There is no doubt that the outgoing Governor of Imo state Chief Ethelbert Anayo OkorochaOON and his handlers are having sleepless nights over the recent publication by our campaign Organization of the figures of the huge statutory allocation received by the state Government on behalf of the 27 LGA’s of Imo State for the period of may 2014 to Oct. 2015 which aggregates to a sum of N167,975,789,602.42 (one hundred and sixty seven billion, nine hundred and seventy five million, seven hundred and eighty nine thousand six hundred and two naira, forty two kobo).
The State Government’s predictable reaction to this publication no doubt confirms the long held belief that it runs a deceptive administrative policy without transparency. The deliberate denial over the years of relevant information to the public regarding the monthly statutory allocation accruing to the state and our 27 LGAs no doubt is aimed at keeping Imo people Ignorant of how much funds are received and how these funds are spent.
It is worthy to recall that throughout the tenure of the previous PDP led State Governments, the monthly statutory allocation to our 27 LGAs were usually published after JAAC meetings. The question is, why did Okorocha stop this policy?
In its palpable fear of the “recent opening of Imo people’s eyes”, over the statutory allocation of our LGAs by His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeke Ihedioha CON, KSC the PDP governorship candidate of Imo State and deputy speaker house of Representatives, Okorocha and his handlers know that there is fire on the mountain because Imo people are now asking where did all that money go to in view of the total collapse of the LGA administration in the state?
We are not surprised that in the desperate attempt to muddle up the waters over this matter and instead of honestly appreciating the Deputy Speaker, Okorocha is as usual waving the banner of implementation of his whimsical free education policy as a defence for this clear misappropriation of the huge LGA allocations received under his tenure. Laughably also, Okorocha ignorantly seem to be querying figures of Federation statutory allocation released by the Deputy Speaker who constitutionally oversights the relevant federal agencies superintending our national Finances and Contracts. We challenge Okorocha and his handlers to publish any contradictory figures if they truly dispute what we published.
We recall that this self same Okorocha had over the years claimed that the billions of naira realized by Imo state from his unilateral leasing of the previously resuscitated ADAPALM Nig. Ltd to ROCHE ltd was used in building to 305 primary school buildings across the state. Imo people today know that across the state, more than half of these buildings remain uncompleted while most of the completed ones are not in use no doubt due to fear of their suspected weak foundation. In the same vein the so called ultra-modern hospitals remain uncompleted in the State almost four years after.
Also when asked about the 13.6 billion naira balance of the bond funds for the Oguta wonder lake project handed over by the Ohakim’s administration to his government, Okorocha also claimed it was used for free Education Programme. It is also for free education programme that all IRROMA Equipment worth over 18 billion naira acquired for our Local Governments by the Ohakim Administration were sold off to cronies of Okorocha without due process. It is also top secret that Okorocha Administration makes monthly deductions from salaries of Civil Servants and other political appointees as contribution to support free education programme. The truth is that the lies over free education by Okorocha and his handlers as cover for misappropriation have become exposed and unbelievable.
The nauseating angle to this unwarranted hijacking of funds from all sources in the name of implementing Free Education is that the standard of Education in Imo State is on a free fall. We are now one of the poorest performing States in WAEC and JAMB examinations; the faculties of our state owned tertiary institutions are being de-accredited by regulatory agencies; graduates of Imo state Polytechnic Umuagwo no longer go for National Youth Service our lecturers and academic faculties are denied research grants; Imo State secondary school principals are denied school running costs and even basic teaching aids like chalks are no longer provided in public primary schools. The Imo State government owned secondary schools lack qualified mathematics and science teachers while science laboratories are no longer equipped by the state government.
In view of this disaster in the education sector in Imo State, It is condemnable that Okorocha regularly uses the implementation of his jaundiced free education programme to explain away the continuous misappropriation of huge funds received on behalf of Imo people by his administration. We wish to remind him that under the UBE scheme of the Federal Government Primary Education and Junior Secondary School are tuition free and constitutes a major component of the state government’s claim of providing free education. Also Imo people are entitled to know the student population benefiting from the so called free education programme and the annual cost implication for the state Government.
The predicament which the Okorocha Governorship has become to our beloved Imo State underscores the divine emergence of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON KSC as the Governorship candidate of PDP for Imo State. There is no doubt that Okorocha secretly prayed for a featherweight candidate instead of this man of the people whose word is his bond with the requisite national exposure and capacity to salvage Imo State from the unmerited mis-governance of Okorocha.
It must be clear to the Governor as the elections draw closer that the Imo electorates have rejected him. Who really is rooting for him? is it the civil servants whose salaries are whimsically deducted monthly; or pensioners whose cheques are dishonored upon presentation or the students who are failing examinations due to lack of qualified teachers and study materials or our traders who cannot sell their stock due to dwindling patronage from a comatose Imo economy occasioned by capital flight due to preference for non Imo State resident contractors by the Okorocha administration; or the clergy who have been embarrassed on end by his claim of being the spiritual leader of Imo state and persuading our youths to convert to Islamic Faith for a fee; or the former elected chairmen, councilors and other political appointees of the state whose legitimate wages and severance benefits remain unpaid or the 10,000 Imo youths employed by the state civil service but sacked by Okorocha or staff of various parastatals who remain unpaid months after other cadre of public servants are paid salaries. Indeed the list is endless of unmerited hardship Imo people suffer under this inhuman Okorocha Administration. Consequently, if there is one Governor in Nigeria whose time is up and days numbered, it is no doubt Governor Ethelbert Anayo Okorocha OON. It is axiomatic that with IHEDIOHA as Governor, Imo State will rise again, hence, we urge Imo electorates to keep faith with good governance and vote for him on 11th April, 2015.
Chief Enyinna Onuegbu KSC
Head Media and publicity.