Rochas Okorocha, former governor of Imo state, says that Emeka Ihedioha, his successor, was not declared governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of destroying his legacies.
He made this known in a statement by Sam Onwuemeodo, his media aide, in Owerri, the state capital, on Thursday.
The governor was reacting to the scrapping of one of his legacies, Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, by the state government.
Ihedioha had setup a seven-man committee, headed by Jude Njoku, former vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), to review of newly established tertiary institutions in the state.
The committee in its report rejected the university established by Okorocha on the basis of inadequate funding, adding that it should be made one of the campuses of an existing university.
However, Onwuemeodo said that the committee had no right to scrap the universities and polytechnics established by Okorocha while he was governor.
He said the action “showed the speed and zeal with which the government of the day wants to destroy all the landmark projects of the All Progressives Congress government in the state which Senator Okorocha had headed.”
“Going by the nomenclature and task given to the Committee, which is Committee on the review of Newly Established Tertiary Institutions”, the Chairman, Prof. Njoku exceeded the job of the Committee by announcing the immediate takeover of the Eastern Palm University and scrapping all the tertiary institutions built by Okorocha,” the statement read.
“What was expected of the committee at the end of its assignment was to submit their findings or reports to the governor, who would then hand over the report to the Attorney-General of the State, to look at all the legal ingredients involved in the establishment of the universities and others, before making any specific pronouncement on them.
“Prof. 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.
“Right from the outset, Okorocha had continued to say that the Eastern Palm University was a PPP venture. And what the government would have done in the circumstance was to look at the whole scenario including the legal undertones and then take the appropriate action in the overall interest of the State, her people and humanity in general.
“Equally, 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 ground and their operational licences gotten, was obviously counter-productive. It was not the best of actions.
“We want to let Governor Ihedioha know that Okorocha had done eight years as governor and cannot be governor again. He should stop acting as if he is in contest with the former governor. We are saying this because the zeal with which the governor has been destroying and discrediting all that the former governor laboured to put in place, has become worrisome to all Imo people, and others too.
“It is also worth mentioning that since his inauguration as governor he has not been able to do any other thing apart from inspecting, removing, destroying and discrediting all that Okorocha did, which means, we didn’t lie when we claimed that Okorocha had more than one thousand verifiable projects as governor.
“We appeal to Governor Ihedioha to take things easy and think deeply before acting on issues instead of doing otherwise.”
Okorocha’s spokesman had told TheCable that with over 1000 projects, Okorocha, whom he described as a hero, should be honoured.
He said so while responding to inquiries on N20 billion contracts Okorocha awarded without following due process.