Critics has stormed the media to rain skepticism on the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and his proclaimed good intention to build a college in Bauchi State for the poor. They question the motive behind what they consider a sham. In some of his statements, Governor Okorocha declared that his intention to build the Bauchi college was a way of helping the poor people in the region.
“I am here for the glory of the job and I am poised to change the sordid history of the people and for any governor or president to succeed in office, he must think outside the box.”
“The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists,” was the story ascribed by critics to the Governor and it reads:
“Okorocha is making the people of Imo State to relieve the experience of the subjects of Tressell book (the ragged-trousered philanthropists) the only difference being that he is taking advantage of his state to service the “poor” people of Bauchi in this deranged philanthropy thousands of kilometres away from the state he has governed for five years without a remarkable story to tell.”
On May Day this year, an Igbo socio-cultural group, Ndigbo Unity Forum issued an ultimatum to the governor to pay backlog of workers salaries in spite of bail out funds received from the Federal Government.
The President of the forum, Augustine Chukwudum described as unfortunate that after receiving bailout funds from the Federal Government, which the governors agreed was enough to settle workers, such money would still be diverted.
“On South East, we observed that Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, notwithstanding bailout funds that runs into billions that he received from the Federal Government still owes workers in the state many months salary. We demand that Gov. Rochas Okorocha should pay workers in Imo state their salary within sixty days.”
They recalled that some top officials of Governor Okorocha were arrested by EFCC on the allegation that they diverted N2 billion from the bailout funds meant to pay the state workers. According to a statement from EFCC, those arrested included Principal Secretary to Imo State Governor, Dr. Obi Paschal Chigozie, Director of Finance in the Government House, Uzoho Casmir, and one Iheoma Kenneth, referred to as a Treasurer.
Critics lamented that workers in Imo are owed varied backlog of salaries. Doctors are owed between 4-5 months. Teachers were owed about 13 months of salaries and allowances at a point but here is their governor playing ‘donatus in Bauchi’ while those who queued in the sun to elect him as their governor are wallowing in abject poverty. Ostensibly because he is dying to play second fiddle in 2019, this “Nostradamus” who cannot yet see a good tomorrow for the people of Imo state is now seeing vision for those who have not made up their minds if they want to go to school.
If it were the Athenian days, the people of Imo should have an assembly where they would put Mallam Okorocha on his knees and ask him to explain to them the rationale behind his action with hands raised up.
The angry critics call on labour force to organise or (even disorganise) to and ask Okorocha to go to where the money to build school in Bauchi is coming from and pay their salaries. There could be credence to the EFCC charge that billions out of the bailout funds are being laundered somewhere after all!.