- Imo Governed By A Confused Bunch
Our attention has been drawn to a statement issued by the Imo State Commissioner for Information, alleging that the protest by aggrieved staff of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC was sponsored by the immediate past Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona.
The Statement further alleged that the people’s former Deputy Governor released the sum of Fifteen million Naira for same; among other tales.
Ordinarily, we would have ignored the statement, as it emanated from a government with doubtful integrity. It is made worse by the fact that it was signed by one whose surname could best be interpreted as lies; but for the right of Imo people to know, we state as follows:
- Since after the Supreme Court review that reiterated the foisting of Senator Hope Uzodinma on Imo State, the immediate past Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona has not stepped his feet on the soil of Imo State.
- Immediate past Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona has no hand in the protest by staff of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC. Linking him with the protest shows that the present Imo State government is simply confused and is bereft of ideas.
- The latest media onslaught on Engr. Irona is one of the steps aimed at distracting Imo people from the wanton looting of the common wealth of the people being perpetrated by the present administration in the state.
- Staff of ISOPADEC that have not been paid for about four months have the right to protest and do not need to be prompted by anyone to demand for their salary. Or does a worker no longer deserve his wages?
- The present administration has diverted about Three Billion Naira (N3b), being ISOPADEC’s statutory allocation in the last six months (January – June, 2020). It is on record that in January, 2020, ISOPADEC received Four Hundred and Eighty Five Million Naira (N485m), being 40% of the 13% derivation accruable to the state. In six months, about three billion, belonging to the Commission cannot be accounted for.
- The sum of One Hundred and Fourteen million Naira (N114m), being counterpart fund from Waltersmith Petroleum for the Awarra Court area electrification project, deposited in the UBA account of the Commission has been withdrawn by the state government and as at the time of issuing this statement, the money cannot be accounted for.
- Over two hundred million Naira (N200m) left in ISOPADEC’s account with the United Bank for Africa –UBA has developed wings under Senator Uzodinma’s watch as Governor of the state. No one can account for it.
- Six months into the present administration, ISOPADEC has neither any known management nor Board. This is deliberate, to ensure continued diversion of funds meant for the development of Oil Communities in the state.
- ISOPADEC monthly wage bill is about Sixty million Naira (N60,000,000.00). Why has the present administration refused to pay the workers?
- How can a Commission as wealthy as ISOPADEC owe workers about four months salary arrears? Whom did Imo offend, to get this level of punishment for those managing our common wealth?
- While the immediate past administration, led by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha lasted, civil/public servants were paid regularly. There was no time ISOPADEC staff were owed salaries. Pensioners were being paid regularly. What has happened to ISOPADEC funds under Governor Hope Uzodinma?
- The present administration in Imo State, no doubt, has one mission- to steal the state to death. They claim that the immediate past administration misappropriated funds, yet, the administration paid salaries as and when due and did visible projects touching the lives of majority of Imo people. They claim to be transparent, but funds disappear mysteriously and workers and pensioners are dying of hunger. What an irony.
- We join millions of well meaning Imo citizens to demand the immediate payment of all arrears owed workers and pensioners in Imo State.
- Uzodinma must account for the billions of Imo people’s money that he has received in the last six months.
- The plan to continue to distract Imo people with trivialities is dead on arrival. They must stop this wicked looting of our treasury and give the people good governance.
- We will continue to stand with the masses.
Walter Duru, Ph.D
Adviser, Communications to the immediate past Deputy Governor, Engr. Gerald Irona
July 9, 2020