Leaders of opposition parties in Imo State have berated Governor Rochas Okorocha for closing public schools, government institutions and markets for his 50th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his foundation.
Last Monday, schools, ministries and markets were closed throughout the state to celebrate the governor’s birthday, the 10th anniversary of the Rochas Foundation and the graduation of over 1,000 pupils of the Rochas Foundation College.
Describing the situation as “an abnormal setting”, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through its Publicity Secretary, Chief Blyden Amajirionwu, said the state had never witnessed such display of power and wastage of public funds.
The party scribe alleged that “the state is in the firm grip of a lawless and unstructured government”.
According to him, closing down economic activities and approving three days’ public holiday to celebrate a birthday was an act of intimidation against the governed.
Amajirionwu said: “There was an unprecedented buying of air time on Television and Radio with people’s money.”
The Imo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), through its Secretary, Mr. Christian Oguoma, said: “It amounts to misplacement of priority for the state government to be throwing a multi-million naira birthday bash while over 500,000 residents, who were displaced by ravaging floods, are still sleeping under the trees at the mercy of the weather.”
The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Chairman, Vitalis Ajumbe, chided the governor for closing down government institutions to celebrate his birthday and the anniversary of his private institution.
He said: “Where in the world are governors shutting down their states to celebrate birthday parties? This is waste of public funds. He (Okorocha) should be reminded that government is not run as a private business.”
The Southeast Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), Comrade Uzor A. Uzor, described the elaborate birthday celebration as “unacceptable and unbecoming of a public servant who should be accountable to the people the elected him to manage their common wealth”.