Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Article: What Happened To 5.1 Billion Naira Owerri North Council Funds?


Okorocha: Imo State Governor


By Kenneth Uwadi

For some time now the praise singers of Governor Rochas Okorocha and Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu have been boasting happily about how Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha an Owerri based Social Crusader was arrested and has been in detention at the Imo State Police command. "That’s what you get for writing useless report about Uw...ajumogu . Samuelson will rot in jail’’ they said. ‘It will get to all of them soon. All the useless critics of Governor Okorocha like Kenneth Uwadi will get it very soon’ they boasted. Samuelson’s crime in Imo State is that he criticized Mr Benjamin Uwajumogu. He exposed his corruption dealings. He has been in detention for roughly two months now for expressing his constitutional right of expression. Samuelson and wife’s illegal detention shows the banality of the so-called rule of law of the Okorocha/APC government in Imo State and again clearly corroborate our earlier assertion that the Okorocha’s government is nothing short of fascism. Imagine holding a man and his wife at the same time in prison for criticizing government.

I have been reading their ‘yanyanpu ’ about me. I have also seen their desperation to cage me too the way they are doing to Samuelson. I am reliably informed that the 13 leaders of vigilante group in the 13 Egbema communities were called to a meeting in Owerri with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security last week, each given a motor cycle with the message that they should report to Egbema Police station once they sight me anywhere in Egbema so that i can be arrested and whisked to Owerri. Trust my people, they quickly alerted me. I will not be surprise if they go on air too telling the world that i am a cultist the way they tried to tag Samuelson.

Rather than take my message as a challenge to do the right thing, the Imo State government in collaboration with the Imo State Police Command are unleashing rounds upon rounds of repression on genuine democratic voices. This action is reminiscent of the dark days of military jackboot absolutism. It is a sign of moral collapse in governance in Imo.The plot to get me arrested and lock me up till after 2015 election is against free speech in Imo State. We must condemn this insensitivity and utter madness.

I cannot be intimidated. Despite the 132 billion naira that had accrued to the coffers of Imo State LGA’s from 2011 to 2013 nothing substantial has come the way of the ordinary poor people in the LGA’s. While functional education and health care are inaccessible to the vast majority of the population as a result of lack of basic facilities, public infrastructures like roads, public housing and potable water are only dreams; yet Rochas Okorocha continue to live opulently at the expense of the public.

We are talking about the looting of our council funds here and someone wants me to keep quite by all means. Why should i keep silent when Imo is like what African China said in a song "food no dey! water no dey! our road no good!" Why should i keep silent when Imo is just as Edris said in his song " jaggajagga! Poor man dey suffer suffer! gunshot inna the air!" Why should i keep quite with all the chants and songs of " Ole", "Ole-Ole, Ole, Ole-Ole, Ole-Ole" (Ole is the Yoruba word for a looter). Governor Okorocha dey chop our LGA money ‘’vugavuga’’

In Owerri North LGA alone N5,103,710,965.71 that came to the LGA from May 2011 to December 2013 developed wings. Owerri North is a Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Orie Uratta. It has an area of 198 square km and a population of 175,395 at the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 460.Owerri North is semi-urban government area. It encircles Owerri Municipal like a peninsular. Six major roads that lead out of the municipal cuts across Owerri North Communities. In the North, Orlu road leads to Amakaohia and Akwakuma communities. In the East, Okigwe road leads to Orji Community. In the West, MCC road off Wetheral to Obibi Uratta and Ihitaoha communities. In the South, Mbaise road leads to Egbu and Emekuku communities, while Aba road leads to Nazi, Agbala and Ulakwo communities.

Why should i keep quite when 5.1 billion naira Owerri North council funds became a slush fund for government officials to loot and for some political thieving vampires to gamble with. Ndi Owerri North is this fair? One man refused us democracy at our LGA’s and looted our money. Today this same man wants us to democratically elect him again as governor in 2015.They say government does not have money to pay good salary for workers but just look at how they are stealing our money every day. Okorocha and his business men and women friends are living big with our LGA funds while workers in Owerri North LGA who work daily to survive are suffering. Also look at the condition of public education, electricity, hospital, roads and all other public infrastructures in Owerri North. Everything has collapsed! No good schools for our children. No good hospital. Thousands of University graduates have no jobs.Yet 5.1 billion naira that came into Owerri North as allocation from FG from May 2011 to December 2013 don waka. Who is fooling who here? Imagine what this amount would have done for my friends from Owerri North.

I am talking and they want to put me out of circulation. I challenge them to prove me wrong .In my next article i will talk about Ehime Mbano council funds. Week by week I will expose the money squandered in the 27 Imo LGA’s. Find below the total breakdown of allocation for Owerri North LGA from May 2011 to December 2013:

May 2011 N101,178,878.69
June 2011 N134,989,494.09
July 2011 N238,672,597.52
Aug 2011 N140,034,450.57
Sept 2011 N141,713,721.20
Oct 2011 N166,507,897.80
Nov 2011 N225,940,166.47
Dec 2011 N142,748,547.79
Jan 2012 N161,050,617.84
Feb 2012 N142,875,400.67
March 2012 N178,299,461.61
April 2012 N144,460,593.90
May 2012 N133,970,931.33
June 2012 N134,154,972.33
July 2012 N127,863,418.45
Aug 2012 N164,328,313.99
Sept 2012 N128,138,995.90
Oct 2012 N126,283,362.88
Nov 2012 N166,667,374.23
Dec 2012 N220,103,702.40
Jan 2013 N165,377,437.33
Feb 2013 N135,937,192.74
March 2013 N178,299,461.61
April 2013 N169,067,940.13
May 2013 N179,744,888.07
June 2013 N184,770,966.90
July 2013 N142,121,598.85
Aug 2013 N166,231,309.81
Sept 2013 N141,590,210.44
Oct 2013 N128,138,995.90
Nov 2013 N166,507,897.80
Dece 2013 N225,940,166.47

(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)

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