The real war against hydra headed corruptive practices in Public service and the perpetrators of this criminality may have begun in Imo State.
Earlier today, Wednesday, January 30, 2013, thousands of Imo placard carrying Youths had throng the street of Owerri in a manner that could be described as a rally to register their disgust over the activities of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The youths under the aegis of Conference of Imo Youth Progressives whose Coordinator is Barr. Kennedy Ibeh, in their peaceful protest requested among other things, EFCC should stop forth with the harassment of Imo Government officials on a trump up charges saying the real criminals like Ohakim is out there enjoying his loot from the coffers of Imo State.
They further described the incessant harassment of Imo Government officials led by Governor Okorocha as distraction and an exercise to deliberately to tarnish the image of the present Imo State Government.
It will be recalled that most Government appointees under Governor Rochas Okorocha at one time or the other had either been arrested or invited by EFCC for explanations over issues that most of the time are not known to the public. Again, recently, Commissioner of Finance, Deacon Chike Okafor and his counter-part, Accountant General of the State had been guest to EFCC at various times. The latest was the arrest the of the Clerk of Imo State House of Assembly in quest to know if at any time the House sat to deliberate on whether Imo State Government should take N45 billion loan or not. Meanwhile, the issue of loan was said to be a mere blackmail orchestrated to embarrass the Government and the elusive facts led to the arrest of the clerk of the house for further scrutiny.
Speaking for the group while fielding questions from the news hounds, Barr. Ibeh said, in his words:
Imo Youths have decided to put a stop to all the shenanigans going on in State. We have met and evaluated the developments in the State and decided to give honour to whom it is due. Governor Okorocha has done well. A man is judged by the content of his promises.
We have looked at Gov. Okorcha’s electoral promises and we are satistied by it. When he promised free education, the former ruling party did not take him serious but today we have free education from primary to tertiary level. That is worthy of commendation. We also have massive infrastructural developments going the three senatorial zones. The most astonishing one is the transformation in Orlu and Okigwe zones. We also calling Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to stop pursuing shadow and go after the real criminals who raped Imo mercilessly.
Governor Achike Udenwa can be remembered for his Secretariat, which everyone uses. Ohakim in his four years can only be remembered for his grass known as Oha-grass. Again, there is a N62 billion unaccounted missing fund under Ohakim and his men. We request that these people be brought to justice”.
Speaking further, the leader of the group wondered why Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has not been brought to book for his recklessness. He said Emeka Ihedioha had publicized to the public about his empowerment programme for PDP Youth. He queried how Emeka Ihedioha had access to a budget allocation meant for development of Imo State. He called on EFCC to investigate the matter as N278 million was budgeted for such empowerment.
“When has Emeka Ihedioha become an Executive? Has our constitution become a mere toilet paper? It is an indictment on the part of the relevant anti-corruption agencies should they close their eyes to the advance fee fraud going on in Imo State in particular.”
The Youth in their resolution threaten to declare the enemies of the State persona-non-grata should Federal Government and EFCC continue to show abysmal approach to issues raised. They further warned that should the trend continue they will have no choice than to handle in acceptable norms to ostracizing the detractors of Imo working Governor.
Speaking to a PDP faithful on the matter who would not want to be mentioned, he said what the party is doing is to say the least encouraging criminality. He said some of them had expected the party to dissociate itself from people who are alleged to have stolen and allow them to face the music. He called on the party to drop such trend as it will rather devalue the party than do it any good.
When the angry youths though peaceful called Imo Government House for Governor’s words, the information was that the Governor was away and the Deputy Governor was also away on a State assignment. Professor, Tony Anwuka who was fished out in a vehicular hold-up addressed the mammoth crowd. He thanked them for saying the truth on the excellent performance of the Governor.
He further extol the bravery of the youth for saying standing up against impunity and the under-developers of the State. He however said he was going to take their message to Governor Okorocha when he comes back from his official trip.
By: Mba Ogbonnaya