George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The leadership of the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party has restated that the outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha is allegedly pillaging the state ahead of the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2019.
The party said that the state governor had last week disposed off 71 government vehicles including Jeeps and heavy-duty trucks at a ridiculous price of N6.1million, alleging that a traditional ruler in the state was the auctioneer.
PDP in the state had raised the alarm last week that Gov Okorocha had allegedly engaged in the looting of the state, illegal employment, selling of government properties and the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy to his cronies, family members, in-laws and associates.
The Secretary of the state chapter of PDP, Hon. Ray Emeana who stated this on Wednesday at a press briefing, noted that the party had earlier drawn the attention of Imo people to the alleged ongoing looting of state government properties by the out-going governor, his cronies and associates, in-laws and associates.
According to him, “we are to substantiate the allegation which we made last week that the out-going Governor Rochas Okorocha has been selling off the properties of the state. A circular from the Cabinet Office and signed by Mrs Ukaigwe Julia showed that Governor Rochas Okorocha approved the appointment of a traditional ruler from Orlu as the auctioneer for 71 government-owned vehicles which including Toyota Hilux, Prado Jeeps, heavy-duty trucks, bitumen tankers, CAT payloaders, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Armada and Toyota land Cruisers.
These 71 vehicles were sold at a ridiculous price of N6.1million. This is the same scenario at the Ochedike Diagonstic Centre when the Okorocha has equally ordered that all the vehicles and ambulance cars be auctioned.”
Emeana also disclosed that the outgoing governor had been engaged in illegal employment of people into the ministries without due process.
He pointed out that the brazen action of Governor Rochas Okorocha was ostensibly to create a difficult situation for the in-coming Emeka Ihedioha-led PDP administration.
“This is a clear and deliberate attempt by Governor Rochas Okorocha to put the Emeka Ihedioha administration into difficulty. This is a landmine being placed by Okorocha. As we speak the government is engaged in illegal employment.
“We are therefore advising those who are buying those items including lands to desist from it because they are not the personal properties of Governor Okorocha but that of the state and these properties would be recovered from them.”
He added that the Debt Management Office said that the state would not be allowed to access any foreign debt in the next five years because of the huge foreign debt already incurred by this government.
However, when contacted on the sales of the 71 vehicles, the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Mr. Mark Uchendu, said that no government vehicles had been auctioned this year.
He stated that those 71 vehicles were unserviceable vehicles which were auctioned last year after their evaluation and that Governor Rochas Okorocha had approved one auctioneer in the person of Eze M.U Osakwe.
“Those vehicles had been evaluated since 2011 and deemed unserviceable. They were therefore sold off with the approval of the state governor who appointed an auctioneer in the person of Eze M.U Osakwe who disposed of the vehicles and that was in November last year.
“But currently, no vehicle belonging to the state government has been auctioned,” he said.