02/Feb/2017 // 8184 Viewers
The hostility between Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State yesterday got messier.
Obiano told Okorocha that he can’t escape from his questionable past. But the Imo helmsman said he won’t bandy words with his colleague.
The exchange of brickbats followed the Imo governor’s claim that three serving governors in the South-East were planning to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, Obiano refuted the allegation, describing Okorocha as ‘an example of what a leader should not be’.
Imo State government fired back, as it dismissed Obiano as a nobody in the league of leaders, but foisted into office by godfathers.
Piqued by the retort, Obiano yesterday declared that Nigerians know the true characters of Obiano and Okorocha; and who between the two governors really has a ‘motor park’ personality.
He said: “Obiano has always been known and accorded the respect of a complete gentleman, while Okorocha is widely known for his questionable past which has continued to trail him despite his hogwash attempts to cover it up with a façade of his bogus, but empty, philanthropic activities.
Many people have, over time, seen through his tricks.” In a statement signed by Prince Oliver Okpala, Senior Special Assistant on Media, Strategic Communication and Legislative Matters, the Anambra governor regretted that Okorocha could describe him as ‘clueless’, querying what justification the Imo governor had to talk about ideals of governance.
“He talks of ideas when he cannot pay workers’ salaries and now tries to intimidate Imo retirees to forfeit 60 per cent of the arrears of their sweat. Are those the kind of ideas we need at this critical time? Those are destructive ideas.
Let it be emphasized that Governor Obiano has not only been paying and increasing workers’ emoluments, he has also introduced credible palliative measures to mitigate the suffering of Ndi Anambra from the current economic recession.
But for Okorocha, instead of facing the serious task of assisting his people to come out of poverty he specializes in erecting Christmas trees worth over N10 million during the Yuletide.”
The statement further responded to Okorocha’s questioning of Obiano’s antecedent before coming into office as governor, stating that the Anambra State governor was a consummate banker and an accomplished professional who attained the apogee of his profession with a track record that cannot be diminished.
“But the same cannot be said of Okorocha as Nigerians truly know him for the wrong reasons; they know him as a rabble rouser, who claimed to be a politician and flew the tricky kite of contesting for the Presidency just to corner some change into his pockets and the records are there for everyone to see.
“As Nigerians ruminate on this matter, the questions that should be asked are: What was he before he became governor? What was his visible source of income? Maybe we should look a little bit at Okorocha’s antecedent.
This is a man who managed to wangle his way into the corridors of power through intrigue and deceit. He was the chairman of the Nigeria Red Cross Society who railroaded gullible politicians and made many individuals and corporate organisations to donate several billions in a bogus scheme.”
Obiano stated that in ideal setting, Okorocha shouldn’t have become governor of a state. “In other climes, people like Okorocha cannot ascend to the high Office of Governor.
This is another indication of a lacuna in our laws that should make room for the scrutiny of the antecedents of individuals who aspire to such sensitive offices.
Therefore, that Rochas is a Governor today in Nigeria is indeed an insult on our collective psyche,” the statement noted. While alleging that the best of Okorocha’s achievements are the failed projects littered across Imo State, Okpala boasted that the whole world knows about Obiano’s sterling feat in governance.
His words: “From raising Anambra to a crimefree status; rapid industrialization by rehabilitation of roads and constructing new ones; demolition of a 30-year-old mountain of refuse in Okpoko two years ago; putting public facilities in place such as the 47 solar-powered boreholes that now serve 27 communities and increasing Anambra State’s IGR from the N500 million monthly that it inherited to N1.3 billion per month, to clearing the arrears of salaries owed the state water corporation staff, as well as the approximately N1 billion pension that was owed local government retirees inherited by the administration.
Obiano has been a superlative performer!” Contacted for reaction, Okorocha declined to speak on the matter. His Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, told New Telegraph that the governor would not react to Obiano’s claims.
“We do not engage in frivolities. All we did was set the record straight following Governor Obiano’s unguarded statement and not to bandy words with anybody,” Onwuemeodo.