The governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has suspended the state commissioner for lands, Survey and Physical planning, Noble Atulegwu.
Also suspended is his Special Adviser/ General Manager of the Imo State Housing Corporation, Mbakwe Obi.
A statement issued in Owerri, the state capital by the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmos Iwu, disclosed that the suspension of the duo was with immediate effect.
Though the statement didn’t state any reason for the immediate suspension of the duo, findings revealed that Atulegwu had been having issues with many communities in Owerri over alleged takeover of their family and communal lands.
Many communities had protested and asked the governor to relieve him of his duty.
Some of the families even went to court to challenge Atulegwu’s actions and polices.
The statement said, “The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has approved the immediate suspension from the office of Hon Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Physical Planning, Hon Noble Atulegwu.
“His Excellency has similarly approved the immediate suspension from office of the SA/GM Imo Housing Corporation, Hon Mbakwe Obi Jnr.”
The spokesperson to the governor, Oguike Nwachuku, also confirmed the development when contacted by our correspondent.
In a bold and commendable move, Governor Hope Uzodimma has taken a firm stand against the pervasive issue of land grabbing and racketeering within his administration. Recent actions targeting his own appointees, including the commissioner for lands, survey, and physical planning, and the SA/GM Imo Housing Corporation have sent a strong message that no cadre of official or government appointee will be spared if found culpable. This resolute commitment to tackling corruption and ensuring transparency in land-related matters marks a significant departure from the practices of previous governments and signifies a new era of accountability and justice.
Land grabbing has long plagued Imo State leading to social, economic, and legal ramifications for individuals and communities alike. This illicit practice, often involving the illegal acquisition of land, undermines the rule of law, breeds social unrest, and stifles economic development. However, Governor Hope Uzodimma’s unwavering determination to eradicate this menace is a breath of fresh air, offering hope to citizens and signaling a transformative shift in governance.
Governor Uzodimma’s recent actions have proven that his commitment to fighting land grabbing is not mere rhetoric but a sincere mission to root out corruption and restore trust in public institutions. By holding his own government appointees accountable, he has set a precedent that no one is above the law and that any individual involved in fraudulent land practices will face the consequences, regardless of their position or influence.
The resolute stance of Governor Hope Uzodimma against land grabbing is a powerful deterrent to those who may have previously engaged in or contemplated involvement in such activities. The fear of reprisal and the prospect of severe legal penalties will dissuade potential wrongdoers and send a clear message that the era of impunity is over. This will help safeguard the interests of the citizens, protect public resources, and foster an environment conducive to sustainable development./By Unegbu Victor-Wallace
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