Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has asked his Imo State counterpart, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to reciprocate Abia State government’s gesture to reinstate Imo indigenes disengaged from the state’s workforce by doing same for Abians disengaged from the Imo State workforce.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, Governor Orji who was reacting to a story published in one of the national dailies where Governor Okorocha commended Governor Orji for reinstating the disengaged Imo State indigenes, said the decision of the Abia State government to reduce its workforce in 2012 was never politically motivated as Imo State government through sponsored articles made many to believe.
According to him, the policy to downsize the Abia State workforce then was the only option left to the state government when the issue of the new minimum wage came up noting that this development forced the state government to reduce its workforce in order to pay monthly salaries.
“Before carrying out the implementation of this new policy, His Excellency Governor Theodore Orji, did officially communicated his brother governors in the South-east on his government’s decision to downsize its workforce. He gave them reasons why the state government decided to embark on the exercise. None of the governors disagreed with the Abia State governor on the issues he raised in his letter.
“But Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, for reasons best known to him started to make political capital of Abia State government’s decision to downsize its workforce in 2012. After months of trying to paint Abia black without succeeding it has now done on Governor Okorocha that Abia State government never set out to punish its citizen. The exigencies of the times forced Abia State government to implement the policy of downsizing its workforce. Before this time, Imo State and other state had disengaged Abia indigenes from their workforce and Abia State government never raised any alarm or made political capital of it. Instead, the Abia State government accommodated some of citizens disengaged from other states into its workforce without pointing accusing fingers on anybody.