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wpid-images-1.jpegI write to condemn in absolute terms the silence of the Imo State House of Assembly over the heavy corruption allegations levelled against the Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly Chief Benjamin Uwajumogu   by Mr  Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha. Iwuoha, an activist and former  Aide of the Speaker  last month revealed to the whole world  the Speaker’s  reckless and massive looting of the Imo treasury.

In his  testimony made available to media men, Mr Iwuoha , who worked under Uwajumogu for 3 years , disclosed how  fraudulent contracts for road  projects worth billions of naira  were awarded by  his former boss  without due process  to the extent that some of  his  aides were equally awarded  road contracts. Also Uwajumogu’s  friends  who were residing abroad were asked to return home, which they did and road contract were given to them as fronts even though they never had any experience in road contract assignment and execution. Asphalt materials for the road contracts were also  procured from plant    in  Owerri owned by the Speaker. As usual  the Speaker’s Media Aide has called Iwuoha  all sorts of names saying  that  he  was making cacophonic noise.
For all the attention that Iwuoha’s  revelation has elicited, not one member of the Imo State House of  Assembly, as far as I know felt outraged enough to call for a  probe. None of the State’s law makers seems curious to find out who stole what  as mentioned by Iwuoha. None cared to find out  how monies were  diverted, and where some of them  may be found. I have heard no disenchanted murmurs from any of them. Ralph Miliband   once said that the hottest place in hell will be reserved for those who sit on the fence in the face of great moral crisis. Albert Einstein on his part said that the world is a dangerous place, not only because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
The silence of the Members of the Imo House of Assembly  over the  fraud  in the Speakers office is not acceptable. We must reject  corruption. We must not accept it as normal. Corruption is  like cancer . Cancer  makes lives exceedingly miserable. Corrupt politicians are punishing the rest of us. They don’t show respect to the common good of the  citizens, thereby retarding development. Corruption in public office   in all its manifestations is a dehumanizing evil force that must be fought with all the energy that we can muster. We must not allow Imo State to be painted as a State  that tolerates or even encourages corruption.
I   call on the leadership of the Imo State House of Assembly to constitute a probe panel that will investigate the allegations levelled against the office of the Speaker of  the Imo State House of Assembly by  Mr  Iwuoha. If the Leadership of the House   fails to constitute a probe panel to investigate the Speaker  and  invite Iwuoha to tender his evidences then the whole world can  agree with me that the Members of the Imo House of Assembly are  indeed the 27 thieves that I have been  talking  about.
The Imo State House of Assembly Speaker  has tons of questions to answer. He should tell us how he got the money he used in acquiring  an asphalt plant  six  months after he became speaker. He should tell us how he got the money  to acquire   eye popping mansions at Aba, Umuahia and Ihitte -Uboma. He should tell us how he got the money to  buy   15 mansions in Owerri. He should tell us why  he converted the Imo State Abuja Liason Office to his own private use of which he spent 500 million naira in turning it into a private hotel. He should tell us how he got the money to build   a 750 million naira  private hotel in Lagos. He should tell us why he is  using the Imo Assembly money in funding the private businesses   owned by his Sister Dr Mrs Chidinma Uwajumogu. He   should tell us why he abandoned   his  responsibilities as Speaker  and went outside his confinement of duties to award road contracts to himself via his friends and to  inexperienced contractors in Imo State.
We are talking about  stealing from public coffers which  is a crime against the progress of  Ndi-Imo. We must oppose  legalized official looting wherein political officers loot the state dry. We must fight all those that are insensitive  to the plight of  Ndi-Imo. Uwajumogu is looting billions of Imo tax payers money in a state where 80% of her citizens live on less than 600 naira  per day, in a state   that has almost 10,000 children on the streets-children without parental care, without shelter. I call on  Organizations and individuals in Imo State including Labour Unions, Trade Unions, Human Rights Groups, Staff Unions in Universities, Students Unions, Youth Groups, Activists and Socialists, locally and internationally to join me in  demanding  a probe of the allegations against  Speaker of the House and if he is found guilty, he should be removed and prosecuted with the aim to reclaim all monies looted in order to massively invest it in education or  health care or even  roads that will eventually create jobs to wipe out poverty. Save us o’ God.

-Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

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