…Imo Pensioners Give Him Ultimatum … Want Gov To Pay Them From Bailout Fund
Governor Rochas Okorocha Has Threatened To Deal With Traditional Rulers Who Constitute Themselves Into Opposition To His Administration.
Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri Traditional rulers in Imo State who constitute themselves into opposition to the administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha will be severely dealt with.
This is a warning handed down by Governor Okorocha to the monarchs. Addressing the traditional rulers and political leaders from the Mbaise Nation, who paid him a solidarity visit at the Government House, Okoroovha said that traditional rulers who continued to fight his government would have themselves to blame.
The governor, who disclosed that his government had set up a committee to look into the case of 40 traditional rulers who had dragged him to court over an action he never took, admonished the traditional rulers involved not to allow themselves to be deceived by the old style of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where they used the instruments of then federal government to disobey the orders of the state government.
His words, “traditional rulers still operating on the wrong impression created or standard set by the PDP in the state would have themselves to blame.
The Ezes who have continued to fight the government will have themselves to blame. Again, those who believed that they had relationship with the president of the PDP extraction are no more in power today. But I cannot do what they did because I want to show leadership.
I am proud of traditional rulers from Mbaise. “The level of impunity displayed by the PDP people who believed that they were connected with the president during the election in Mbaise area was embarrassing. Today, the PDP government is gone. It is not in my character for vengeance. Nothing is permanent in life. So, the period of politics or campaign of calumny has gone and this is the period of governance.
I am looking at the state now from the angle of good leadership and not from the angle of politics.” Okorocha, who debunked the allegation that he had instructed the traditional rulers from Mbaise to persuade Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to withdraw his petition against him at the Governorship Election Petition, said that the Tribunal handling his case with the PDP should be allowed to do their work.
He assured the traditional rulers from Mbaise that the proposed University of Agriculture in the area would become realistic, and that Mbaise people had benefited from the free education policy of his government and other projects judging from their large population.
The governor pointed out that in his first tenure, the Mbaise clan alone had three key commissioners including that of Finance, and had the chairman of APC in the state. Okorocha, who accepted the invitation to attend the 2015 Iriji Mbaise (New Yam festival), said he was doing so because of his love for the people of Mbaise whom he said had made tremendous contributions to the development and leadership of the state.
Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation and deputy chairman of the state council of Ndi-Eze, HRM Eze Chidume Okoro had pledged their loyalty promising that the traditional rulers from the Mbaise nation were solidly behind the Governor and his Rescue Mission Government in the state.
The monarch urged the governor not to allow the actions of few politicians from the Mbaise nation to sour his relationship with the entire Mbaise nation. Eze Okoro stated: “Your Excellency, you won your election for second term convincingly, Mbaise people are solidly behind you.
We are therefore inviting you as one of us to the 2015 Iriji Mbaise. The ugly incident of last year must not be allowed to repeat itself. We congratulate you for your second term victory.
You love Mbaise people and we are inviting you officially to this year’s Iriji Mbaise,” the Monarch said. In another development, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has given Imo State government 14 days ultimatum to pay pension arrears owed members of the union in the state or face the wrath of the senior citizens.
Chief Gideon Ezeji, the Imo State Chairman of NUP made the feelings of the union known during a media briefing on Tuesday in Owerri. He said should Imo government under Governor Rochas Okorocha fail to pay arrears of pension owed pensioners by July 27, the state council of NUP would be summoned for their mandate to take further action.
Ezeji told Okorocha to use part of the bailout it recently got from the federal government to settle backlog of pension arrears, owe members, noting that pension must be treated as first charge as stated in the constitution.
According to Ezeji, “primary school teachers who retired from 1991 upwards are as at the end of June, 2015 owed 18 months, retired Local Government pensioners are owed six months.