Okorocha And Ohakim: At Daggers-Drawn | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Okorocha And Ohakim: At Daggers-Drawn

Posted: Sep 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Ikechi Nzeako

Governance is a continuum; one administration ends and another begins; all geared toward advancing the interest of the people. However, that seems not to the case in Imo State, as the erstwhile governor of the state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, and his successor, Governor Rochas Okorocha, are at daggers-drawn over the ongoing demolition exercise embarked by the present government and other governance issues.

While Ohakim alleged that the original master plan laid down for the state has been destroyed by the present government and that the ongoing demolition exercise was not captured in the state budget, Okorocha said Ohakim has never seen anything good about his administration, adding that his regime came to correct the maladministration of Ohakim’s government.

In a letter addressed to the Imo State government, entitled “Current Trends of Events in Our State” and signed by Ohakim, he said, “…your present road expansion in Owerri Municipal is not in conformity with the master plan and any known element of road design. …The huge economic losses from the present exercise will far outweigh the few meters to be gained from the proposed expansion,” adding that “no public right of way was left for the replacement of pipes and cables, as your proposed expansion will end at the foundation of people’s houses”.


Responding, Okorocha, through Vitalis Ajumbe, his Commissioner of Information, said, “This government as a very responsible and people–oriented government has restrained itself from demolition of buildings that contravened the stipulated distance of about 15 metres from the road; rather what we did was to remove fences and other structures built within 10 metres from the affected roads as well as those that blocked water ways. After all, construction is not completed yet. We are getting there and this government appeals to Imo people to remain patient.” The exchange between the two has led to tension in the state with the people polarised along party lines. While supporters of Ohakim are accusing Okorocha of destroying the legacy of the former governor, loyalists of Okorocha are alleging that Ohakim did not achieve anything as governor of the state.


Stakeholders and elders in the state have said the frosty relations between the two is impacting the state natively and have called on both parties to sheathe their swords so that development can take place in the state. But whether the two combatants would heed to the call of their people remains to be seen.