The verbal war between Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and his Anambra State counterpart, Chief Willie Obiano, took another dimension yesterday, with Governor Obiano telling Okorocha to keep quiet when serious governors are talking because he (Okorocha) has nothing to offer.
The attack on each was a fallout of a statement credited to Okorocha during the South-East stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Owerri, where Okorocha claimed that three governors in the zone would soon defect to APC.
Angered by the statement, Obiano, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. James Eze, said Okorocha had not provided the kind of leadership that would make Igbo people to join him in APC.
Reacting to Obiano’s statement, Chief Press Secretary to Okorocha, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, referred from Obiano as a clueless governor, prompting another reaction by Obiano’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Strategic Communication and Legislative Matters, Prince Oliver Okpala, yesterday, who said that Igbo people know who is a better governor between Obiano and Okorocha.
The statement circulated by Okpala read: “If a governor that has constructed countless number of roads and bridges, embarked on several rural electrification programmes, constructed uncountable number of schools, and health facilities as well as rid the entire Anambra State of crime and criminality, is being termed clueless by Okorocha, then there must be another meaning for clueless.
“Okorocha’s claim that there is a general impression that Chief Willie Obiano is an aggressive governor, who should have done better as a militant than as a governor, is laughable and it is clear to Nigerians who really is a motor park personality between them.
“Obiano has always been known and accorded the respect of a complete gentleman. Indeed, Okorocha is an example of what a leader should not be. Who is he to teach the virtues of leadership ideas and service to Governor Obiano?
“He talks of ideas when he cannot pay workers salaries and now tries to intimidate Imo retirees to forfeit 60 per cent arrears of their sweat. Are those the kind of ideas we need at this critical time? Those are destructive ideas, and a destructive idea cannot bring about constructive ends.
“Rochas challenged Obiano to publish his achievements in Anambra State. But the whole world knows of his feat in this regard. From making Anambra to attain a crime-free status, rapid industrialization by rehabilitation of roads and constructing new ones; demolition of a 30-year old mountain of refuse in Okpoko two years ago; putting public facilities in place such as the 47 solar-powered boreholes that now serve 27 communities and increasing Anambra State IGR from the N500m monthly that it inherited to N1.3bn per month, to clearing the arrears of salaries owed the state water corporation staff as well as the approximately N1bn pension that was owed local government retirees inherited by the administration. Obiano has been a superlative performer.
“But this cannot be said of Governor Okorocha, whose so-called popular policies, like free education at all levels, have been a fluke and at best an over bloated media hype. His other so-called programmes have also been discovered to be mere flash in the pan as the people of Imo State have seen through his tricks and treachery, as well as other clandestine tendencies.
“Okorocha claimed that Obiano has taken Anambra State several kilometres backward, but the records are there to show who has taken his state backward. When serious Governors like Obiano are talking, the likes of Okorocha should keep quiet. This is a governor who has failed woefully to pay workers salaries.
“He is also heavily indebted to even pensioners, who have spent their youth and strength to labour for the state. In their old age, Okorocha’s government has abandoned them at this most critical time that they need the state. What an abomination.”
Meanwhile, National Auditor of the APC, Chief George Moghalu, has berated Okorocha for attempting to determine the leadership of the party in the South-East geo-political zone.
At a meeting hosted by Chief Okorocha in Owerri, last week, the governor had allegedly declared a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, who recently defected to the party as its leader in the region.
Reacting to the development, yesterday, in Abuja, Moghalu said it was impossible to foist Nnamani on the zonal chapter of the party as its leader.
“You see one thing about leadership, I have said it time and time again, a leader is not appointed. You can elect a chairman, you can elect a secretary, a governor or a president. A leader evolves from among the people.”