By Olisemeka Obeche
Embattled former Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, has slammed the newly inaugurated government of the state led by Hon Emeka Ihedioha for allegedly peddling falsehood in its bid to cast his eight-year reign at the Douglas House in Owerri in bad light.
Okorocha who was reacting to series of allegations against him by the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Imo state, including leaving behind a liability of about N300 billion, claimed that Ihedioha government had proven so soon that it was allergic to truth, and should not be believed or taken seriously by Nigerians of goodwill.
The former governor in a statement by his special adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, claimed that the lies against his regime won’t fly because he has credible facts to puncture them.
Hear him: “The worry is that they don’t tell intelligent and believable lies. They tell lies that can be easily defaced. But it won’t be easy for them. We sympathise with them. They have seen that the sound of bitter kola does not reflect the taste.
Imo state PDP publicity secretary, Mr Damian Opara, had, while reacting to the claim by Okorocha, that he was leaving over N42 billion for the Emeka Ihedioha administration declared.
“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 claimed.
Okorocha fired back, albeit angrily: “The new People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government in Imo state with Chief Emeka Ihedioha as governor has taken off with series of lies and has also shown that it is allergic to truth, and should not therefore be believed or taken serious by Nigerians of goodwill.
He insisted that he left behind a brand-new Government House with new Governor’s Lodge that is not up to three years. Also listed as landmark facilities he bequeathed to the Ihedioha administration were an executive chamber of international standard, new chapel and Government House clinic, an events hall called Nick Banquet, twin story building housing the Office of the First Lady and that of the deputy governor.
“But Chief Ihedioha on the first day he entered the Government House came out to tell the world that he met a decayed Government House. This claim could only be interpreted as an act of wickedness and ungodliness. The truth is that he was amazed with what he saw. Twenty-four hours after inauguration, he ordered for the demolition of the Akachi tower, not minding the cost and what it represents.
“They changed the Imo Trade and Investment Centre to Ahiajioku. They told the world that the EFCC had whisked away Owelle Okorocha, the wife, Nneoma and brother, Okey when it was not true. For the twelve years the PDP was in power, the deputy governors then had stayed in one “I” building with each of the rooms being 12 by 12, that tall people were bending to enter to avoid their heads hitting the door frames.
“The office of the past First Ladies was just like a provision store. But Owelle came and gave Imo people a brand-new Government House. The good thing is that most senior journalists in the country and prominent Nigerians had visited the Government House and saw (sic) what Owelle did. So, their lies won’t fly.
“They have a problem. The problem of how to deal with the avalanche of Owelle’s achievements as governor. They cannot meet up. That is why they are only thinking about destroying the aura of these achievements. But it won’t be easy for them. We sympathize with them. They have seen that the sound of bitter kola does not reflect the taste.”
By Olisemeka Obeche