Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Article: Immediate Past Imo State House Speaker For Senate?


By Kenneth Uwadi
Benjamin Uwajumogu is a former Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly who  contested the 2015 Senatorial election but failed woefully . He is currently warming up for the July 23 Imo Senate rerun election. He has worn out two pairs of Rockport shoes strolling door to door, tieless, speaking sweet talks  to people  of    Okigwe zone ,  including Ihitte Uboma his home town , hoping to be taken seriously. Many APC  supporters from the zone  said they would not back him “Asking me to vote for Uwajumogu is like asking a Christian to vote for Satan instead of Jesus,” an  APC supporter posted on Facebook .The stench of past scandals is haunting him  as allegations regarding  his activities as Speaker  fester.

I am not from Okigwe zone but  as an Imo man  I must confess that   I am not  one of his fans. When Uwajumogu   was the Speaker of Imo House of Assembly he dealt with what seemed like an endless supply of ‘Imo tax payer’s money’. From June 2011 to May 2015 he connived with the governor of Imo state to siphon  local government funds. He also supported the sack  of 10,000 Imo workers .  It was also during his tenure as Speaker that this suffering of Imo people began. It is on record that high catalogue of withdrawals, misappropriation, disregard to public procurement rules, disregard of  court rulings happened  when he was  Speaker . He connived with Ali Baba, aided and abetted gross financial impropriety in Imo. There are so many things to talk about. What about the abortion bill?
As a world-class liar that he is, Uwajumogu tried to distance himself from the sack of the 10,000 workers but we know the truth. We know the truth about this man who  is the most corrupt person ever to  handle the position of speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly. We know much about this  failed Speaker  who should not  be trusted  with leadership position anymore. When he was Speaker he  perfected the politics of personal profit and  theft. Wherever he goes, whatever he does , truth  was trashed and criminal conduct followed  him like night follows day.  That is why we named him the Bertie Smalls of Imo State. His former Media Aide Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha revealed how he looted millions of  Imo tax payers money .
Iwuoha disclosed how fraudulent contracts for road  projects worth billions of naira  were awarded  by Uwajumogu  and  how   the Speaker  used the proceeds of the crime to acquire several properties in Nigeria such as : N500 million naira Asphalt plant along Onitsha road Owerri,15 mansions along Chief Ben Uwajumogu Street, Federal Housing Estate Umuguma Owerri – West LGA ,Jasmine Hotels and Suites behind Imo Concorde Hotel valued  at  over N70 million, over 200 plots of land located in Owerri West LGA,N400million naira Mansion at Ihitte /Uboma,2 other mansions  at  Ihitte/Uboma,Mansions in Aba and Umuahia,N760 million naira Crush Rock Industry in Ebonyi State,N500 million naira private hotel in Abuja,N750 million naira private hotel in Lagos. Even the Imo State liason office in Abuja was sold to him for N70 million naira which he has since converted  to his  private hotel.
Uwajumogu  ran the Imo State House of Assembly  like his  own personal hedge fund doing favors to other thieving cables  and many others and really many, many others in exchange for cash, pure and simple. There’s another dimension to his chronic crookedness, and it gets insufficient attention even though it is  important we look  deeply into it.  Three of his aides were assassinated and a fourth one escaped assassination. Nobody asked why. But I am still  asking  who  killed these men?  One day the truth will come up.
Benjamin Uwajumogu is from Ihitte Uboma LGA. I recently visited Ihitte Uboma  during my  Imo community project  tour and I saw the poor condition of the LGA. I am asking what happened to council funds  of the LGA ? Where are the local roads for Ihitte Uboma, where are the health care centres, good schools and standard markets? What about water  projects ?  What about jobs for  the youths? Where are the projects for  development in Ihitte Uboma? Lack of basic amenities has made the place   a ghost environment. Yet this man wants to represent Okigwe zone in the Senate. What is he going there to do?  Is he going there to sleep?  Is he going there so as to arrest and jail all those who opposed him the same way he put Samuelson Iwuoha and his wife in jail for 11 months?  He even struggled seriously to put me behind bars for criticizing him. God pass them.
It’s self-delusional to believe that a  stint in the Senate  would make Uwajumogu a better person. Power exacerbates rather than cures an absence of integrity.  Now that he is jobless he is seeing what 10,000 persons and their families that he and the emperor took food away from their mouth  saw. His calls are no longer answered by those who hitherto held him in high esteem. He is now viewed as a liability. He now has to hire transport for his family, pay all his phone, rent, electricity expenses. He is now in dire financial straits. His huge mansions with multiple self contained bedrooms and cars have become a liability . I tell you all those that contributed to the sufferings of Imolites one way or the other will be shown the backhand .
(Uwadi  wrote from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)

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