Imo State Government on Friday slammed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and an online news publishers, Sahara reporters for criticizing the newly commissioned State Airline, Imo Air.
The PDP has described the inauguration of the Airline as part of the State Governor’s 2019 Presidential ambition.
But the government in a statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, dismissed the PDP as a “dead party.”
According to the statement, “We also take the floor to tell our audience that as we write, there is nothing like Imo PDP either in the eyes of the law or otherwise. So, any claim purportedly by Imo PDP is fraudulent and should be disregarded by men and women of goodwill”.
The statement continued that, “The attention of the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and indeed, the Rescue Mission Government in the State has been drawn to some negative claims in the media purportedly by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the State and the “Sahara Reporters” against the inauguration of Imo Air, which, its maiden flight was celebrated by Imo people at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
“In the purported report, Imo PDP was quoted to have said through its Secretary, Nze Ray Emeana that the Governor acquired the aircraft for his 2019 Presidential election bid, and then queried the rationale behind the Imo Air Venture when pensioners and workers in the State were owed arrears of Salaries and Pensions.
“For the suspicious claims credited to “Sahara Reporters” with regard to Imo Air we do not also believe that such poorly scripted blackmail could come from an organisation like that. No reputable media outfit could come up with such Caption like “Read, Read and Read, Imo is a fraud” and without a byline. And they never quoted any verifiable source to back up their Claims. It was totally a frivolous story. They did the same thing in their unfortunate claim that the Governor had died following a slap by a female ghost few months ago. They also said the death claim was an outcome of the investigation by “Sahara Reporters.” So, the Management of Sahara Reporters should take steps to evade invasions by some spiritually weak folks whose stock in trade is blackmail.
“We also take the floor to tell our audience that as we write, there is nothing like Imo PDP either in the eyes of the law or otherwise. So, any Claim purportedly by Imo PDP is fraudulent and should be disregarded by men and women of goodwill.
“At the moment, there are five factions of the Party in the State with each one having full-blown State – Exco and apex leader and they have been in Court for the Court to decide which of the factions should rightly Claim to be Imo PDP and until the Court makes pronouncement on that, it becomes an absurdity for anybody to be making fictitious media Claims in the name of Imo PDP”.
It continued that, “And for the avoidance of doubt, one of the factions has Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie as Chairman and Chief Hope Uzodinma as what they normally call apex leader. Another faction has Barr. Charles Ezekwem as Chairman with Chief Emeka Ihedioha as the apex leader. The third faction has Chief Greg Owuamanam as Chairman with Dr. Alex Obi as apex leader. The fourth faction has Chief Chuks Ajaelu as Chairman, while the fifth faction has Chief Hillary Udumukwu as State Chairman and they have their respective offices.
“Hence, any Criticism against Governor Okorocha or his government in the name of Imo PDP should not be seen as coming from Imo PDP but from some selfish Politicians whose only interest is to govern the State even when they lack the capacity to do so.
“In his speech at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport to inaugurate the Imo Air maiden flight, the Governor said that the State is not affected by the much-talked about recession in the Country and also made valid Claims that the State has cleared arrears of Pension upto December 2016 and has equally paid Salaries upto December 2016. And anybody genuinely keen in knowing the truth should have Challenged the governor to show proof of the Claims. That is the kind of Challenge we expect and not cock and bull stories.
“And we want to reiterate that the Rescue Mission Government in the State which Governor Okorocha superintends has cleared arrears of Pension upto December 2016 and paid Salaries upto December 2016. Let anybody in doubt openly Challenge us to show evidence. That is the way to go.
“Let us also state this, for the sake of emphasis. Those who want to be governor in the State do not see anything good in whatever Rochas Okorocha does in the State no matter how lofty such achievement could be. And the issue of Imo Air won’t be an exception. When we came up with free education they never believed in it. Today, the fruits of that programme have made them dumb. On the massive rural and urban roads Constructions, they said they were China roads, Imo people asked them why they could not even give them Gambian roads for the twelve years they held sway.
“On the urban renewal programme that has massively transformed Owerri, they said the governor was pulling down houses. We Challenged them to give the locations of the affected houses, they could not including the fence of Captain Iheanacho’s Compound. And during the last Christmas, Imo people especially those who came for the Christmas brought more than four hundred cows to thank the governor for his vision and passion for the State. And those opposed to the urban renewal can’t openly do so again in the State.
“We, therefore, Challenge those Claiming to be Imo PDP to publish the achievements of the Party for the 12 years it governed the State and let Governor Okorocha publish his achievements for the five years he has governed Imo for Nigerians to see. The truth is that the 12 years PDP governed the State could only be described as the years of the locusts or vampires. And they have no moral right to disturb someone who has shown leadership per excellence.
“On the Imo Air, we only expect lovers of good tidings to join Imo people in celebration and not enemies of progress.”