Imo PDP Calls For Public Inquiry Into N93.27bn State Debt
By Austin Echefu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State on Thursday called for public inquiry into the N93.27bn state debt, saying that the Governor was economical with the truth.
“The Imo State PDP hereby demand for a public inquiry into the high debt profile of the State between 2011 to 2017 to ascertain the true debt profile of the State. We urge the governor not to borrow forthwith until the true situation of Imo debt profile has been ascertained”, said the party.
The party made this known in a press release by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Damian Opara, saying that the party condemned “the alleged plans by Gov. Rochas Okorocha and members of his cabinet to falsefully use blame games and other inculpable means to deny and shy away from rendering account to Imo people on how Imo debt profile rose to over N93bn”.
The Governor had denied that his administration does not owe any bank in the country or outside the country.
The Governor who spoke through his Chied Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, denied the allegation by the Imo Economic Development Initiative (IEDI) led by former National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Maurice Iwu, saying that the N93.27bn state debt was the accumulated debt from 1976 when the state was created and not incured under him.
But the PDP said the Governor was economical with the truth and called on the people to disregard his claims.
It said: “Imo PDP however wishes to inform the general public to disregard the false claims by Sam Onwuemedo who has for long lost public relevance as a result of his penchant for cheap lies and falsehood which has now become the hallmark, the trademark and a major distinctive attribute of the Rescue Mission Government”.
“The attention of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Imo State chapter has been drawn to the false, erroneous and inaccurate statement credited to Sam Onwuemeodo, the Chief Press Secretary to Imo State Government where he allegedly claimed that the State Government under Rochas Okorocha is not indebted to any bank anywhere in the country or outside the country. The Imo State Governor, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary also claimed that the current N93.27 billion Imo debt profile was an accumulated debts right from the creation of the State in 1976”, said the party.
The Imo State PDP also described the Governor’s denial as provocative, misleading and laughable, saying: “The above provocative comment is not only laughable and misleading, but highly ludicrous and preposterous which can only come from a government that has lost touch, focus and confidence of the people”.
The party added that “This statement no doubt is coming over the failure and inability of Governor Rochas Okorocha to provide credible answers, and address issues of economic importance as raised by the combined team of Imo economic experts and technocrats operating under the aegis of Imo Economic Development Initiative, who visited the Governor on Friday 5th January 2018 to discuss the unending economic stagnation and falling standard of Imo economy under the watch of the State Governor.
“Among other issues raised by the members of Imo Economic Development Initiative which included but not limited to the increasing and rising domestic debt status of Imo State which has astronomically ascended to N93.27bn as at Dec 2016, the issue of falling State Economy, Donor Agencies, Tricycle ban without providing alternative remedy, lack of industrialization and low IGR, alarming and increasing poverty rate of Imo State, etc.”
According to the PDP, “Instead of Gov. Okorocha providing credible answers on how, when, where and why the increase in the debt profile of Imo State Government came about, and how the money was expended on behalf of Imo people, the Governor resorted to blame games, accusing his predecessors of borrowing the huge funds before his assumption of office.”
“Ndi Imo should therefore remain patient as every problem has an expiry date and we also wish to reinstate that Gov. Okorocha must surely render account of all his misdeeds and bad governance.”
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