Former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, has just landed a heavy blow on his successor and outgoing Governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha, YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine can exclusively reveal.
Okorocha and the man who would succeed him on May 29, 2019, Emeka Ihedioha, it would be recalled, have been exchanging words over the State’s finances, especially the alleged N17 billion withdrawn by Okorocha.
The latter had specifically accused the former of heavy spending barely two months to the end of his tenure. He equally went further to warn financial institutions against approving loans for an outgoing administration, insisting that he would neither service nor repay such loans upon assuming office.
Okorocha, expectedly, immediately denied this, adding that Ihedioha should wait for his swearing in first and again desist from interfering in how he’s running the State – a la ‘I’m still in charge.’
And from nowhere, Ohakim, now of the Accord Party, has joined the saga. Taking to his FB, the man whom Imo people turned their back on, just like they have also done to Okorocha, had this to say about the ongoing war: “Very unfortunate! After four years, without accruing any debts, without receiving bailouts or Paris refund, I left behind N26.6billion in Imo accounts. Shocking to hear we can’t even boast of N17billion after eight years having received bailouts and Paris refunds and a debt profile of over N350billion. The incoming government really has a lot of private pockets to audit…”
Back to APC’s Okorocha and PDP’s Ihedioha, the former’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, while responding on behalf of his principal asked the accused “to prove that the state truly had N17bn and (also) how he withdrew it.”
Continuing, he said, “The guy is just being smart politically, but political smartness is different from having the capacity for leadership or governance.
“Where in Imo State, with a meagre Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue, can one get N17bn to withdraw?
“He is coming to become governor with the only income he made at the National Assembly, because prior to his going to the National Assembly, he never did any paid job. And he is trying now to blackmail a man adjudged to be the highest property owner, both in Owerri and in Abuja, many years before becoming governor.”
Still seething with rage, he fired that, “He has not said anything about free education, urban renewal and other sensitive people-oriented programmes and policies of the Rescue Mission Government in the state. He is only talking about money and property. A man who failed as a member of the House of Representatives won’t do magic as a governor.
“He should also know that with what Governor Okorocha has achieved, Imo people won’t entertain any excuse from him. If he likes let him talk about Rochas Okorocha from now till when he will leave as governor.”
Still exuding confidence, he thundered that, “After May 29, 2019, he has every right to probe even the food Rochas Okorocha and the family ate in Government House.”
But not ready to stop shouting, the state PDP has challenged Okorocha to publish the state’s account statement to prove that he has not engaged “in a last-minute looting of the treasury.”
A statement by the spokesman for the party in the state, Damian Opara, however, insisted that the governor allegedly withdrew N17bn from the state treasury.
According to him, “For emphasis, we insist that, within the last four days, Okorocha has made huge cash withdrawals from banks to the tune of N17bn. We challenge him to publish the financial status, including a comprehensive statement of the account of Imo State to buttress his defence as that is the only evidence our party and the good people of Imo will accept as the truth.”
Finally, he stated that, “Now that Okorocha has decided to make a mockery of his drowning self by questioning the capacity, preparedness and astuteness of Ihedioha, we will not in any manner aid his desperate attempt to divert attention from his last-minute looting spree.”