OWERRI, Nigeria – The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Imo State has leveled serious allegations against Governor Hope Uzodimma, accusing him of misappropriating N206 billion in local government funds.
At a World Press Conference in Owerri on Saturday, June 17, 2023, christened “On Governor Hope Uzodimma’s Latest Campaign of Lies and Deceit,” the Publicity Secretary of the state PDP, Mr Collins Opurozor, demanded accountability from the Governor.
He stated, “Senator Uzodimma must, without any further delay, tell the people the whereabouts of the N206 billion he has received belonging to the Local Governments.”
The state PDP alleged that the current administration has effectively obliterated the local government system, which Opurozor identified as “a mechanism put in place by law to expand and sustain the democratic space and to spread democratic values.”
“This is a huge tragedy! Imo is a state that has over seventy percent of her entire population living in the rural areas. Yet, the only channel through which governance can be delivered to the people has been completely run aground,” Opurozor lamented.
The publicity secretary accused the Uzodimma administration of launching a “campaign of misinformation, lies, and deceit” in the preceding week, as a potential strategy for the upcoming INEC governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2023.
Opurozor further charged the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, of spreading false information that the state chapter of the PDP had plans to stage a protest in Abuja over escalating insecurity in Imo State.
“At last, the Governor, Senator Uzodimma, was on national television Channels to advance such false narratives. It, therefore, becomes necessary that we respond to the issues,” Opurozor added.
He countered Uzodimma’s assertion that he took over a state in ruins, arguing that the Governor has in fact led the state into decline, with escalating violence, rampant banditry, and growing poverty.
The PDP spokesperson urged the Governor not to run in the forthcoming election, pointing out the inequity in a candidate from Orlu Senatorial Zone running for office after the Zone has already held power for 20 of the last 24 years.
He also accused Uzodimma’s administration of plunging the state into unprecedented debt.
“Fact to be noted is that Imo is presently the most indebted Igbo state, with a debt profile which stands at N240 billion. That means that the regime of Senator Uzodimma has doubled the debt profile in the last three years. And the fundamental question is: “What has the regime done with over N130 billion it has borrowed so far?” he queried.
Opurozor urged Imolites to “discard every misinformation” from the ruling party, asking them to unite with the PDP to prevent Governor Uzodimma’s second term and reclaim the state under Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny,” he concluded, calling for active participation in the electoral process.