IMO | Okorocha, Ihedioha trade words over council polls

Miffed by the persistent attacks on his administration for not conducting local government elections in Imo State, Governor Rocha Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on his critics to mind their businesses and allow him to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

Okorocha particularly expressed discomfort with alleged verbal attacks against him, by the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha and his immediate past predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim over their position on the governor’s lackadaisical posture to conducting council polls in the state.

It would be recalled that last year, Ohakim in an open letter to the governor, proffered advice particularly the style of governance. The governor did not take it kindly and enjoined him, in a reply, to desist from engaging in ‘political bubuyaya.’

Again, the governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo said the aspersions on him by Ihedioha on how to handle the local governments until elections were conducted should not be a subject of criticisms by the former lawmaker.

The Guardian gathered that Ihedioha and Ohakim have accused Okorocha of deliberately not conducting elections into the 27 local councils in the state.

The governor said he has read the recent media attack on his person and the Rescue Mission Government in the State, by Ihedioha and others.

According to the governor, “In the media attack by Chief Ihedioha, published in both national and local media outfits, I am accused of deliberately killing the local governments12 in the state and that the people of Imo are anxious to send off Okorocha’s government, among other lies.

‘’Our first reaction should be to ask Ihedioha to concentrate on the management of his business in Owerri since it appears he does not have any other serious engagements at the moment. We urge him to stop disturbing the peace of the state, 2019 is still far.

‘’It is also unfortunate to point out that Ihedioha, after being in the House of Representatives for 12 years, where he was the Chief Whip, Chairman of the Committee on Marine and deputy speaker, the only means of relevance for him today is to attack Okorocha.

‘’The records are available for every fair-minded person to see that until Governor Okorocha became the governor, the local governments in Imo were totally abandoned by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governments. The PDP’s stakeholders shared council allocations.

‘’But under Okorocha, the local governments have seen more than 800 kilometres of tarred rural roads, 305 upstairs school buildings, 27 General Hospitals, more than 600 kilometres of graded-roads, building of ICT Centres and chapels, payment of salaries as at when due, renovation and remodeling of the council headquarters that have been allowed to dilapidate under the PDP governments. These are just to mention but a few.

The governor further challenged Ihedioha to publish any project, even at the foundation level or at the ‘kindergarten’ stage, executed in the local governments for the 12 years PDP held forte.

Said he, “Imo people know those who messed up their state and her resources and had shown disdain by rejecting them at the poll in the 2011 and 2015 elections and will also reject them in 2019.

He concludes, ‘’We regret to state that it is only in Imo where someone who could only win three local governments out of 27 with the aid of armed personnel in a gubernatorial election is still nursing the ambition of contesting again for governorship in 2019. The truth is that Imo people will continue to speak with their votes; and there is nothing anybody can do about that.”

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