From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
The Imo State governor-elect under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, has denied media statement attributed to the out-going Governor Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC), that a whopping sum of one hundred and fifty million Naira (N150m) has been released by the state government for the inauguration of the new administration, saying despite the frantic efforts, not even a dime has been given by the state government, rather he is solely sponsoring the entire programme.
Ihedioha made this revelation in Owerri, during media briefing by the chairman, 2019 Imo State Governorship Inauguration Planning and Handover Committee, Barr. Chris Okewulonu, Okewulonu.
It would be recalled that on their inauguration early last month by the governor-elect, the major mandate given to the committee was to interface with the outgoing administration of Governor Okorocha, with a view to organize a befitting inauguration and handover ceremony.
The chairman disclosed that in the course of their work, they met with the outgoing government’s team thrice, believing that issues agreed upon will be strictly adhered to in their implementation, unfortunately the reverse proved to be the case.
According to him “Rather, we have taken note of deliberate attempts by some hirelings to blackmail the incoming governor with baseless and spurious assertions. In the last couple of weeks, the mass media, especially the social / new media have been awash that #150 Million was released by Governor Okorocha to the in- coming governor to assist him in the inauguration planning exercise,” he reported.
The chairman pointed out that no such money was ever released to his committee or to anybody else who is part of the in-coming government of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha and no assistance whatsoever from Imo State Government.
He further expressed dismay by what he described as futile attempts by some busy bodies to take undeserved glory for the wonderful achievements the in – coming Governor has recorded even before assumption of office stressing their commitment to organize a befitting inauguration ceremony.
Okewulonu also assured that the Central Planning Committee as well as its various sub-committees have worked assiduously to ensure a seamless inauguration ceremony which started yesterday (Sunday) with an interdenominational church service at Grasshoppers International Handball Stadium, Owerri and would be followed on Monday with Art Exhibition while on Tuesday will be the Inauguration Lecture with Mega Youth Concert.
Other programs he said will be on Wednesday which is the swearing in of the Governor – Elect, His Excellency, Rt.Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and his Deputy, Hon (Engr) Gerald Irona and the program will be rounded up with a State Banquet.