Gibson Achonu and Chidiebube Okeoma
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said that the governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha, has no constitutional powers to issue directives to banks when he has yet to take over the affairs of the state.
Okorocha, in a statement issued by his chief press secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, on Friday in Owerri, said that the governor-elect was behaving like a typical member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The governor said that Ihedioha was only interested in the treasury of the state.
Okorocha asked Ihedioha to exercise patience until May 29 before he would start issuing directives to banks on the financial dealings of the state.
He said, “Emeka Ihedioha, who was declared winner of the governorship election in the state by the Prof Francis Ezeonu, does not have the right or locus standi yet, to harass or give directives to the financial Institutions in the state over their dealings with the state government.
“The media report quoting Ihedioha to have given such directive is unfortunate and a sign of ugly things to come. Otherwise, Ihedioha should not have been the first, of all the governors-elect in the country, to issue such directive.
“We are also not surprised at his issuing the directive because as a PDP man, his interest, first and foremost, will be the treasury of the state, and the policy or the slogan of share the money will soon come back, but he should exercise patience and wait till he is sworn in.
“He shouldn’t be in a hurry. There is a government in place and until May 29, 2019, that government should continue.”
Meanewhile, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and Biafra Independence Movement, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has appealed to politicians in the state not to contest Ihedioha’s victory at the tribunal.
He said challenging the result of the election in court would distract Ihedioha when he assumes office.
Uwazuruike, who spoke in Owerri, said, “Instead of dragging him to court, let them join hands with him to move the state forward. There are many wraths to clear in the state. Dragging him to court will distract him and draw the state far backwards.”
The MASSOB leader said he was speaking as a concerned Imo citizen, noting that Ihedioha was not his candidate.
He said, “Before the election, all the governorship candidates came to my residence to plead with me for endorsement but I instructed my followers to vote according to their conscience.
“As loyal followers, they respected me and voted candidates of their choice.
“As Ihedioha won the election in the end, I thought that other governorship contenders should have all congratulated him, instead of thinking of going to court.”
Admitting that the defeated candidates have the right to go to court, Uwazuruike observed that such a development would not help the state.
Uwazuruike said, “If they go to court, it will distract him the more. He should be allowed to carry out his duties without disturbance, so that if he fails to perform, there will not be any excuse he will give for not delivering and at the end of four years, he will be shown the way out like others.”
He further contended that if Ihedioha was taken to court, he would use the state’s resources to fight the legal battle, thereby endangering the state’s economy to the detriment of the citizens.
Uwazuruike also called for the application of the Imo Charter of Equity, which provides for the rotation of the governorship position among the three senatorial zones.
“If God in his infinite mercies has given Ihedioha, who is from Owerri Zone the chance to govern for four years, let all of us support him so that when he leaves office, another zone will be given the chance to govern,” he said.
He, therefore, advised the governor-elect to show political magnanimity by carrying everybody along.
He also urged him to pave the way for the Imo Charter of Equity to prevail.