. Denies presidential ambition
. Ups LG bosses’ tenure from two to three years
By Dallas Onyema
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said that the state under his leardership was not indebted to any bank.
The governor was apparently reacting to allegation that his administration had incurred much debt for the state.
Okorocha gave the hint when he had a breakfast meeting with journalists in the state at his private residence in Owerri on Tuesday, March 24, 2017.
He added that instead of borrowing, his administration paid the money borrowed by administrations before him.
His words: “For posterity reasons, this government is not owing any bank or person, any amount except for the bailout fund that N100 million is been deducted from the source monthly. Any subsequent government that comes and says that Rochas borrowed is a criminal”.
On 2019, the governor said, “I will never run against President Buhari but would continue to support him in the overall interest of the nation, especially when he has stabilized the nation. I want to also say that those in Imo who made many political enemies should forget the Douglas House. We need people with free mind. I have killed the clannish nature of the state where people consider where you come from before doing anything for you. The politics of sentiment must be discarded and discouraged. It is a shame for somebody to hope on zoning to win elections”.
The governor also said that his administration spent over N50 billion on free education since the introduction of the programme, regretting that inspite of the description of the free education policy as a ruse by the opponents of the administration there was stampede at the locations where the students were asked to go and get forms to fill to show they are really indigenes of the state because of the information that non-indigenes claim to be Imo people because of the programme.
The governor also directed the Secretary to the government of the state, Sir George Eche, to forward an Executive bill to the House of Assembly to make the Local Government Chairmen’s tenure three years instead of the two years it has been and said that the State Electoral Commission would conduct the Local Government election when the law for the new tenure is ready, adding that two years tenure is not good for the system.
On the issue of the former Chairman of the State Council of Ndi-Eze, the governor said “Let me clarify, Ilomuanya is no longer an Eze, he is Mr. Ilomuanya. He is not an Eze and will no longer be an Eze, His Eze was not a proper one. Let me give you an insight, for the purpose of those who misplace fact. What Illomuanya went to Court for, is to claim that he is still the Chairman of Imo State Traditional Rulers Council. First of all, I removed him as Chairman, he wasn’t coming to meetings or attending any function so we removed him as Eze. He went to Court and the Court said status quo should remain which means the last incident should remain which is his removal, which was the last thing that took him to Court. His five years tenure ended 3 years ago so the issue of tenure is over, he can only ask for entitlement of the tenure because the tenure has elapsed. For now, he is no longer an Eze unless the Court says otherwise. I have warned that he stops parading himself as an Eze or I will banish him from the state”.
On the pensions and salaries, the governor said that all Imo workers had been paid upto February 2017 except few parastatals that were been delayed by the banks, adding that Pensioners had been paid upto December 2016 based on the agreement the government had with them.