•Describes predecessor’s govt as most devalued
Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has described the administration of his immediate predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, as the most hated and devalued of all the past administrators of the state.
He said ever since Ohakim announced his intention to re-contest the governorship position in the state, he has chosen to attack him in the media repeatedly .
Okorocha, who said this through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, averred that he has chosen to ignore Ohakim’s verbal attacks for personal reasons.
The governor took a swipe on Ohakim, claiming that of all those who have governed the state since its creation in 1976, both military and civilian, his administration appears to be the most hated and most devalued.
“He does not also have any audience. Nobody listens to him again. And people do not read what he says. It is as bad as that,” he said.
He further said Ohakim “does not even talk like someone who has governed the state before. He does not also watch the conduct of Chief Achike Udenwa, also a former governor. A former governor should know when to talk and when to keep mute. Criticising everything done by the occupant of the seat you had occupied before, smacks of frustration and envy.”
Reacting to Ohakim’s recent claim that a children’s bridge collapsed, he said: “When the government began the remodelling of the children park’s bridge to connect it with Heroes’ Square, to avoid the traffic jam along that Concord Hotel Road whenever there is a big function at the place, Ohakim picked an unfounded information from the social media and said the bridge collapsed, which was not true.
“When the heavy rain of Friday, June 8, 2018, came with a devastating whirlwind that destroyed private and public property in Owerri, including the roof of a building in one of the government’s built-city schools, Ohakim made it an issue, when there were more serious reports from other states, the rain also caused havoc.”
He, however, expressed surprise that Ohakim as a former governor should have known better, rather than criticising his projects.
“Ohakim had governed the state, and let him take up Governor Okorocha on issues of governance or achievements.
“Okorocha said he has more than one thousand verifiable projects located in various parts of the state, let him take up such issues and not talking about roof destroyed by wind.
“The elite who criticise Rochas in the state have not committed any crime. Imo people are very active.
“They do not give those who govern them breathing space, to bring out the best in them. They did it to Ndubuisi Kanu, and Sam Mbakwe and Imo people’s opinions on them today and when they held sway are not the same.
“It is only in the case of Ohakim that, almost eight years after leaving as governor, Imo people have refused or failed to say anything good about him, in spite of all the efforts he has made to change the tide.
“Not even the strange newspaper called Imo Reformer, associated with his name, which writes about Okorocha from page one to the last page, has helped in any way.
“For now, the noise in the state is all about who succeeds Rochas. The elite want to install someone. They are entitled to such ambition.
“Rochas is also keen in who succeeds him to continue keeping the flag of rapid development flying
“At the end of the day, Imo people will take the final decision through the ballot box. It is not a propaganda thing,” Governor Okorocha stated.