…Promises to sell privatized parastatals to them
If the information available to 247ureports.com is any thing to go by, then Imo will be witnessing a repeat of Okorocha’s first term rascality where he allowed the members of the Imo State House of Assembly to be awarding road contracts.
This time around, the governor has perfected plans to appoint the 27 members of the state House of Assembly as the sole administrators in their respective local government areas for three months.
The reason, it was learnt, is to gag the lawmakers from opening their eyes over the governor’s malfeasance in office.
According to the source close to the governor told 247urports.com in confidence the agreement to appoint the lawmakers as the “administrative heads of the councils” followed a close door meeting at the former Ahiajioku International Conference Centre, Owerri where the governor and the lawmakers agreed on the appointment.
The source, who begged for anonymity, said “His Excellency didn’t want to continue owing the lawmakers their entitlements because of paucity of funds and You know the lawmakers spent a lot during electioneering campaigns and so this arrangement will assist them to offset some of the bills they incurred and some of them can be able to settle their followers who worked for them during the elections”.
The source continued that through this means, the house will continue to collaborate with the governor to have a peaceful state instead of strife and crisis.
“If you recall, His Excellency adopted the same strategy during his first term and the lawmakers were happy and some of them established good businesses such as hotels, filling stations and all that. So the intention is for the good of all. He actually has noticed that the most members of the House are not happy with him and the speaker especially last two weeks when about 18 of the house members boycotted plenary”, the source stated.
Speaking however with our reporter, one of the Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers said there was no such agreement between the House and the governor.
According to him, what they discussed with the governor was for them to be allowed to nominate the incoming local government transition committee chairmen so that through that means, some of their supporters would be compensated.
‘There is no way we will leave our duties as lawmakers to come and take up another position as sole administrators in our LGAs. We were only bargaining for our supporters to be appointed and not us”
In another development, the bill to privatize state government’s parastatals and agencies has passed for a second reading.
The bill which passed for second reading within 10 minutes during plenary was smuggled into the plenary with the name bill for a law to provide for public private partnership in Imo State, despite the protest that trailed it by the organized Labour.
According to investigation, the bill passed for second reading following the promise by Governor Rochas Okorocha that when successfully privatized, the parastatals would be sold back to them (lawmakers) so that they could run it the way they want and only remit tax to the state government.
With this promise, the House expedited action in passing the bill for second reading, leading to near stormy session as a few members of the refused to back the bill.
Introduced the bill before plenary, the member representing Ideato South State Constituency, Hon Ikechukwu Amuka stated that if a provision is made for public private partnership, it will generate lots of income to the state Government.
He cited the water corporation as an example in his case study adding that if a private investor takes over the establishment, it will enhance the income generated, noting that the public private partnership will boost the economic growth of the state if passed into law.
The bill was however opposed with the member representing Aboh Mbaise state constituency Hon. Mike Iheanatu saying that the public private partnership bill is man’s inhumanity to man adding that if passed into law it will mortgage the people of Imo state as many would lose their jobs in the process.
This is the problem with “electing” a semi illiterate trader as the governor of a state.