Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has said that his government has not borrowed money from any of the banks.
This, he said was to debunk the rumours in some quarters that by his political opponents that his recorded achievements in the state was out of borrowing.
Okorocha gave the hint while briefing journalists at his private residence in Owerri. He added that instead of his administration to borrow money that it had paid money borrowed by previous administrations in the state.
He said, “My opponents have been imagining that I have borrowed money to be doing all that my administration has achieved in five years. The truth of the matter is that this government has not borrowed any money.
“For posterity reasons, this government is not owing any bank or person, any amount except for the bailout fund that N100m is been deducted from the source monthly. Any subsequent government that comes and says that Rochas borrowed is a criminal one”.
He further said that he would not run against President Buhari in 2019, but would continue to support his ambition.
The governor said, “I will never run against President Buhari but would continue to support him in the overall interest of the nation, especially when he has stabilised the nation.
“I want to also say that those in Imo who made many political enemies should forget the Douglas House. We need people with free mind. I have killed the clannish nature of the state where people consider where you come from before doing anything for you.
“The politics of sentiment must be discarded and discouraged. It is shame for somebody to hope on zoning to win elections”.
Okorocha, however, disclosed that his administration had spent over N50bn on free education since the introduction of the programme. He regretted that his political opponents took the free education programme as a ruse.
He said, “They (Opponents) have taken my free education policy as a ruse. There was stampede at the locations where the students were asked to go and get forms to fill to show they are really indigenes of the State because of the information that none indigenes claim to be Imo people because of the programme”.
The Governor also directed the Secretary to the government of the state, Sir George Eche, to forward an Executive bill to the House of Assembly to make the Local Government Chairmen’s tenure three years instead of the two years. He also unveiled that the State Electoral Commission would conduct the Local Government election once the law for the new tenure was ready.
On the crises between him (Okorocha) and the former Chairman of the State Council of Ndi-Eze, the Governor said “Let me clarify, Ilomuanya is no longer an Eze, he is Mr Ilomuanya. He is not an Eze and will no longer be an Eze, His Eze was not a proper one.
“Let me give you an insight, for the purpose of those who misplace fact. What Illomuanya went to Court for, is to claim that he is still the Chairman of Imo State Traditional Rulers Council.
“First of all, I removed him as Chairman, he wasn’t coming to meetings or attending any function so we removed him as Eze. He went to Court and the Court said status quo should remain which means the last incident should remain which is his removal, which was the last thing that took him to Court.
“His five years tenure ended three years ago so the issue of tenure is over, he can only ask for entitlement of the tenure because the tenure has elapsed. For now, he is no longer an Eze unless the Court says otherwise. I have warned that he stops parading himself as an Eze or I will banish him from the State”.
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