Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha, of leaving the state wretched, dry and in a very bad shape, with a liability of N300 billion.
Okorocha, it explained to The Guardian in Owerri yesterday, incurred over N100 billion debt and abandoned projects worth more than N200 billion across the state.
The publicity secretary, Damian Opara, was reacting to the claim by Okorocha that he was leaving over N42 billion for the incoming administration of PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha.
According to PDP, Okorocha’s claim was unverifiable, baseless and a bad precedent for the Imo government.
“We have it on good authority that Rochas abandoned projects worth more than N200 billion all over Imo.
“He abandoned the five-star hotels he was building in Okigwe and Owerri. He abandoned the 27 general hospitals he started. He abandoned the 15km rural roads he said he was going to construct.
“What is he leaving behind? He is leaving behind a debt of N100 billion for Imo State. He is leaving over 90 months pension arrears. He is leaving the Imo civil servants in agony. He owes them for the past four years and their 48 months salaries were not paid in full.
“He is talking of money we will get by counterpart funding. That was just a trap for the incoming administration, but we are going to overcome it,” Opara stated.
In the same vein, the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has alleged that over 2,000 pensioners died under Okorocha’s administration.
The chairman, Austin Chilakpo, stated this at a press conference in Owerri yesterday while reacting to the death of the state chairman of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), James Osigwe, on Sunday evening.
Chilakpo disclosed that out of the N5 billion released to Okorocha for the payment of pensioners in the state, only 20 per cent was utilised.
He said: “It pains most that while Ezeji died, he was issued a dud cheque, which is lying by his death bed. He couldn’t cash the money to take care of himself until his death. It is unfortunate.”
Asserting that the pensioners were dying in geometrical proportion, he pleaded with the incoming governor to declare emergency on payment of pensions in the state.