The trip embarked upon by the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, alongside over 100 others has crippled the activities in the state in the past one week, even as workers and Imo citizens have described the trip as wasteful and amounts to show of insensitivity to the plight of the state civil servants who are being owed several months of salary arrears.
Investigations conducted by THISDAY showed that activities at the Imo State Government House and state secretariat along Port Harcourt road, Owerri, were at the lowest ebb as government business declined while staff were seen in clusters around their offices lamenting the “insincerity” of government towards uplifting the state to greater heights.
In his reaction, a labour leader who wanted to remain anonymous accused the governor of abandoning the payment of workers’ salaries even when the federal government had released the bailout fund to states specifically for the payment of workers’ salaries and instead embarked on a frivolous trip with part of the money to Turkey.
“The governors’ attitude shows that he is not sensitive to the mood of the state, when nothing is moving, civil servants are owed several months of salaries, the states’ roads are in a deplorable condition begging for attention, pensioners are dying for lack of care due to none payment of their pensions, etc,” he lamented.
In the same vein, an industrialist who also spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that the governor invited them (stakeholders) for a meeting last week at the Ahiajoku Convention Centre, now rechristened Imo International Trade Complex, only to announce to them that he was tampering with the bailout money to the tune of N9 billion to establish cottage industries in the local governments of the state.
He wondered how the governor in his wildest imagination would take such an unpopular policy while the 27 general hospitals scattered across the local governments in the state have become abandoned projects, while the Imo Palm Plantation and Avutu Modern poultry are no longer working.
This captain of industry cautioned the governor to restrict himself to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners in the state, so that life would blossom again in the state instead of tampering with the fund.