The governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has charged the Whitepaper Implementation Committee on Lands and Other Related Matters to recover all the assets gazetted in the whitepaper.
Gov. Uzodimma gave the charge at Government House Owerri on Monday when he performed the inauguration of the committee.
The governor directed the committee not only to recover as recommended by the whitepaper all illegally acquired Imo assets but also recommend to government how best to put into use the recovered assets.
Governor Uzodimma explained that the implementation of the whitepaper is of profound importance to the people of the state, as the implementation is seen as the final contract with the people upon which his administration will be judged.
He described the action as an integral part of his administration, pointing out that with the implementation the 3R mantra will be further amplified.
He said; “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 few individuals and their cronies without regard to the rule of law.”
The governor asked the committee to “ensure that every aspect of the whitepaper is implemented, noting that Imo people expect nothing less.
He added that the recovery of all stolen Imo wealth is nothing but what the people need.
He informed that there were legal and court processes challenging the whitepaper by those who are involved in the illegal acquisition.
He however pointed 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 warned over impunity and lawlessness against anybody or group who has genuine complaints to make to the committee, but charged the members to be fair and firm, no matter whose ox is gored.
While reminding Nigerians of the essence of panels of inquiry and the attendant whitepapers that follow them as well as the need to implement such outcomes, the governor said that whitepapers are to check excesses in both public and private service.
He explained that his determination to implement the recommendations of the whitepaper is to move the state forward and to ensure that the present and future governments are governed by the rule of law.
He said in the process of achieving this, the government owes no one apologies.
In his acceptance speech, the 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 people of the state.
Awuzie said the task given to them is unique as it is the first time in Imo governance that a governor comes out boldly to institute a committee to implement a whitepaper on Lands and Related Matters.
He pleaded that any report brought against any of their members or the group before the governor be critically examined before action could be taken against them.
He assured that his committee will not compromise honour and integrity in carrying out its job and pledged on behalf of his members, to discharge their duty and assignment to the best of their ability.