APC Dissolves State, LG, Ward Excos In Ogun, Imo

The All Progressives Congress has dissolved the executive committees in Imo and Ogun states.

Also dissolved were the local government and ward executives in the two states.

In their place, the NWC would inaugurate caretaker committees that would superintend over the affairs of the party in the two states ahead of the general elections.

Their dissolution formed part of the resolutions reached during the National Working Committee meeting presided over by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and his counterpart in Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, had vowed to work against governorship candidates in their states.

A member of the NWC told Punch newspaper correspondent that the meeting decided to dissolve all the party structures in Ogun and Imo states to stem the conflict of ideas being promoted by the two governors.

He said, “The two governors have sponsored their preferred candidates on the platform of other political parties while they are holding on to the APC’s senatorial tickets.

“We see this as a conflict of interest which could jeopardise the party’s efforts to win the two states.”

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2019: APC Will Win Ogun, Deliver Hope Uzodinma In Imo State, Oshiomole Vows

National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomole, has assured party supporters that the ruling party will win all elective positions in Imo and Ogun State.

Oshiomole stated this while receiving APC women leaders from Edo State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), at his office in Abuja.

Oshiomhole was, however, confident that the APC remains stronger in Imo and Ogun states, despite the grievances of their governors as a result of the outcome of the party’s primaries where their preferred candidates lost.

He said: “The real headline today is that we will win in Ogun State and we will deliver Hope Uzodinma in Imo State.  Our popularity in Imo today is increasing. What we don’t know and Nigerians always make this mistake that once you are a governor, you have electoral value.

“Yes, we have overwhelming majority of APC governors who have electoral values and we also have some few electoral liabilities. I can tell that in Imo State today we will have more votes.

“Politics is about numbers and I am looking at the average Imo voters because on that the governor will have one vote and his son-in-law will also have one vote. Those market women, artisans, mechanics and farmers will also have their vote.

“Those who think our political future is tied to them; they are poor students of their own political history. Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself.

“In Imo State today, APC will win more votes. My focus is on ordinary Imo voters because on that day, the governor would have only one vote, his son-in-law would have only one vote while his Commissioner for Happiness would have only one vote.

“But artisans, traders, teachers and workers whose salaries are not being paid have the same weight of vote and they are excited about the renewed possibility of a new government coming with fresh ideas free of all the encumbrances of the present system. So, in Imo I’m very confident.

“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State. The state is one of the most enlightened states in Nigeria. They have a huge history; they are not in a political kingdom headed by one person.

“If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (defection of aides). That is not how democracy works. Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome –  ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’ You have only one vote. With due respect, I was once a governor. Overall, APC is much stronger now.”

Recall that the primaries in Imo and Ogun states had pitted Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo State respectively against the National Chairman as their anointed governorship choices failed to secure the party’s gubernatorial ticket.

While both governors have promised to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid, they also vowed that they would stop at nothing to ensure the victories of their choice candidates in other parties.

Okorocha’s supporters  have defected to the Action Alliance (AA). Amosun’s have joined the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

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Count Me Out Of Oshiomhole’s Alleged Detention – Amosun

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has dismissed rumours that he and Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo are behind the alleged detention and grilling of All Progressives Congress(APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole.

Oshiomhole was reportedly detained and questioned on Nov. 4 by the Department of State Services (DSS) over the fallout of the APC primaries.

Speaking with State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Amosun said he did not have such capacity.

“I think you are giving me an oversight role.

“I am not a security person; so, clearly, that question will probably not be for me.

“I don’t hide under a finger and fight; if there is need for me to put my views across, you know by now, I will do it.”

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No Going Back On Direct Primary – Oshiomole

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomole, has vowed that the party won’t be blackmailed into going back on its resolve to conduct the governorship and National Assembly exercises through direct primary.

In a brief interaction with newsmen shortly after a meeting with APC Governors, insisted that the outcome of the Ogun State exercise could not stand because it was not conducted in line with the stipulated guideline.

Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, who led the group, said the meeting was held to seek solutions to the sundry crises dogging the primaries and also to right wrongs, so that justice could prevail.

“We came to review the various crises characterising our primaries, especially the APC, with a view to finding solution.

“So, we are looking for a way out in this regard. We are going to find solution. Our party believes in justice, equity and fairness. We are requesting, let the right thing be done and let everyone contest the elections,” he said.

The governors included Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State. Others were chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, Governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Sani Bello of Niger State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

Akeredolu and El-Rufai had visited State House the previous day, although their mission was not disclosed.

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2019: Okorocha Says 24 Governors Support President Buhari’s Reelection

Imo State Governor and Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, has disclosed that 24 governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are strongly backing President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.

Okorocha said this at a meeting with President Buhari at the Aso Villa last night.

He said: “We came to welcome him back and to commend him for his boldness and courage to declare his intention to run for second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which we the 24 governors of the APC duly support.

”And we have come to encourage him that he must go ahead with his vision,” he added.

According to him, the meeting also addressed the coming convention and congresses to make it hitch-free.

”We also agreed that we will not allow the issue of many contestants to destroy our party.” he said.

Asked if Oshiomhole’s endorsement came up, Okorocha said the public would be “duly briefed in due course”.

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FG To Complete Abandoned Skill Acquisition Centre In Imo

The federal government has promised to complete the abandoned skill acquisition centre project in Imo State.

The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Daramola made the promise during a courtesy visit to Gov. Rochas Okorocha on Friday in Owerri.

“The skill acquisition centre project will boost economy of the state and must be completed to ensure development.

“The centre which was initiated by the ministry is aimed at gainfully engaging youths of the state.

“The centre has been abandoned for some time now but we will endeavor to complete it,” he said.

Okorocha, in his remarks, thanked the minister and his team for the visit and their efforts in ensuring development in the state.

He said that the skill acquisition centre had been lying fallow for over four years now and that he wanted it to be completed and put to proper use.

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Gov. Okorocha: Of Tyranny And Discontent, By Chido Onumah

A very significant event—a peaceful mass protest against the misgovernance and mindless plunder of Imo State by Mr. Rochas Okorocha—took place in Owerri exactly a month ago, on Monday, December 18, 2017. It was organized by the Imo Peoples Action for Democracy (IPAD), a coalition of civil society and professional groups in Imo State.

It didn’t get much media traction, not because it didn’t deserve national media attention. Part of the problem is the character of the Nigerian media. The other explanation was the concerted effort by Mr. Okorocha and his goons, aided by the Nigeria Police, to suppress the protest.

By the morning of the protest, radio stations in Owerri were running bulletins, issued by the Nigeria Police, claiming that the protest had been called off because the police had declared it illegal. That declaration was, of course, not only patently false but illegal considering that the Nigerian constitution guarantees citizens freedom of thought and expression.

Not trusting their own propaganda, Mr. Okorocha and the police rolled out tanks, deployed various security outfits and laid siege to Owerri, searching vehicles coming into the city centre for protesters. Their machinations, and the massive security presence, notwithstanding, citizens of Imo State came out to show their displeasure with Mr. Okorocha’s harebrained polices. Expectedly, the police confronted the protesters, firing tear gas, attacking those who refused to disperse and confiscating banners and placards.

Interestingly, on the same day, Mr. Okorocha’s myrmidons, suborned by a vicious and clueless chief executive, gathered at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri, with full security protection, singing and dancing, to show their “support” for a man desperate for acceptance and approval even with the national opprobrium his time as governor has drawn.

A day before, as I distributed leaflets about the protest at an anti-imperialist youth camp organized by Social Action in Owerri, one of the young people I met informed me that the Imo State government had made available two million naira (N2,000,000) for youth from all the local governments in the state to dissuade them from joining the protest.

The responsibility of “sharing” the largesse fell on Onwueyiagwu Valentine who was just two weeks old on the job as commissioner for youth development.  The young man in question told me, in an appealingly irreverent way, that when he and his mates were summoned by the obviously edgy commissioner, he had no inkling that he was going to convey Mr. Okorocha’s message that the youth should be paid to put the kibosh on the protest. He said his share of the money was three thousand naira (N3,000) and that he collected it to cover his transportation. He assured me he would participate in the protest. This is just an insight into how far a desperate Mr. Okorocha went to deny Imolites their right to protest his malfeasance.

The December 18, 2017, protest was significant for three reasons: one, it laid to rest the myth that the tyranny of Mr. Okorocha could not be challenged; two, it showed the incestuous, and profitable, relationship between Mr. Okorocha and the Nigeria Police Force in Imo State headed by Mr. Chris Ezike, the state police commissioner; three, it marked the beginning of what would be a long-drawn-out battle to reclaim Imo State and rescue it from the grips of a grotesque mediocrity, to use Karl Marx’s apt description of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. I shall return to this third point.

Anyone who has taken, even a cursory, interest in happenings in Nigeria, will be piqued by the actions of the menace called Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the governor of Imo State. Two years after he took office on May 29, 2011, he orchestrated the impeachment of his then deputy, Jude Agbaso, by the State House of Assembly, on allegation of corruption. Okorocha installed his sidekick and chief of staff, Eze Madumere, as deputy governor.

For Imolites who had gone through a string of ineffectual governors—including Okorocha’s predecessor, Ikedi Ohakim, himself a devious administrator—the emergence of Mr. Okorocha in 2011 was a testament to the beauty of democracy and the power of the people. Mr. Okorocha’s antecedents did not qualify him to run a local government much less a state. His “fame” derived from what Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, describes as being an “appendage of power.”

A semi-literate political freeloader who has toyed with the idea of running for president several times, Mr. Okorocha promoted himself as a “successful businessman and education philanthropist.” In April 2011, he “won” a highly controversial election marred by irregularities and became the fourteenth governor of Imo State since its creation in 1976.

Let it be clear, some of those who oppose Mr. Okorocha today supported him a few years ago. They thought, then, that considering his so-called rag to riches story, Mr. Okorocha could empathize with the harried citizens of the state. Imolites were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the heels of a succession of depraved governors. It didn’t take long before Mr. Okorocha proved that governorship of Imo State was beyond his pay grade.

In a recent interview with Tell magazine, Mr. Okorocha noted: “My ideas drive me crazy.” He wasn’t speaking figuratively. Going by his own insane admission, there is no other way to describe his stewardship other than pure madness. Mr. Okorocha has embarked on the most reckless anti-people programmes Imolites have witnessed. He has demolished markets, displacing poor market men and women without providing succour.

Civil servants are owed backlog of salaries and when they are paid, they are only given a percentage of their salary. Same for pensioners. He runs the finances of Imo State without recourse to the State House of Assembly. In an October 14, 2016, petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, a group, Concerned Citizens of Imo State noted, among other things, that Mr. Okorocha had destroyed the civil service in the state and rendered it ineffective.

According to the group, “The first thing he did after he took office was to publicly announce: ‘I do not believe in the use of files or in due process. Due process is due corruption; whenever I wake up, I move where my mind directs me.’ The governor makes appointments bypassing the state Civil Service Commission and with no regard for competence. Workers in the state civil service are the worst hit. Permanent secretaries, directors and professionals like doctors, engineers, architects and surveyors are mere spectators, even in areas where their specialty and experience are most needed. Their jobs have been taken over by Okorocha’s surrogates.”

Indeed, Mr. Okorocha’s mind has been directing him to all kinds of inanities. A few years ago, he woke up and his mind directed him to pull down the central library—an edifice older than Imo State and one which, as an undergraduate at the University of Calabar three decades ago, was a refuge for me and many in my generation and beyond—to construct what has turned out to be his personal cathedral.

Recently, not being able to pay civil servants, notwithstanding the billions of naira from the federal government to meet that obligation, Mr. Okorocha woke up one morning and his mind directed him to declare a three-day work week. He asked civil servants who were owed months of salary arrears to take up farming to make up for the unpaid wages. His latest idle fancy is erecting statues in Owerri.

And Mr. Okorocha’s statues don’t come cheap as he gleefully told Channels TV in an interview a few weeks ago. He recently commissioned one, amid national outrage, of the certified rogue president, Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

Back to the issue of reclaiming Imo State. Today, the state has become the Okorocha fiefdom. For Mr. Okorocha, democracy simply means government of the Okorochas by the Okorochas and for the Okorochas. Last month, he announced his younger sister, Ogechi Ololo (nee Okorocha)deputy chief of staff for internal and domestic affairs—as commissioner for “happiness and couples’ fulfillment,” and later, “purpose fulfilment.”

He has no compunction naming public buildings after his family members. His father-in-law, Prof Anthony Anwukah, a former secretary to the state government under Mr. Okorocha, and now the junior minister of education, is the minister representing Imo State in the Federal Executive Council.

A few days before the December 18 protest, Uche Nwosu, ex-personal assistant, lapdog, and son-in-law of Mr. Okorocha, and currently his chief of staff, launched what was clearly his 2019 governorship campaign, leaving no one in doubt that the son-in-law is being primed to replace the father-in-law; a grand tragedy set to be replaced by a rotten farce, to paraphrase Friedrich Engels. Regrettably, some members of the do-nothing Imo State House of Assembly have already endorsed this caricature.

There is so much a people can endure. It is comforting that the Imo Peoples Action for Democracy has declared 2018 a year of rage! Now that the heat is on, those who aspire to lead Imo State in 2019 must stand up and be counted.

Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans. Follow him on Twitter @conumah

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2019: PDP Reps Members Decamp To APC

Two members of the House of Representatives under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The members are Mr. Raphael Igbokwe, from Imo State, and Hon. Mayowa Akinfolarin representing Ileoluji-Okeibo/Odigbo Constituency in Ondo State.

The defection did not however go down well with some PDP members as they staged walk out in protest against the decision of the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, for allowing the defection to stand.

Imo State Governor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, witnessed the defection of Igbokwe at the session.

Igbokwe announced that he had since joined the APC in January when there was a leadership crisis in the PDP.

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Imo State: Where There Is No Legislature, By Walter Duru,

In modern democratic societies, the legislature performs three conventional functions of representation, law-making and oversight responsibilities. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) has provided the legislature in different sections, the powers to perform these functions at both the central and state levels.

The legislature controls through legislation, all economic, social and political activities of the state or country. It also scrutinizes the policies of the Executive and provides the framework of the judiciary to operate.

Contrary to the above norm, in Imo State, there are three arms of Government – the Executive, the Executive and the Executive. The executive has one name – Rochas Anayochukwu Ethelbert Okorocha, who rules the State (with his family) as a conquered people. The State Assembly is mere O yes rubber stamp. In Imo, it is the state versus her citizens, instead of the state for the citizens. I challenge whoever that thinks otherwise to prove me wrong, with verifiable facts and superior argument(s).

Anyone dreaming that recent developments at the State House of Assembly suggest they have woken up from slumber should wake up from that sleep and take some malaria pills. It is a huge joke and there is nothing like Imo State House of Assembly; instead, we have Okorocha House of clowns, in practical terms. What we have occupying the exulted positions of state lawmakers is a bunch of timid opportunists and puppets, who believe that their ascension to the state legislature is a special favour from the cad governor of the state, hence, they owe him worship.

How else do you describe a state Assembly that cannot boast of any meaningful people-oriented legislation since its inauguration? How else can one explain the fact that the only time people hear about Imo State House of Assembly is when there is a Budget or Supplementary Budget to ‘adopt;’ not pass, as this Assembly has never scrutinized any budget proposal submitted to it. The budgetary process is done in utmost secrecy and is mere ratification of the governor’s submission. Sometimes, the budget is signed and spending commences before the so-called annual budget proposal is submitted to the Assembly.

Majority of the members of the State Assembly do not know what goes on in the legislature. Most legislative decisions are taken in the Executive Chambers. Another time you hear of the Assembly is when there is a request for loan for the personal use of the ‘Emperor’ or when there is an obnoxious anti people bill, usually sponsored by the Executive, through one of the puppets? A typical instance is that of the anti-media bill, smuggled in through the Deputy Speaker, Ugonna Ozurigbo.

They are at the beck and call of the Governor and have never and will never investigate whatever the executive is doing. No questions are ever asked; by the way, who, in the State Assembly has the guts to contemplate questioning the Governor or any of his allies?

It is an indubitable fact that the Speaker of the State Assembly, Acho Ihim takes instructions from the executive and can do anything to please the Governor. Some other members of the State Assembly kneel before him and practically tremble at the mention of his (Okorocha’s) name. I refuse to include that ridiculous title of Honourable, because, they are about the most dis-honourable people I have ever seen in public offices.

I simply smiled when a Civil Society colleague in Owerri attempted preaching Open Budgeting to Imo Government. Without apologies to a few of the lawmakers that relate with me, I can bet with my life that majority of them do not even have copies of the annual budget of the state they claim to be passing. Has the Assembly ever interrogated any budget proposal by the Executive? The Imo State Annual Budget is a secret document that only the governor and his cronies have access to. How then can the citizens be involved in the business of governance? How can they track government spending and budget performance?

How many bills that can promote good governance, enhance accountability, improve the socio-economic well-being of the citizens and secure the livelihood and future of Imo people have the present State Assembly passed? If it is not abortion bill today, it is anti-media bill tomorrow; from one obnoxious move to another. How did we get to this point in Imo?

Not even the public outcry that followed the numerous atrocities of the Okorocha-led government has moved them to act. Not even the blood of Soromtochukwu spilled during the illegal demolition of Ekeukwu Owerri. They are so dumb that they could not even pretend to be investigating any of the allegations against this ultra-corrupt government in the state.

From the complete absence of due process and rule of law, to the waste of scarce resources on trivialities; from non-payment of workers’ salaries, gratuities and pension of retirees, to issuance of dud cheques to pensioners; from failure to account for Bailout funds, Paris refunds and even the over one trillion Naira that has entered the state in the last seventy months to the use of state resources in conducting personal businesses.

What about the flagrant disobedience to Court orders and illegal demolition of private and public buildings? Land grabbing is a major characteristic of the present administration. How can a government seize landed property, using governmental powers and convert them to private use?

Nearly seven years into the present administration in the state, no local government election has been held. Where are the hundreds of billions accruing to the twenty-seven local government areas of the state? Is it the billions said to have been spent on statues? Now, Imo has Ministry of Happiness, with the Governor’s younger sister as Commissioner. Indeed, Imo has been rescued.

What about the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission- ISOPADEC, which funds should be statutory? At some point, Okorocha claimed to be saving the ISOPADEC billions for the construction of a Maritime University in Osemotor in Oguta Local Government Area of the State. Where is the Maritime University, nearly seven years after and where is the money?

The present administration in Imo is synonymous with corruption and is obviously irredeemable. But, where are the other two arms of government? The State Judiciary has become a toothless bulldog and cannot bite. Judicial pronouncements are disregarded with impunity and till date, nobody is in Prison for contempt.

Members of the Legislature that should have been the hope of the people to check the excesses of this ultra-corrupt government in Imo go cap in hand begging for contracts and favour from the executive. At some point, the governor engaged them with executive functions in Local Government areas.

Of all the atrocities of the present administration, the public outcry, media reports and petitions from citizens, which one has the present state Assembly investigated? Which member of the governor’s cabinet has either been summoned or questioned by the Legislature? Which decision of the Governor, no matter how ridiculous and unpopular, has the present Assembly questioned?

How can you have a docile and complicit State Assembly and still expect to have a responsible executive? The fact is that the State Assembly is responsible and should be held responsible for the misdeeds of the present executive.

Recent developments in the State Assembly may have been fueled by the fact that the governor is sitting on their constituency allowance and may have reneged on earlier promises. Following the initial protest of Budget boycott, funds are said to have been released to the leadership of the house and their cronies, who are mere messengers of the executive to rise against their colleagues; yes, divide and rule. Some of the resignation letters flying around may have been written and assented, prior to their emergence as principal officers. No one should be deceived. These guys cannot be trusted.

Ultimately, the surest way forward is for Imo citizens to take their destiny in their hands. Little wonder the mood of the last meeting of Nigerian Human Rights community in Owerri was for a declaration of a State of emergency in the State.

The only way for the State Assembly to redeem its image is to initiate immediate impeachment proceedings against the governor. For the lawmakers already marked for suspension, the die is cast. Can they, for once, get emboldened and stand on the side of the people?

The sorry state of Imo State today should be a lesson for all. 2019 is around the corner. Ndi Imo should not only be interested in who emerges the governor of the state, but those that are going to the State Assembly.

In addition to the business of lawmaking, one of the functions of the Legislature in every democracy is to serve as a check on the activities of the executive. In todays Imo, where are the laws made by the present administration and what checks have they provided? What oversight functions have they performed? Whom do they represent, other than their pockets and pay master? They are playing along so they can return to the Assembly in 2019; what a shame. Governor Okorocha runs Imo like an extension of his private business empire and members of the legislature sit as spectators?

There is no gainsaying the fact that indeed, there is no ‘capacity’ in the State Assembly and its leadership deserves no place in history.

Building a vibrant legislature is one sure way of deepening democracy, checking tyranny, promoting good governance, ensuring checks and balances and indeed, safeguarding the future of the people. From 2019, Ndi Imo must ensure that these ‘traders’ do not return to the state Assembly for any reason and through any means. Write down all their names and blacklist them, as they are undeserving of any position of responsibility.

The step being taken by Imo People’s Action for Democracy to ‘Occupy’ the State during the Christmas celebration is commendable and should have the sign in of all well-meaning Imolites. All stakeholders must join hands in sending a strong warning to this Nebuchadnezzar in Imo. The surest way forward is for the citizens of the state to take their destiny in their hands.

As for the present Imo State House of Assembly, the members should bury their faces shame.

The time to reclaim the people’s state is now. Do not be left out!

Dr. Walter Duru is a Communication expert and Executive Director, Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC. Reach him on: walterchike@gmail.com

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Lawmakers Boycott Okorocha’s Budget Presentation

Imo State House of Assembly has postponed the 2018 budget presentation of the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha after what appears to be a disregard for the state’s House of Assembly.

It was gathered that the Governor, rather than inform the legislators of the budget presentation, choose to make the announcement on radio and television stations.

However, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, said cancellation of the budget presentation was as a result large discrepancies discovered in the budget speech and, as a result, the 2018 budget presentation could not hold.

“With utmost regret, we wish to inform the public that the announced presentation of the 2018 budget to the Imo State House of Assembly by the Governor, Rochas Okorocha, fixed for Tuesday, November 28, 2017  could no longer hold, owing largely to disturbing discrepancies discovered in the budget speech.

“A new date for the budget presentation will, as usual, be made public. We regret this development.  And, we appeal to all those concerned with the exercise to bear with us.”

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‘PDP Governors Not Part Of Buhari’s Reelection Plan,’ Says Party’s Spokesman

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has dismissed the claim that opposition governors were part of the Buhari reelection project.

Recall that Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, had said that most governors in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wanted President Muhammadu Buhari to re-contest.

Adeyeye in a telephone interview said Okorocha was known for making false claims  and urged Nigerians to disregard him.

The spokesman said the PDP governors were currently  working with the party’s leadership to ensure that its national convention slated for December 9 is successful.

“Our governors are not part of the Buhari reelection plan. Rochas Okorocha has a penchant for telling lies. Nobody should take him serious.

Our governors cannot be working for Buhari’s reelection. How can they be working for Buhari. On what ground should they be working for Buhari’s reelection?” Adeyeye queried.

When asked to comments on statement by the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi asking President Buhari to seek reelection in 2019, he said, “I don’t want to talk about Dave Umahi, but what I am telling you is that our governors are not working for Buhari’s reelection.”

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Okorocha Set To Unveil Obasanjo, Ekwueme, Awolowo’s Statues, Seven Others

After unveiling the statues of two African presidents, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha is set to unveil 10 more statues The Punch reports.

The statues are that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; a former Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme; a former Senate President, late Evans Enwerem; and the first civilian Imo State Governor, Sam Mbakwe.

According to the source, others whose statues would soon be unveiled are those of the first Nigerian President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe; former Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa; late sage, Obafemi Awolowo; and Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo.

The source said that of Akufo-Addo would be unveiled at a ceremony when he visits the state soon.

The government official said the idea of unveiling the statues was to celebrate leaders, who had through “selfless efforts” contributed to the development of the state, Nigeria and the African continent.

The source said, “The governor is interested in celebrating those who have contributed to the development of mankind, especially on the African continent. In the years to come, these leaders will be no more but their statues will keep them evergreen in the minds of the people.

“With the statues, they have been inducted into the Imo Hall of Fame and have received the highest award in the state called the Imo Merits Award.”

When asked how much each statue cost the state government, the official said they were not as expensive as people were exaggerating.

“It is not as costly as people had exaggerated. Though I don’t know the exact amount, the government cannot use about N500m to erect one statue. It is not possible. The governor is a prudent manager of resources,” he said.

The Punch

 

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