Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has given what seemed to be an explanation to the recent sack of his Secretary to the State Government, Sir Jude Ejiogu, saying he sacked the former government scribe for not appreciating his office and position in government.
Ejiogu was fired barely 24 hours after he accompanied the governor to the commissioning of the Owerri Mall as well as representing Okorocha at the Alumni Dinner of the Imo State University, with no reason given by the government for the sack of the Emekuku-born SSG.
According to a release signed by the Principal Secretary to the governor, Dr. Paschal Obi, and broadcast repeatedly on the state-owned Orient FM radio, Ejiogu “has been relieved of his appointment as the secretary to the government of Imo State with immediate effect”.
But, speaking during a church service at the Government House Chapel, Okorocha said, henceforth, any appointee of his government who did not appreciate his position with serious commitment would be shown the way out.
He expressed sadness that many of his appointees were using the position they were appointed in to pursue personal gains to the detriment of the government and the people of the state.
The UNION gathered that Ejiogu’s sack may not be unconnected with his perceived acceptance by political bigwigs across party lines in Imo State, following a flamboyant grand civic reception organized in his honour by the people of Owerri Federal Constituency last December.
In that event, politicians like Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Ambrose Ejiogu, Prof. Jude Njoku, General Rowland Ogbonna (Rtd.) among others attended the event and paid glowing tributes to Ejiogu, who they described as Mr. Integrity.
Governor Okorocha, who attended the event with his wife Nkechi it was learnt, was not too happy with the setting of the event, as he (Okorocha) felt that Ejiogu was secretly building strong political structures for his 2019 governorship ambition.
Also, the governor had recently in a public function pegged the age limit for 2019 governorship position to 50 years, a development that had not gone down well with some key members of the Okorocha’s cabinet, including Ejiogu. Ejiogu, was said to have openly expressed his reservations to the governor’s statement.
But in a press statement signed on behalf of the governor by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha denied the age limit report.
He claimed that some local newspapers made concerted effort “to misinterpret or misrepresent most of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s innocent and harmless comments on certain issues especially on Political Matter.
“we have no better option than to always set the record straight whenever the media houses in question strike.
“For instance, for some days now, they have been Publishing that Governor Okorocha had pegged the age limit of all those wishing to contest the 2019 governorship election in the State in 2019 at 50. They have continued to publish this falsehood in all their publications.
”And one can easily know why they are doing this. Their intention is to cause or promote disaffection between the Governor and those having or nursing governorship ambition for 2019 who are above fifty years”, he stated.