Richard Ginika Izuora
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has vowed to retrieve all alleged looted funds from the state coffers by former Governors and their cronies.
Uzodinma made the vow during a stakeholders’ meeting, at the weekend on held at Imo Council of Traditional Rulers Council hall, Owerri, the state capital.
The Governor recounted how former Governor Rochas Okorocha, who attended his inauguration on January 15, 2020, requested the disbandment of panels probing past leaders, adding that he rejected the plea.
He also disclosed that the sealed Spring Royal Palm Estate and Apartments owned by the former Governor’s wife was worth N5 billion.
Uzodinma, also revealed the reason behind the invitation of the military to Orlu.
He stated that the decision was to protect the women and people who were raped and maimed by militants.
The Governor also explained that as his administration was grappling with the issues of robbery and kidnapping, some hoodlums and miscreants went to take over Orlu in the name of protecting the people from the invasion of herdsmen.
“Some hoodlums and mercenaries went and took over Orlu in the name of “protecting the people from invading herdsmen.
“Before we knew what was happening, innocent citizens and even security operatives were killed. Women, among them grandmothers, were raped. Indeed anarchy loomed; and we also had to act fast as a government. We had to secure the area with additional security drawn from the military.
“Sadly, some mischief makers and unrepentant political merchants and alarmists twisted the story upside-down. It smacks of sheer mischief for anyone to claim that what happened in Orlu was a military invasion. The military is in Orlu to protect our people from blood-thirsty mercenaries who were killing; maiming; and raping them.
“It will interest you to know that these militants who terrorised Orlu for weeks and months ago; most of them are not Igbos. The evidence emerged when some of them were arrested.
“They have made useful confessions and we now know that they were imported from outside the Southeast; to come and turn Imo State into a theatre of war; under the guise of IPOB or Eastern Security Network though working with IPOB members,” Uzodinma explained.
At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders mandated Uzodinma to recover every property, money, or wealth stolen from Imo people by any person, no matter how highly placed.
“We the stakeholders from Imo State from the 305 wards in the state, after a meeting in Owerri on Saturday, February 21, 2021, do hereby resolve to mandate the state government to recover every property, money, or wealth; stolen from Imo people by any person, no matter how highly placed,” the stakeholders pledged.