The Imo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma of planning to embarrass Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari with the scheduled commissioning of uncompleted projects or projects that have been in use for three decades.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, 12 September 2022, by State Publicity Secretary Collins Opurozor, the Imo State PDP condemned Uzodinma’s obsession with constantly seeking to bring President Buhari to Imo State to engage in project commissioning scam as a ploy to always subject the Nigerian helmsman to public scorn.
“The party holds that Uzodinma’s announcement that the proposed presidential visit on Tuesday is for the purpose of commissioning the Owerri-Okigwe Road, which completion rate is still below 30%, and the Imo State House of Assembly Complex which was built by the iconic Sam Mbakwe in 1983, proves that the far-spent regime of Uzodinma still has nothing to show to Imo people as its achievement.
“Our party therefore condemns the move to bring President Buhari to Imo State to re-commission a 30-year old repainted complex and the uncompleted Owerri-Okigwe Road. The President should not bow to self-serving pressures from Uzodinma to lend his exalted office for such caricature. We challenge Uzodinma to take President Buhari through the road set for commissioning to prove that it is truly in existence.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Imo State House of Assembly Complex, the best in Nigeria, was built and commissioned by Chief Sam Mbakwe in 1983. The project was handled by an indigenous firm, Okigwe Construction Company, owned by Chief John Enyogasi.
“For Imo PDP, therefore, Uzodinma’s attempt to take credit for Mbakwe’s landmark project is an intolerable dimension to his insult and disrespect to Mbakwe, and it is the most audacious attack on the memory of the late respected leader.
“What makes the issue more outrageous is that President Mohammadu Buhari, who Uzodinma has concluded plans to bring for the festival of shame, has always been known for his abiding disdain for the progress and development of Imo State. Recall that in 1983, the military regime of Buhari put our hero, Dee Sam Mbakwe, in prison for daring to develop Imo.
“In 2020, the regime of President Buhari again stopped the progress of Imo State by terminating the tenure of the duly elected Governor, the Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and installing the unelected and unelectable Hope Uzodinma. Now in 2022, he is being invited to re-commission one of the signature projects of Chief Mbakwe so as to fully participate in the ridiculing of the late quintessential leader. The sprit of Dee Sam will rise to fight these unrepentant enemies.
“Imo PDP notes that having failed to account for the whereabouts of slightly above N241 billion, the truth now is that the non-performing regime of Uzodinma has become jittery over the increasing hues and cries by the people for accountability, hence the desperation to repaint and re-commission old buildings and uncompleted roads.
“Imo PDP regrets that even when Uzodinma has usurped and pocketed the sum of N160 billion belonging to the local government system, and has also increased the debt profile of Imo State to well over N205 billion, having borrowed a total of N81 billion in the last couple of months, there is still nothing on ground to justify the humongous borrowings. What is mind-boggling is that Imo State today shoulders a debt burden bigger than all the other States of the South East put together.
“In all of these borrowings by this infamous regime, no effort has been made to redraw the industrial landscape of the State by re-jigging investments in the hugely vital agro-industrial where Imo has major comparative advantage. Adapalm has remained moribund, Imo Rubber Estates and Avutu Poultry Farm have remained comatose.
“Yet, these are some key investments with the capacity to rev up the local economy and employ a vast majority of the teeming unemployed Imo youths, thereby keeping the wolf of insecurity permanently away from the shores of Imo State. They have been left to rot away, even when Imo under Uzodinma has been officially designated by the NBS as the unemployment capital of Nigeria with 83% unemployment rate. This is certainly not the Imo that our party handed over to Uzodinma!
“It therefore greatly worries our party that the state which we laboured so hard to rebuild is now in tatters. To be clear, the Nigeria capital importation report by the NBS for the second quarter of 2022 published last week, which shows that for two consecutive years, no single foreign direct investment has come to Imo, has become a fit testimony that Uzodinma has only succeeded at making Imo a pariah state, isolated and avoided by the rest of the world for the wrong reasons and only remembered in the news for bloodshed, arson, abductions and wars, which the clueless regime in the state still has no solutions to.
“Imo people are trusting God that this affliction will never rise again,” the Imo State PDP further stated.