Emeka Iheodia, governor of Imo state, has accused Rochas Okorocha, his predecessor, of handling the state in the least expected manner.
Speaking with online editors in Owerri, the state capital, things were so bad under his predecessor that he could not even attract electricity to Ideato south local government throughout his eight years in power.
Okorocha is from Ogboko in Ideato south.
“The matter is not about me but about the man who governed for eight years. He had the mandate of the people supposedly, what did he do with it? Those are the issues,” he said.
“It’s not about whether I like you or not… In Ideato south local government where the former governor comes from, they haven’t had light for eight years… The man said he was doing concession but state assets were sold off. To who? To himself, you said you sell for N3 billion, where are the records of sale? Who did you pay to?
“Have you gone to the state secretariat? There are 10 buildings inside the secretariat. Last week, I just woke up and told my people let’s go to the secretariat. You need to see the the place, everywhere was weedy. They have four generators but none was working. Everywhere they had cluster of all this small generators called ‘I pass my neighbor’, that’s what they use to power the place.
“I was shocked when they told me they have not had public power supply for eight years. I now asked what will it cost the former government to reconnect the electricity. The roofs too were leaking.”
Ihedioha also spoke about the state of government house, Imo, narrating how neither he nor his deputy could reside or work from there.
He said his administration inherited nothing from his predecessor other than huge debts, abandoned or poorly executed projects as well as infrastructural decay.
“We inherited practically nothing when we assumed office. When I came in, I only saw four vehicles, two jeeps without functioning air conditioner and two pilot vehicles,” he said.
“That was all I met. Nothing was left for the deputy, there was no deputy governor’s lodge. I had to purchase a vehicle for the deputy governor. As I speak, he has no official residence or office as well. He had to stay in a hotel for two weeks. His private house is under renovation. Sadly Imo state is heavily indebted and our priority is to first of all offset these major debts.”
‘RESTORATION OF PUBLIC CONFIDENCE’
The governor said he is now working so hard to restore confidence in the people, saying the experience of the last eight years has given them a wrong impression of those in position of authority.
“People of Imo state have lost confidence in government due to several irregularities, lack of probity, transparency and accountability in the implementation of critical infrastructural projects in Imo by successive administrations but we can assure you that will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Akwarandu Izuchukwu, the governor’s senior special assistant on new media, took the journalists on tour of some projects said to be badly executed by the former governor.
They include Ikemba Ojukwu Tunnel, which was not in use; Orji flyover, also not in use; Orashi/Umuchima bridge, where a portion had collapsed and the 5th inland road.
Izuchukwu said most of the contracts were executed by one Roch Construction believed to be owned by the former governor.
When contacted, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha’s spokesman, denied the allegations, saying his principal executed more than 1000 projects in the state.
Onwuemeodo said since Ihedioha assumed office, he had been spreading lies about Okoroha, who is now a senator.
“This governor is just acting like a typical PDP person. Everything is all lies. If you say Okorocha did what is not up to standard, why not do your own? At the rate he is going, he would not achieve one-quarter of what Okorocha achieved. Imo people are already getting fed up with him,” he said
Signup for FREE news updates, latest information and hottest gists everyday/Advertise on NigerianEye.com