Bob Njemanze who was a member of Nigeria’s Constitution Review Conference of 2014, narrates how he personally inspected former Governor Emeka Ihedioha’s refurbished N187 million Mercedes automobile and puzzled how he was in a position to purchase such a luxurious automobile when the state was unable to pay salaries and pension on this interview with Chris Njoku. He additionally speaks on a lot of points, together with the N19.63billion Local Government funds allegedly misappropriated below the seven months administration of Ihedioha. Excerpts
IMO State Auditor-General for Local Government Affairs has launched an audit report indicating that N19.63 billion of native authorities funds had been misappropriated below the seven months sacked administration of Emeka Ihedioha however Ihedioha mentioned he might solely account for N3.7 billion and that ccount for the remaining. What do you former governor Rochas Okorocha ought to amake of this?
Well, it’s unfortunate as a result of I’ve at all times warned that the seat of governance is a really delicate and slippery one. The concern of immunity in that workplace defers a number of issues and that’s why you discover lots of people after serving as governors, the following occupation is going through trial or alternatively you discover them scampering to go to the Senate as a result of they’re so scared concerning the rots dedicated whereas in that place. So, whether or not Ihedioha says what he can account for is N3.7 billion and the remaining, Okorocha ought to account for it, is unfortunate as a result of these are individuals who go together with the appellation of Excellency.
So far on this nation, besides Governor Shekarau, no different governor has allowed the native authorities to function its funds the way in which it ought to function. Although at a cut-off date, there was not as it’s at present the constitutional requirement that the funds of the native governments should be despatched to native governments straight similar to the funds of the judiciary. The governments and governors discover it very simple and cozy to nook the native authorities funds.
The audit report within the case of Imo State that was despatched to the House of Assembly is one thing that if there have been effectively which means elders would have held again Ihedioha’s group from threatening Okorocha’s administration as a result of it could be very troublesome for them to get out of it. I shouted when Ihedioha and his crew developed what they thought was incredible thought of compelling native governments on receipt of their funds to make accessible in any guise a part of the funds from the native governments for constructing of secretariats and stadia. You consider municipality like Owerri, we’ve got already had a stadium, ok for nationwide stadium and it’s included within the allocation of funds from native authorities. Now, so as to create technique of spending the fund of Owerri Municipal, they determined to refurbish the Sports Hall within the state stadium.
We, the extraordinary residents, haven’t been very fortunate with our political class. Ihedioha wished to reenact Ikedi Ohakim’s IROMA. In Ohakim’s case, at the very least we noticed the tools, we noticed the issues that had been purchased with that cash even when it was inflated and over bloated, however we noticed the earth-moving tools earlier than Okorocha got here and carted them away. These are issues that the present administration will want to ask. Then Ihedioha developed his personal thought of re-enacting the availability of IROMA, that’s the agricultural earth tools and a lot of the earth tools had been purchased in Lagos and an impression was on condition that the tools had been being imported. These issues belong to all of us and so we want to present curiosity when they’re occurring.
So, when some individuals in Ihedioha’s administration had been performing like assault canines, they weren’t truthful to Uzodinma as a result of the buck stops on his desk and that necessitated the necessity to look into (Ihedioha’s) administration. If you discover, Ihedioha has not mentioned a phrase as a result of he is aware of the implication and if they’re clever, they need to be searching for methods to assess the governor in order that these points usually are not performed up within the public area. I personally went to examine the refurbished Mercedes luxurious automobile for which N187 million was paid. Ihedioha has sufficient cash to purchase such a automobile for his private use.
Ihedioha went to courtroom to stop a technique of probing or ascertaining the veracity of the alleged misappropriation. What do you say of this?
It is unfortunate. If I had been him I gained’t go to courtroom. The essence of struggle is peace. For him going to courtroom to stop the panel from figuring out the reality of the matter could be very unfortunate. If he is aware of he has performed nothing fallacious, he ought to present humility. As I’m right here, if I run foul of the legal guidelines of the land, I’ll look for mitigation.
Some individuals mentioned they may make Imo ungovernable. Do you see this as being patriotic?
No, it’s silly. Why would you make Imo ungovernable? You can not say as a result of your ticket is defective, you say in the event you don’t rule the state, you’ll make it ungovernable. That’s silly and egocentric as a result of Imo doesn’t belong to you. I can reenact for you what has been occurring in our political clime to show to you that we’ve got a political class that’s soiled.
If you’ll keep in mind at a cut-off date, Ezekiel Izuogu was seen as a really acceptable politician and through a selected election, information filtered that Ezekiel Izuogu was main with about 10,000 votes, which was imported from Ideato, then his opponent transported 12,000 votes and that displaced Ekeziel Izuogu.
So, it’s the similar factor that has been occurring in our nation. For occasion, in Imo right here, an election end result that got here in from the identical Ideato was shredded they usually now reached an understanding to declare the Ideato end result solely when that of Mbaise is available in. The events concerned agreed and the one from Mbaise got here in and outdated the Ideato one. Now, the problem of unfold arose, neither the Ideato nor Mbaise one had the unfold. But the Mbaise one was main.
Senator Ifeanyi Araraume insisted that the election was not free and truthful; the umpire mentioned it was free and truthful. But your complete state, if not the entire nation, took exception of perpetrating Rochas Okorocha’s administration within the state. So a run-off that might have been the worst factor that might have taken place was prevented. Everybody conceded even with out assembly the unfold to take a easy majority and work with it. So, if individuals can get collectively and provide you with such concession, if for another cause you lose that concession once more by your recklessness, why lose sleep?
What is your tackle Uzodinma’s civil service reform?
It is 2 methods. I might advise the governor not to elevate the hope of the individuals about having the cash to pay them; he ought to carry the individuals alongside by telling them what the true place is, and they’re ready to endure deprivation.
The governor nonetheless has a number of works to do. I agree with the governor on the problem of civil service reform. I submit myself completely to a correct examine and steadiness as a result of this place is rotten.