The former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has expressed shock over media reports that the Rochas Okorocha-led administration in Imo State has earmarked over N600 million for Christmas and New Year decorations in the state.
A statement by Ihedioha’s media aide, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu, quoted the former Deputy Speaker as questioning why Imo should spend such huge sums at a time the people of the state are going through untold hardship arising from over 20 months of unpaid salary arrears and pensions.
“There are several unresolved industrial disputes, while the state’s infrastructure base has collapsed. Today, there is palpable lack of vision for the genuine development of the state, but the government chose to embark on such inciting and frivolous window dressing,” Ihedioha was quoted to have lamented.
“Despite the prevailing widespread disenchantment being expressed by citizens, who recently called for his immediate impeachment over the alarming rate of hunger and insecurity occasioned by the inept handling of issues of governance and unrepentant deceit so far exhibited by the Okorocha-led administration, the governor has refused to repent or address such concerns and other critical issues.”
Although “preparations for Christmas celebration is a tradition all over the world,” Ihedioha, however, said, it was “ridiculous and indeed smacks of insensitivity for this government to spend over N600 million on decorations when families can no longer afford their meals and basic needs as a result of non-payment of salaries, pensions and other entitlements.”
Ihedioha also expressed displeasure that Governor Okorocha had refused to constitute his cabinet six months after election, pointing out that there was no local government administration and no functional ministry, department or agency in the state.
“The governor has embarked on several trips abroad to woo non-existent investors with a view to actualizing his failed promises of aggressive industrialization and employment of youths,” Ihedioha said.
He, therefore, urged Okorocha to quickly retrace his steps and begin to address the critical issues facing the state.