By Ogbonna Casmir
Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that the Rescue Mission Government in the State which he superintends has not borrowed from any bank, stating that opponents of his government have been talking about his borrowing from banks because of the numerous projects his administration has executed.
Governor Okorocha gave the hint when he had a breakfast meeting with Journalists in the State at his private residence in Owerri on Tuesday, March 24, 2017, adding that instead of his administration borrowing, what it had done was to pay the money borrowed by administrations before him and he has done that so that the State won’t be in debt after him.
He explained that his opponents have been imagining that he has borrowed money to be doing all that his administration has achieved in five years, stressing that the truth of the matter is that his government is not indebted to any bank.
His words “For posterity reasons, this government is not owing any bank or person, any amount except for the bailout fund that 100 million naira is been deducted from the source monthly. Any subsequent government that comes and says that Rochas borrowed is a criminal one”.
On 2019, the governor said “I will never run against President Buhari but would continue to support him in the overall interest of the nation, especially when he has stabilized the nation. I want to also say that those in Imo who made many political enemies should forget the Douglas House. We need people with free mind. I have killed the clannish nature of the state where people consider where you come from before doing anything for you. The politics of sentiment must be discarded and discouraged. It is shame for somebody to hope on zoning to win elections”.
The governor also informed that his administration has spent over N50 billion on free education since the introduction of the programme, regretting that inspite of the description of the free education policy as a ruse by the opponents of the administration there was stampede at the locations where the students were asked to go and get forms to fill to show they are really indigenes of the State because of the information that none indigenes claim to be Imo people because of the programme.
The governor also directed the Secretary to the government of the State, Sir George Eche to forward an Executive bill to the House of Assembly to make the Local Government Chairmen’s tenure three years instead of the two years it has been and said that the State Electoral Commission would conduct the Local Government election once the law for the new tenure is ready, adding that two years tenure is not good for the system.
On the issue of the former Chairman of the State Council of Ndi-Eze, the governor said “Let me clarify, Ilomuanya is no longer an Eze, he is Mr. Ilomuanya. He is not an Eze and will no longer be an Eze, His Eze was not a proper one. Let me give you an insight, for the purpose of those who misplace fact. What Illomuanya went to Court for, is to claim that he is still the Chairman of Imo State Traditional Rulers Council. First of all, I removed him as Chairman, he wasn’t coming to meetings or attending any function so we removed him as Eze. He went to Court and the Court said status quo should remain which means the last incident should remain which is his removal, which was the last thing that took him to Court. His five years tenure ended 3 years ago so the issue of tenure is over, he can only ask for entitlement of the tenure because the tenure has elapsed. For now, he is no longer an Eze unless the Court says otherwise. I have warned that he stops parading himself as an Eze or I will banish him from the State”.
On the issue of Pensions & Salaries the governor said all Imo workers have been paid upto February 2017 except few parastatals that are been delayed by the banks, adding too that Pensioners have been paid upto December 2016 based on the agreement the government had with them.