The Imo State Government has sacked Heartland chairman Fan Ndubuoke and replaced him with businessman Ibeh Okechukwu.
Ndubuoke is still recuperating from the road crash he was involved in at Owerri while on official duty when the announcement was made.
The Owerri side had been jumping from one failure to the other before the advent of Ndubuoke and his businesslike approach fetched five trophies for the state under two years.
The Ndubuoke-led management broke almost 20 years without a trophy with their win in the 2011 Federation Cup over Enyimba and successfully defended it again the following season after another victory over Lobi Stars at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos in 2012.
Announcing the sack of Ndubuoke and the unveiling of the new helmsman, Imo Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Kenneth Emelu pointed that the appointment was made in tandem with the pronouncement of the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who directed that all heads of government parastatals in the state be changed with immediate effect.
Emelu described Ndubuoke as a good man but reckoned that the directive from the state governor cannot also be ignored because violation could come with dire consequences.
"We are gathered here today to witness the unveiling of the new Heartland's general manager who has been given the mandate by his excellency to reposition Heartland and take it to a greater height.
The change has become pertinent to keep in line with the directive from the governor that all heads of parastatals in the state be changed to new ones. Ndubuoke, the former Chairman tried his best but we must give way to another person for continuity," Emelu said.
In his acceptance speech, Ibeh Okechukwu thanked the Imo State governor for giving him the privilege to serve the state through Heartland and he added that the Naze Millionaires would continue to flourish just like it was under the former chairman, Ndubuoke.