From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The media adviser to Senator Rochas Okorocha, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, has alleged a plot to demolish his private residence in Owerri.
According to Onwuemeodo, who disclosed this in a public statement on Thursday, his house already has been marked for demolition by the Owerri Capital Development Agency (OCDA).
Onwuemeodo said that he is yet to be given reasons for the agency’s planned action, saying he has been living at the residence for over eight years.
His statement reads in part:
‘I, Sam Onwuemeodo, wish to inform the general public that the Governor of Imo State, Chief Hope Uzodinma, and his Camphope government have marked the house where I have been living with my family, for demolition.
‘As I write, nobody has told me the reason for marking my house for demolition. Whether the house was illegally acquired, or whether the house distorted the Owerri Master Plan or whether I have become Sam Onwuemeodo nee Okorocha or whether I have become another son-in-law of Rochas Okorocha. I have not known or been told the reason for my house to be marked for demolition.
‘On Friday, March 19, 2021, someone called and told me to be very careful. That, the government has decided to demolish my house. That by Tuesday, March 23, 2021, my house would be marked for demolition. And to avoid making it look personal, they would also mark other houses around my own.
‘I didn’t take the information serious because I could not fathom any reason the government would want to demolish my house, except perhaps, my serving in the government of Okorocha as his Chief Press Secretary and now, as his Media Adviser.
‘Following this information, on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, I decided not to leave the house early. By 11.22am, two hummer buses with tinted glasses came and parked in front of my gate. I decided only to watch them. The two buses were filled with young men I wouldn’t like to describe as thugs and about Six hefty men in Mobile Police Uniform, fully armed.
‘One of the young men began to write on the fence. And the one with video began to video the fence and gate and the Surroundings, raising some security issues which I would not like to talk about now. The one with Camera also took photographs. When they had finished, they moved. They wrote “MARKED FOR DEMOLITION BY IMSG/OCDA, 23/3/21.’
Onwuemeodo claims that he met all the requirements demanded by the agancy and questioned why his house would be marked for demolition, describing the action of the state government as ‘administrative terrorism’.
‘Honestly, the issue has gone beyond Okorocha. The governor appears to have launched a systematic war against Imo people. Demolishing existing round-abouts without replacements and motorists in the State staying between 4 and 5 hours on traffics, cannot be said to be war against Okorocha. It is against Imo people.
‘What is happening in Imo these days could better be described as “administrative terrorism”. Either the governor is still angry with Imo people for not voting for him in the 2019 election or he is using intimidation to force people to support him. And none is advisable.
‘The governor has created a different Imo with his actions and inactions. A State that was known for peace and serene atmosphere is today soaked or engulfed by tension and pressure. The governor should please rediscover the State, since “by strength, shall no man prevail,’ Onwuemeodo stated.