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Okorocha fighting Ihedioha’s government with ill-gotten wealth, dep governor alleges


Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha

• ‘I made my money before I became governor’
• State to commence payment of pension arrears next month

As disputations between Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha continue, Deputy Governor of the state, Gerald Irona, has accused the latter of using ill-gotten wealth to fight Ihedioha’s administration.

Irona, who stated this at the weekend when management team of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Channel 12, led by Mrs. Franca Akenneye, visited him at Government House, Owerri, said the administration will however, not be deterred by distractions.

But in a swift reaction, Okorocha said his political opponents were bent on dragging his name in the mud, insisting that he made his money long before he became governor. Speaking at the weekend, the former governor said he worked hard to become wealthy, acquiring houses in most towns and cities of the country before he became governor in 2011.

Irona, however, restated the state government’s commitment to partner with NTA and other public institutions in the state to work for the interest of Imo people and Nigerians.

“We have finished politicking and this is time for governance, as such, all hands must be on deck to ensure that Nigeria moves forward. The country is going through a difficult period. Almost on daily basis, there are media reports of ugly incidents and social vices everywhere.“We will encourage you to support the government to fight crime in Imo State. Banditry has no boundaries and we must encourage the exposure of criminals, particularly, those that have looted our treasury.”

“They must not be condoned. A criminal is a criminal. Criminals all over the world fight with ill-gotten wealth. It is the responsibility of the media to expose people who, in their opinion, through investigative journalism, are corrupt,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser to Governor Ihedioha on Media, Steve Osuji, has disclosed that the state government has concluded arrangements to commence payment of pension arrears owed retirees in the next one month. Speaking while fielding questions at the weekend from journalists on the Peoples Assembly programme on Hot FM, Osuji said there were about 40,000 retirees’ files being treated.

He explained that the pensioners, which have accumulated from 1976 when the state was created till date, were being captured on the state government’s digital biometric database.He noted that it was better to have a comprehensive and reliable database for future purposes, than to stampede the government into paying pensioners wrongly.The Guardian learnt that about N60 billion or more is being owed the retirees, covering about 80 months arrears.


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