Former governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and Governor Rochas Okorocha have engaged in war of words over house demolitions in the state arising from ongoing road construction.
While Ohakim described the demolition as illegal and accused Okorocha of running anti-people oriented government in the state, the governor on the other hand said it was Ohakim’s maladministration that made the people throw him out as the governor of the state.
Ohakim had in a letter addressed to the Imo State government entitled, “Current Trends of Events in our State” and signed by himself said, “Your Excellency, your present road expansion in Owerri Municipal is not in conformity with the master plan and any know element of road design.
“For example, the huge economic losses from the present exercise will far outweigh the few meters to be from the proposed expansion. To worsen matters, no public right of way is left for the replacement of pipes and cables, as your proposed expansion will end at the foundation of people’s houses.
“I have it on a good authority that the ongoing exercise was not captured in any of the state budget in the last five years. This therefore makes it fiscally wrong to embark on such projects because it negates the essence of good governance.”
In his response, Governor Okorocha through his Commissioner of Information, Vitalis Ajumbe said, “This government as a very responsible and people-oriented government has restrained itself from demolition of buildings that do not contravened the stipulated distance of about 15 meters from the road; rather what we did was to remove fences and other structures built within 10 metres from the affected roads as well as those that blocked water ways.
“After all, construction is not completed yet. We are getting there and this government appeals to Imo people to remain patient.
“It is a well-known fact that the Rescue Mission Government came into power when Imolites were fed up with the maladministration and the repugnant abuse of the sensibilities of Imo people by Chief Ikedi Ohakim. The outcry and clamour for change was the major reason the Rescue Mission Government came into power to restore hope to the hopeless and offer to Ndi Imo the leadership of trust they had yearned for.”
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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