Chief Emeka Ihedioha, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has condemned move by the Rochas Okorocha led administration of Imo State to earmarked over N600 million for Christmas and New Year decorations in the state.
Ihedioha, in a press statement by his media aide, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, expressed shock over media reports that the state governor intends to spend such huge sums at a time the citizenry are going through untold hardship arising from over 20 months of unpaid salary arrears and pensions.
He was raged that the 27 local government councils had been in comatose for years, while several industrial disputes had remained unresolved.
The former Deputy Speaker said, “There are several unresolved industrial disputes, while the state’s infrastructure base has collapsed. Today, there is palpable lack of vision for the genuine development of the state, but the government chose to embark on such inciting and frivolous window dressing.
“Despite the prevailing widespread disenchantment being expressed by citizens, who recently called for his immediate impeachment over the alarming rate of hunger and insecurity occasioned by the inept handling of issues of governance and unrepentant deceit so far exhibited by the Okorocha led administration, the governor has refused to repent or address such concerns and other critical issues.
“Preparations for Christmas celebration is a tradition all over the world, so it is ridiculous and indeed smacks of insensitivity for this government to spend over N600 million on decorations when families can no longer afford their meals and basic needs as a result of non-payment of salaries, pensions and other entitlements.”
While also expressing displeasure over Governor Okorocha’s refusal to constitute his cabinet six months after election, the former Deputy Speaker lamented that there was no local government administration and no functional ministry, department or agency in the state.
“The governor has embarked on several trips abroad to woo non-existent investors with a view to actualizing his failed promises of aggressive industrialization and employment of youths,” he said.
Chief Ihedioha urged Governor Okorocha to quickly retrace his steps and begin to address the plight of workers, pensioners and other critical issues of governance in order to avert looming economic crises, insecurity and indeed stave off what could be the bleakest Christmas celebration in the history of Imo State.
By Patrick Aigbokhan