commission. If your wealth is from people’s pensions then that is blood money. It is blood money because you cannot take away the sweat, the entitlements of an old man or an old woman who is looking up just to that little appreciation from his country and believe that you will live in peace. You cannot live in peace because the prayers of those old men at home will fight you.. I cried out because most Imolites but especially the poor, continue to suffer the effect of failing public health and education system as well as decrepit infrastructure and battered institutions. I highlighted what I saw as the dawn of naked impunity in Imo State.

I have also been pointing out how Governor Okorocha and his cabal looted Imo local government councils with facts and figures. I have talked about how they looted Ahiazu Mbaise council funds,Aboh Mbaise,Ehime Mbano, Ihitte Uboma, Owerri West, Owerri North, Oguta and Mbaitoli LGA’s. I will tell you the figures they looted in each of the 27 LGA’s of Imo State week by week but today I am talking about the looted council funds of Obowo LGA. From my research of Imo’s political economy under Governor Okorocha the quickest numerical comparison for Imo is that of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. With Okorocha’s style of treasury looting in combination with other thieving cabal like Mr Uwajumogu and Mr Ejiogu we have Ali Baba and fourty thieves stealing millions of Imo monies every day.

I am angry that the quantity and quality of life for the vast majority of Obowo people vis-à-vis the basic means of living have drastically plummeted. I am asking: where are the local roads, health care centres, modern schools and markets for Obowo people? Where are the projects for development in Obowo? Where is the N 4.4 billion naira that came from FG to Obowo LGA from May 2011 to December 2013. They don chop am.

Note also that during the building of city gates in Owerri about 300 contractors involved had applied for executing the city – gates projects, each of them was compelled to tender for the job at the cost of N260, 000, thus generating a whopping Seventy-Eight Million Naira (N78M) only to Okorocha’s purse before the contracts were cancelled and Okorocha denied ever awarding or directing anyone to award such contracts for city – gates meant to control payment of rent taxes for owners of properties in Owerri and its environs.

What about the illegal sand dredging from Nworie river? Okorocha had forced all road contractors to purchase sand from his secretly installed sand dredging machines at Nworie river, around Alvan Ikoku College of Education. When the authorities of the college complained bitterly of the menace his dredging machines were increasingly constituting, he threatened to cancel the certificate of occupancy given to the college long before it was converted to a federal institution and to annex their lands.

What about the mere 3km road that was awarded to JPROS, a Lebanese associate of Rochas Okorocha previously living in Jos, Plateau state as agbata ekie. While other contracts were yet to be officially documented, Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha had ordered full payment for the project said to be over – valued at N1.3Billion naira

What about the agbata ekie contract of the sum of N500Million naira of Imo funds to Chief Senator Annie Okonkwo for the construction of a shopping mall (shop rite) but there is nothing on ground to show for it in Imo state till date. What about another agbata ekie sum of N3.5Billion which was paid to the Managing Director of Homminpresa, another Lebanese for a contract awarded to it which has been abandoned till today.

I still remember that the contractor that handled the N1.3billion Imo state Judicial offices located almost opposite the Specialist Hospital, along Umuguma Federal Housing Estate road did accused the state Governor of collecting about N22.4 Million as bribe before releasing the initial 15% of the cost of construction to his Company Nnutouch Global Ventures. The Governor was accused of collecting the N22.4 Million bribe upfront out of the initial advance payment of N150M , forcing the contractor to stop further construction work at the site. What about the 16 billion naira ISOPADEC funds looted? Find below the total breakdown of money from FG to Obowo from May 2011 to December 2013

May 2011 N80,086,786.98

June 2011 N110,338,486.63

July 2011 N202,957,026.16

Aug 2011 N114,765,292.67

Sept 2011 N116,779,487.15

Oct 2011 N137,873,989.53

Nov 2011 N210,887,059.01

Dec 2011 N136,483,140.43

Jan 2012 N133,533,961.39

Feb 2012 N117,304,053.55

March 2012 N148,921,547.10

April 2012 N128,321,718.66

May 2012 N119,045,216.45

June 2012 N119,170,425.79

July 2012 N113,549,751.81

Aug 2012 N146,152,644.28

Sept 2012 N113,753,981.15

Oct 2012 N112,118,354.91

Nov 2012 N148,236,740.65

Dec 2012 N195,936,964.99

Jan 2013 N147,042,120.76

Feb 2013 N120,742,920.54

March 2013 N148,921,547.10

April 2013 N150,978,337.62

May 2013 N160,298,894.97

June 2013 N164,883,954.85

July 2013 N126,652,759.93

Aug 2013 N148,325,110.35

Sept 2013 N126,234,953.17

Oct 2013 N113,753,981.15

Nov 2013 N137,873,989.53

Dec 2013 N210,887,059.01

-Kenneth Uwadi , Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

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