Chinemerem Okereke – Owerri
Ndigbo have been advised to support the administration of President Mohamadu Buhari, and avoid unnecessary bickering with the other parts of the country to achieve their aspiration of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction.
Imo State Governor, and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha gave this advice in Owerri, recently in an interview with newsmen at the Government House.
According to him: “As long as power is in the North, there is hope that one day, Ndigbo will produce a president. So let us support him. Let us not make the mistakes of the past”, he counselled.
Okorocha was answering questions on why Igbo Governors were not supporting MASSOB and IPOB just like others supported their Militia to get the presidency.
He said he does not believe that that was the right way to get what the Igbo want. “We don’t have to fight to get it. Others can do it and get away with it but once we do it there will be another civil war. We’ll not allow that to happen,” he further advised.
He enjoined other political heavy weights in the South East to close ranks and join him in the support for President Buhari, saying that the first fruit of his support has already manifested in the approval for the Imo International Cargo Airport, whose practical establishment he was pursuing with vigour.
On the delay in the appointment of commissioners and other aides, the Governor said, it was intentional to save money for capital projects assuring, however, that very soon he will appoint them.
The governor also used the opportunity to emphasize that Imo State was not owing workers salary, adding that the only outstanding salary issues were those of the Health Sector and the judiciary, who rejected theirs because of the exclusion of some allowances.
He noted that the start up salaries of magistrates in Imo State stood at N500,000 monthly while those of their counterparts from Akwa Ibom and Anambra States stood at N150,000 and N170,000 respectively.
He however said that a review committee had been set up assuring that he was ready to pay them the highest that any state in Nigeria pays.
On concession of some parastatals in the state, he said that there was no going back to the policy, adding however, that only the management of such parastatals was being concessioned to make them more productive to generate the needed internally generated revenue. He also assured that those staff that might be affected by the exercise by way of retrenchment would be paid their full entitlements.
The governor also used the forum to review his achievements in the past four years which he said is unequalled by any of his last two predecessors in office.