By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri and Okodili Ndidi Abuja
Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has described former Governor Ikedi Ohakim and others who attended Saturday’s stakeholders meeting with Governor Hope Uzodimma as political office and rehabilitation seekers.
Okorocha, a senator from Imo West District, also slammed Uzodimma for gathering people whom he described as members of his (Uzodimma) faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to abuse him (Okorocha).
The stakeholders had at the meeting enjoined Uzodimma to use all legal means to recover every looted fund and property belonging to the state allegedly in the custody of Okorocha, other former public officials and their family members.
But, the senator, who is also a former governor of the state noted in a statement by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, that out of the five governors that had governed the state, only Ohakim, whom he said, is in the governor’s faction of APC was at the meeting.
He said: “No senator from the state, former or present, since 1999 was there. No House of Representatives’ member, former or present, from 1999 till date was there. No speaker, former or present since 1999 till date, was there, except the one who is also a member of his own faction of APC.
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“Aside from Prof. Maurice Iwu, who was there because his junior brother is the Secretary to the State Government, no other prominent citizen of the state was there, including those in business, in politics and so on.
“At the so-called stakeholders meeting were those desperate to get political appointments from the governor and those in need of political rehabilitation.”
He argued that if real stakeholders had attended the meeting, they would have asked salient questions like how Uzodimma had in the past one year managed billions of naira accruing to the state from the federal account, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), donations, etcetera.
The statement reads in part: “If the stakeholders of Imo State were there, they would have asked the governor to tell them what he had done with about N60 billion loan, N56 billion federal allocation, N8 billion ISOPADEC fund, N42 billion Local Governments’ funds, IGR(Internally Generated Revenue) of N69 billion and billions from donor agencies. They would have tried to find out what the governor has done with these billions. But the factional APC members only abused Okorocha and left with their fuel or transport money.
“Real stakeholders would have asked why the governor has not paid workers, teachers, and pensioners for more than 12months now or why he sacked 108 ISOPADEC workers
“Sincere stakeholders would not have encouraged the governor to engage in self-help over matters with court judgment and cases pending in courts of competent jurisdiction. Only factional party sycophants would have encouraged the governor to adopt thuggery method.”
The Senator insisted that stories on the recovery of government properties from him, were only blackmail and vendetta against him.
But Uzodimma’s Senior Special Assistant on Print Media, Modestus Nwamkpa, told Okorocha to “stop masturbating with lies.”
Nwamkpa told the former governor that he should see every money belonging to the state “in the 46 completed and ongoing road projects in the state. The money could also be seen in the ongoing reconstruction of four federal roads.
“Even Okorocha knows that Uzodimma has no need to tamper with Imo money because he is not materialistic like him”
On the attendance at the meeting, Nwamkpa said: “It’s unfortunate that Okorocha who governed Imo for eight years without any history of holding stakeholders meeting could be describing the well-attended stakeholders meeting as APC faction.
“It’s on record that in one year, the governor has called non-partisan stakeholders meeting four times. That of yesterday(Saturday), three former deputy governors were there. The meeting was even chaired by a former governor. Head of various Christian bodies and CAN, including traditional rulers, captains of industries, and trade unions were present. So, Okorocha should stop masturbating with lies.”
One of Okorocha’s sons-in-law, Dr. Uzor Anwuka, who was allegedly shot by suspected thugs in Owerri last week, will be flown abroad for treatment after three failed surgeries.
Anwuka, an American trained medical doctor, made this know when his father-in-law visited him in the hospital.
Narrating the incident, he said: “I made to climb the fence but I was hit by a bullet and I fell into the bush. I was there for several hours before I was rescued and brought to the hospital.
“I have been in this hospital for six days and my legs have been operated on three times but it is not getting better. So I will be going out to get better treatment.”
Okorocha thanked God that no life was lost but maintained that the incident last week was an assassination attempt on him.
“What I am concerned now is about is life. I thank God that he (Anwuka) is alive …we are hoping that he should be flown out of the country immediately for further examination. We’ve concluded arrangements with the hospital to move him out because they are suggesting that he might need some transplant.”
“It is really sad. It was an assassination attempt. No arrest has been made. It is the people with me who were injured with machetes that were arrested.”