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Controversies over ‘demolition’ of Imo State’s Freedom Park

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The camps of former Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha and the state’s current governor Emeka Ihedioha are disputing each other’s claims about what happened to a section of the Freedom Park built by Okorocha administration.

The park, adjacent the Imo State Government House, is one of the most popular recreational centres in the southeastern state.

A spokesperson for Okorocha said in a statement that the fountain inside the park was demolished on the orders of Imo State governor on Thursday.

“There is a general sentiment that the demolition was ordered by new Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha,” the unsigned statement said.

But Ihedioha’s special assistant on new media Izuchukwu Akwarandu told The Guardian that the fountain was not destroyed by anyone.

Akwarandu said the fountain came down on its own

“That’s totally false,” Akwarandu said on Saturday morning.

“They have been trying to tell the stories as if the government has been demolishing their structures.”

The animosity between the two camps has spiked in recent weeks as the Imo State government and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission stepped up efforts to reclaim the properties of the state allegedly looted by Okorocha and his cronies.

But the former governor insisted his administration did well for the state.

Okorocha’s camp recently accused the Economic and Financial Crime Commission of a witch-hunt and assaulting the staff of Rochas Foundation College in Owerri. Okorocha also accused the EFCC of disrupting activities in the school.

But the anti-graft agency disputed the claims.

“The Commission has pictorial and video evidences which put a lie to the claim that Rochas Foundation College was allegedly raided by the EFCC while in session,” EFCC said in a statement.

“This could not be so because the school was not in session and could not have had its students harassed as was fed some online media.”


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