Imo Govt doesn’t own and can’t recover Eastern Palm University – Okorocha says, calls Uzodinma visionless

Former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha has once again slammed Governor Hope Uzodinma for claiming that the Imo State Government has ‘recovered’ Eastern Palm University which has been in contention since Okorocha left office.

Recall that the State government, in a statement released on Thursday, by the Commissioner for information and strategy said, “The Imo State Executive Council in accordance with the provisions and recommendations of the white paper on land use and related matters, has recovered the Eastern Palm University illegally claimed by Rochas Okorocha. Read more here.

In a statement released on Friday, Feb. 12, by his Media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha begged “the general public to disregard the claim by the State Government… that it has recovered the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko. And the only reason the government gave was that, a Whitepaper, that has not been released, recommended for the recovery. The claim was only aimed at distracting the public from the total collapse of governance in Imo.

Okorocha went on to say that ‘The Eastern Palm University was a creation of the law. It has a law establishing it. It is a legal entity. So, it is not a kiosk or market store one could wake up one day, to claim or announce to have recovered.

‘The Eastern Palm University was established by the Imo State of Nigeria, Law No. 3 of 2019. And part II, No.3 (3) Stated that, “the University shall be owned on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, by the Imo State Government and the Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation, hereinafter referred to as the Parties”.

‘And the Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding between the Concerned Parties are domiciled in the relevant bodies or Institutions. And the law also provided that any of the Parties, “may decide to opt out of the Agreement upon giving the prescribed notice and meeting the conditions for opting out as contained in the Agreement”.

‘So, it was absurd for the government to announce to have recovered an Institution established by law, through a Press Conference held in one of the offices in Government House, and claiming too, to have based the illegal and disturbing action, on a Whitepaper, nobody has seen.’

Okorocha also wondered why Uzodinma’s Government was resorting to self help despite going to court over the the ownership of the institution.

The statement continued: ‘The same government did not inform its audience that it has also been in Court over the same University. Why not wait for the Court to give Judgement on the matter you brought to it? Why resorting to self help?

‘We want to let all men and women of deserving conscience to know that, the government in Imo wants to kill the Eastern Palm University like it has killed every other Institution or establishment in the State. Senator Rochas Okorocha had got licences for five Universities as governor . The structures are on ground, including, the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Aboh Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala, University of Creative Technology, Nkwerre, Marine University Oguta, University of Medical Sciences, Ideato and so on. The government in Imo has abandoned all of them, but only keen in taking over Eastern Palm University.

‘It is also important to state that the government came up with the worrisome claim of recovering the Eastern Palm University to distract attention from the ugly developments in the State, in the past two days, in which, not less than five Imo Indigenes had been killed, including the former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Owerri Branch, Barr. Ndionyenma Nwankwo, because the Security situation in the State has deteriorated. A Journalist, Mr. Precious Nwadike was beaten into coma, allegedly by one of the governor’s brothers, with his Private Security Personnel. The man was flown to Lagos when his condition was getting out of hand.

‘ln the past two days too, ISOPADEC workers had chased away the management and locked the gates of the Commission before embarking on indefinite strike, for non-payment of Salaries for ten months. The workers in the State just called off their own Strike for the same reason.

‘There was also a general outcry within the same period over the approval of N9 billion loan for the governor by the State House of Assembly, making it about N40 billion loan, the government has taken in one year. Add the N40 billion to N94 billion Federal Allocation, N52 billion from IGR, ISOPADEC funds and Local governments’ allocations and see the Billions that had come into the coffers of the lmo State government , with not even one project to show for all the Billions. Whereas, Okorocha never borrowed money for any reason, and was able to have more than one thousand verifiable projects to his credits.

‘From all indications, the government in Imo came to destroy and not to build. The government has grounded every Institution in the State. It has already destroyed or demolished some of Okorocha’s projects as governor.

‘The government in Imo does not have the passion, the vision and the mission which Okorocha’s government had. It has resorted to prosecuting an undeclared war against Okorocha, not knowing that no one curses who God has blessed.’