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General News of Thursday, 16 September 2021


Uzodimma inaugurates committee on land matters, white paper

Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has inaugurated a Whitepaper Implementation Committee on Lands and Other Related Matters, charging members to recover all the assets gazetted in the Whitepaper as recommended.

Performing the ceremony at the Government House, Exco Chambers, Owerri, yesterday, the governor directed the Committee not only to recover as recommended by the Whitepaper all illegally acquired Imo assets but also recommend to the government how best to put into use the recovered assets.

Uzodimma explained that the implementation of the Whitepaper was of profound importance to the people of Imo State, as the implementation was seen as the final contract with the people upon which his administration would be judged.

He described the action as an integral part of the Shared Prosperity Administration in Imo State, pointing out that with the implementation, the 3R mantra would be further amplified.

“You must implement the recommendations to the last letter as the demands of the Whitepaper is unambiguous. This is because both government and people’s property were illegally and fragrantly acquired by a few individuals and their cronies without regards to the rule of law,” he said.

Considering the importance attached to the Committee’s assignment, the governor urged them to “ensure that every aspect of the Whitepaper is implemented,” noting that Imo people expected nothing less. “The recovery of all stolen Imo wealth is nothing but what the people need.”

On why there was delay in the action, the governor informed that there were lots of legal and court processes challenging the Whitepaper by those who were involved in the illegal acquisition, pointing out that both the legal and judicial hurdles had been cleared, hence the Committee could now do its job without let or hindrance.

The governor has also warned over impunity and lawlessness against anybody or group, who have genuine complaints to make to the committee and charged the members to be fair and firm, no matter whose ox was gored.

Reminding Nigerians of the essence of panels of inquiry and the attendant Whitepaper that followed as well as the need to implement such outcomes, the Governor said Whitepapers were to check excesses in both public and private service.

He reminded the audience that his determination to implement the various recommendations of the Whitepaper was to move the state forward and ensure that the present and future governments were governed by the rule of law, adding that achieving this, the government owed no one apologies.

In his acceptance speech, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, thanked the governor on behalf of his colleagues for giving them the opportunity to serve the government and good people of Imo State in that capacity and described the opportunity as a privilege.

Awuzie said the task given to them was unique as it was the first time in Imo governance that a governor came out boldly to institute a committee to implement a Whitepaper on Lands and Related Matters and described the action as a “paradigm shift in Imo State governance in particular and other governments of the federation at large.”

The inauguration was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku; Secretary to Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmas Iwu; Chief of Staff, Nnamdi Anyaehie; Senator Frank Ibezim representing Imo North in the Senate; Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Paul Emeziem and Rt. Hon Amarachi Iwuanyanwu and other members of the Assembly as well as other top government officials.

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