His Excellency Hope Uzodinma, the Governor of Imo State, said he had returned lands said to be forcefully taken from the owners by the administration of a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
Uzodinma said that the gesture was in fulfilment of the pledge he made on the assumption of office that he was going to return all the lands forcefully taken from the people by the past administration.
Uzodinma, who spoke through his deputy, Placid Njoku, at a function, said, “I realised that the only way to assuage the pains of the people was a complete restoration of the lands back to their rightful owners – and today, we have gathered for the first phase of the restoration of lands forcefully taken away from their rightful owners.
“To those whose lands are being restored today, I congratulate you and urge you to be confident that my administration will support and promote only forthright processes.
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“At the time that I took over the mantle of leadership of our great State, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Lands and Related Matters was already sitting. At my interactive session with the members of the Commission, I confirmed that the Commission should continue and complete it is work and I promised Imo people that I will implement the report of the Commission.
“When the report was submitted on 1st June 2020, I immediately saw and felt the pains of Imolites whose lands were forcefully wrested away by the then administration. The Government itself was not spared on this land-grabbing madness. Government lands and properties were sadly converted to personal use by the management of the Senator Rochas Okorocha administration, their families and friends.
“In Orlu, all Government lands at the Government Station Layout and the Eastern Palm University were brazenly taken over by the same people that the people of Imo State entrusted with the sacred duty of protecting and preserving public property.”
“My administration will continue to be the protector of the helpless. The era when leaders or government officials will usurp the property of Imolites and hope to get away with it is over.
“To those whose lands are being restored today, I congratulate you and urge you to be confident that my administration will support and promote only forthright processes,” he added.