The Honourable Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr.Chinedu Offor has issued a rejoinder to the August 4th, 2012 publication in The Nation -“Tension in Imo over plot to dissolve tenure of reinstated LG chairmen“.
“Here are the facts of the case as can be verified from Court records, ALGON officials, PDP officials and the Imo State Electoral Commission (ISEC) that made preparation for the Local Government poll under Ohakim.
The said election under which the Chairmen claim their mandate had two court injunctions against it which was ignored by Ohakim and has never been vacated.The PDP under Dr.Nwodo did not recognize the poll having asked Ohakim not to hold the election, so in the eyes of the law, no Local Government election took place.
The Local Government became a pipe where billions of Naira meant for projects to uplift the rural poor were stolen with encouragement of the then Imo State Government House. Local Government funds became private funds for certain individuals who used it to purchase hotels in South Africa, the United Kingdom and mansions in Abuja and Lagos.
Officials who came into government as church rats with no pedigree became overnight billionaires. Imo also became the private fiefdom of Ohakim where no dissenting voices were tolerated, including Reverend Fathers and women who were brutally whipped for obstructing the convoy of Ohakim. Traditional rulers fled their domains, dreading the midnight visit of the “Government House Gestapo”.
Gov.Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha had to act having sworn to uphold the constitution and to cleanse the land by introducing the Rescue Mission agenda. But under prodding of Abuja and other discredited politicians, the Council Chairmen went to Court. The High Court ruled in favor of the Government but had a contrary view by the Appeal Court. Rather than allow the Government the right of appeal, the same elements lied to the Inspector General of Police and illegally took over the Councils. The Attorney General and for the first time in the history of Nigeria, the Police became biased and aided the Chairmen to break open offices and forcefully took over the Local Government Headquarters in all the 27 Local Government areas.
As a father, Gov.Okorocha sued for peace and invited the Chairmen to discussions. But, the Abuja based Talibans who are bent on causing chaos in Imo are asking the Chairmen to resist the peace overtures of Gov.Okorocha citing term limits. ISEC has the documents which the Chairmen clearly agreed their term was for two years ending August 8. Anyone in Owerri can get a copy of the Law as amended by Ohakim limiting their term to two years. Even the Appeal Court ruling in their favor clearly states their term ends August 8 so, what is the controversy about?
I have taken the pains to articulate the facts so your esteemed News paper is not needlessly dragged into this matter as a willing tool by those whose stock in trade are propaganda and phantom internet based projects. It has also become fashionable for these characters to drop the name of our amiable President as supporting their action. We all know these are lies from the pit of hell designed to hoodwink the unwary. Gov.Okorocha as a law abiding democrat has abided by the ruling of the Court of Appeal despite the fact that the State has appealed to the Supreme Court which should have maintained the status quo. He has asked the Council Chairmen to get back to work but desperate forces are raking up the term issue to seek attention and once again confuse the I.G, the Presidency and Attorney General on what is purely a State matter.
Gov.Okorocha is a law abiding citizen, but some people feel threatened by his intimidating profile based on his verifiable, unbelievable people based projects he has completed within one year in office. Gov.Okorocha’s only crime is he has refused to share the people’s money as was the tradition in the last administration. He remains focused and resolute in the face of coordinated attacks by desperate forces orchestrated by former key government officials.
Imo people have spoken, the Courts have spoken, Gov.Okorocha has complied with all known Court orders, the PDP should also comply with Court orders.
Imo must be better. God bless.
Hon.Commissioner for Information and Strategy
Article as published in The Nation:
Tension in Imo over plot to dissolve tenure of reinstated LG chairmen
The political impasse in Imo State is far from over as tension is already mounting ahead of alleged plot by the state government to officially dissolve the tenure of the reinstated local government chairmen next week.
The state government, it was gathered had perfected plans to announce the termination of the tenure of the chairmen to pave way for the conduct of fresh council elections in the state.
Although the government in the last one week had made frantic efforts to solicit the support and understanding of the council chairmen in a bid to arrive at a compromise over the lingering crisis, but the meetings were inconclusive as both parties were not ready to shift ground.
In his address during one of the meetings, Governor Rochas Okorocha, had said that the plan to conduct fresh council elections in the state was in line with the law of the state which pegged the tenure of elected LG chairmen at two years.
However, the secretary of the Imo State chapter of the All Local Government Association Of Nigeria (ALGON), Enyinna Onuegbu, a legal practitioner, told The Nation in a telephone chat that the chairmen will complete the fourteen months that was stolen from their mandate and additional one year that will terminate by August 2013.
He further said that they were not aware of any plot to end their tenure, stating that the several meetings they held with the state governor were inconclusive. “We are not aware of any such plan as we are entitled to a three-year tenure which will end by August 2013 and we exhaust all legal means to protect our mandate.”
The ALGON scribe who noted that they were still functioning as chairmen in their respective council areas, however, disclosed that the Director of Administrations has refused to resume work in line with the governor’s directive in their last meeting, “we are yet to have the full cooperation of the council staff but our meetings with the governor is still inconclusive.”
In their position, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through the National Vice Chairman, Southeast zone, Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), warned that it will not accept any arrangement by the Imo State government to reduce the tenure of the elected LG chairmen.
Accusing the governor of playing hide and seek game with the decision of the court, the PDP chieftain, argued that the chairmen and councilors were democratically elected and should be allowed to complete their tenure.