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The Southeastern region of Nigeria boasts of the very industrious Igbos and other minority tribes. The region is divided into five distinct states: Abia state, Imo state, Enugu State, Ebonyi State and Anambra State. While some of these states are thriving and doing relatively well under their present administrations, other states have been besieged by terrible administration, lack of infrastructure, corruption, poverty and squalor due to terrible handling by their respective Governors. To make this unenviable list of backward states are Imo state and Abia state.
Imo state’s backwardness began the very day the Supreme court announced Senator Hope Uzodinma the Governor of Imo state. From shady Government contracts, neglect of infrastructure to owing of salaries. Governor Hope Uzodinma is swiftly ruining the economic advantage of the state.
From one protest to another, a state where ghosts handle the majority of the office works, where the Government doesn’t take the responsibility of paying it’s workers their due salaries and pensions. Governor Hope Uzodinma has indeed made a mockery of the civil service system put in place to favour hard-working individuals sweating every day to eke out a living.
According to the organised Labour in Imo, they have been owed salaries from February to August since Uzodinma assumed office as Governor after Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP who was paying salaries and arrears owed by the APC administration of Rochas Okorocha.
Workers in primary and secondary schools in the state, as well as those in nineteen parastatals, are being owed salaries. The affected agencies where workers are being owed salary arrears include Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Agriculture Development Programme (ADP), Imo State Water Corporation, Imo State Poverty Alleviation Bureau, primary and the Secondary School Teachers. Others are the Imo State University, Imo State Polytechnic, Imo State Library Board, Imo State Universal Basic Education Board, Imo State Secondary Education Board and the Imo Tourism Board.
Governor Hope Uzodinma has blatantly refused to disburse salaries and pensions to those deserving of them and he has paid a deaf ear to the numerous protests and petitions by civil servants on the issue of salaries and pensions. He has also joined the bandwagon of Governors who take pride in the diversion of state funds into personal accounts while his state deteriorates into utter poverty.
Although Imo state is currently under the spell of bad governance, it is not as worse as its sister state, Abia state.
Abia state, which is governed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is currently far from its sobriquet ‘God’s own state’. Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the Executive Governor of Abia state is a wonderful description of a terrible Governor who runs a clueless administration in Abia state. He is currently one of the worst Governors in Nigeria and the worst Governor in the South Eastern region. Abia State which is an oil-producing state is still crawling under abysmal under-development despite the huge revenue accruing to it as an oil-producing state.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has also been labelled as an unrepentant looter who siphons Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) funds and Federal allocations immediately they are made available to him. His recently exposed string of private companies located in China, Taiwan and his major stakes in large export establishments in the United Kingdom were funded with the Made in Aba campaign which he launched during his first tenure. And this was initiated by his numerous stooges masquerading as Aides, Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants. These his aides who aid in this looting and pilfering process have made a huge fortune from these fraudulent deals.
He has equally been accused of running a Government of running a Government of nepotism to the detriment of the entire people of the state. Even the so-called projects which he promised to handle in his second tenure have all turned out to be a farce.
Also, Ikpeazu’s Government has been ridiculed with contracts inflation and money laundering from all sectors of the Government. Despite the fact that he owes many months salary arrears. Almost every section of the Abia workforce is being owed salaries ranging from 12 months to 20 months, the last time pensioners received payment from the State Government was September 2016, the Local Government workers are being owed between 12 to 15 months salaries. That of the Local Government is a case of greed, misappropriation and corruption as the allocation due to every local government from the federation account would have been enough to offset their salaries.
Teachers both at the secondary and primary schools are weeping over an outstanding 18 months’ salary being owed them. Abia State polytechnic received their last alert as at January 2017, while the staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital and School of Health Technology had not received salaries since January till date, ASUBEB is being owed for 15 months, Abia Line and other Parastatals and Agencies are being owed from 7 months up, in salaries. But instead of paying his workers, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has resorted to looting and brazenly clearing out state funds and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in broad daylight.
Today, numerous Abia State civil servants have been made homeless because they have been driven out by their landlords as a result of their inability to meet up with their rents, the children of Abia civil servants are now hawking pure water on the streets, having been chased out of school because of school fees, the dependants of Abia civil servants are dying of malnutrition and lack medicare/attention because they don’t have money to take them to hospital.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is taking Abia state on a complete downward spiral, he has no control over his Government and what goes on when he’s not looking. He is being unnecessarily praised and deceived by the media. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) should make a case study of the Abia State Government and probe their numerous fraudulent remunerations and money laundering schemes. Abia state is perishing in the hands of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
These Governors have ignored the cries of their wards and have sworn to make sure their respective states suffer during their tenure of terrible leadership which reeks of corruption and fraud.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK