GOVERNMENT OF IMO STATE
RE: THE THISDAY NEWSPAPER’S ASSESSMENT OF GOVERNOR ROCHAS OKOROCHA IN WHAT IT DESCRIBED AS “GOVERNORS’ MIDTERM REPORT”, ON MONDAY, MAY 29, 2017
The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has read with reservations what one of the reputable Newspapers in the Country, THISDAY, Published on Monday, May 29, 2017 which it termed “Governors Midterm report”. We reject the report on Imo governor in its entirety because it was totally an opposite of the facts on ground. And those behind it, were tight-fisted with the truth.
Governor Rochas Okorocha and the Rescue Mission Government he superintends have tremendous respect for the THISDAY Newspapers. Ditto, the Editors. And the Governor would continue to hold them in high esteem. We also know that, in a report of that nature, Editors would depend on their state Correspondents to feed them on the situations in the given states or send a team to the respective states on fact-finding.
On our part, the issue of a team being sent to Imo on fact-finding preceding the report in question is totally ruled out because they would not have given such disdainful report on Imo. So, we believe, the writers must have depended on the Newspaper’s Correspondent in Imo for that outing. And that is the crux of our Concern.
The THISDAY Newspaper’s Correspondent in Owerri, is from Mbaise. Those who have been following Political developments in Imo especially concerning the 2015 governorship election would understand and appreciate why it is incumbent upon us to mention where he comes from. And he was the Returning Officer for Ngor-Okpala LGA during the 2015 governorship election in the State.
Those who controlled the processes of the 2015 elections in the State with their federal might gave him that assignment. And Governor Okorocha does not believe in vendetta, otherwise we would have taken steps to make the relevant agencies find out how he assumed that responsibility and what qualified him for that role. So we don’t expect him to tell his employers the truth about the monumental achievements of Governor Okorocha in Imo for the past Six Years.
Again, sometime last year, we invited some Senior editors and Columnists to the State to come and see the amazing achievements of Owelle Okorocha as governor of the State. The THISDAY Editor, our Sister in whom we are well pleased, Ijeoma Nwaogwugwu was invited. She assured she was coming. But, about forty-eight hours to the arrival date, she called to say she had earlier booked to travel. Perhaps, if she had come, she would have told the writers the truth.
However, before reacting specifically to the issues raised in the referenced report we want to repeat the Claim we have been making these days with every sense of commitment. THAT GOVERNOR OKOROCHA’s achievements in Imo in the past Six years have exceeded or superceded all that those who governed the State before him put together had achieved. This is our innocent claim. And we want to be Challenged on this innocuous Claim or Contradicted. We have more than one thousand verifiable projects to the Credit of the People’s Governor, Owelle Okorocha. And Imo people celebrate him except the few vocal elite.
NOW THE ISSUES:
The newspaper scored the governor “Average” in education; Below Average in Agriculture; poor in Health care; poor in infrastructure; and Above average in security. And of all these scores, we could only accept or take delivery of that of Security, and also make hay to reject others because they were grossly wrong scores.
We therefore tell our success story to justify our Claims:-
(1) EDUCATION: In education, Governor Okorocha should have been scored Excellent. And
this Excellent we have subscribed to, is not for the fun of doing so, it is based on outstanding
achievements or exploits in the area of education. Now read our lips and correctly too.
Imo State under Governor Okorocha has been enjoying free and qualitative education from Primary to Secondary and from Secondary to tertiary level. And it has been a success story all along.
Government has been supplying the students and pupils with free sandals, desks, lockers, chairs, uniform, stockings, etc.
Government has employed about 11,000 teachers both regular and those under Youth Must Work programme to ensure that there are enough teachers for the schools.
School enrolment in Imo has skyrocketed from 276,000 in 2011 to more than 850,000 in 2017 because of the free education programme.
Imo has topped in JAMB EXAM APPLICATIONS for 6years now (from 2012 – 2017) and has shown excellence in every public exam. The records are there.
Governor Okorocha has built new Universities and Schools like the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko; Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala University of Agriculture and Vetinary Medicine; Maritime University Oguta (now handed over to NAVY); College of Education Ihitte-Uboma; School of Health Okporo; Imo College of Advanced Professional Studies (ICAPS) Owerri; College of Technology Ehime Mbano; School of Nursing Umuowa; Young Scientist College Owerri; Imo Girls College Owerri; Owerri City College; Owerri City Primary School and others too numerous to mention. We have mentioned their locations for easy verification.
He has also built 305 upstair primary school buildings with one in each of the 305 wards in the state.
Remodeled and rebuilt all the premier schools left to dilapidate over the years by the previous administrations. They include, Government College Owerri, Government Technical College Owerri, Emmanuel College Owerri, Ikenegbu Girls College Owerri, Akwakuma Girls College, Comprehensive Secondary School Amakohia, Umuna Secondary School, Ngor Okpala Secondary School, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo.
Built Computerised Ultra-Modern Library.
Increased monthly subventions of Imo State University, Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) and Imo Polytechnic Umuagwo by 200percent.
Introduced new dressing code for teachers in the state.
Paid teachers’ salaries upto April, 2017.
Built magnificent new structures at IMSU, IMSUTH and Imo Polytechnic Umuagwo. We have written to justify the EXCELLENT we gave to ourselves, and it is left for anybody or group to fault us.
(2) HEALTHCARE: We claim ABOVE Average on the issue of Health Care. And these
are our reasons:
Governor Okorocha has built 27 ultra modern 200 bed hospitals of International Standard with one in each of the 27 LGAs, with some of them equipped and four of the hospitals handed over to the Navy, Airforce, Army and Police.
Built a world class diagnostic and Medical Centre called Oshiedike with modern facilities.
Renovated some of the Old General Hospitals in the state.
Introduced functional and effective Health at Your Door programme.
Built Imo Foundation that has assisted a lot of Imo people and even non-indigenes with complicated health issues to be treated outside the country.
Ensured accreditation of courses at IMSUTH that warranted the graduation of students of the institution for the first time.
Built theatre suites, Radiology wing housing MRI, CTSCAN and fluoroscope, Specialist Clinic, at IMSUTH. We are telling our story and would want to be challenged over these Claims.
(3) INFRASTRUCTURE: Scoring Rochas Okorocha anything less than Excellent in the area of infrastructure could be adjudged the most uncharitable of the whole scores. Those who have been following reports from the state or those who have visited the state, would agree with us that if there is one area Rochas should be scored Super-Excellent, it is in the area of infrastructure:
Governor Okorocha has to his credits more than 600 kilometres of urban roads and more than 1000 kilometres of rural roads. The list and locations of the roads are available to give to any group or establishment on demand.
He has remodeled & rebuilt the Government House with befitting new structures including a new governor’s lodge, a new chapel, a new clinic, new twin story building for the Deputy Governor and first Lady’s Offices, Sam Mbakwe EXCO Chamber, Ndubuisi Kanu EXCO Chamber, Nick Banquet hall, Media building, Staff Canteen and all, inside the Government House.
Built Imo International Convention Centre (IICC).
Built two flyovers and three tunnels.
Built Treasury House and Imo Trade & Investment Centre.
Built Odenigbo guest house with nine apartments.
Built four-floor ISOPADEC Complex headquarters.
Built Ikemba Ojukwu Centre.
Built Computer and Lounge for Civil Servants.
Built Eze Imo Palace.
Built CGC Office Complex.
Made major roads in Owerri eight-lanes in his urban renewal programme.
Built Imo Micro Finance Bank
Built Cultural Centres in the three zones of the state.
Renovated the State Secretariat and Computerised the Offices.
Building New High Court Complex called Justice Oputa Complex.
Reconstructed and remodeled Old Concord Hotel to a five-star hotel.
Built New NYSC headquarters.
Built twelve round-abouts within Owerri and environs.
Built pedestrian bridges.
Rebuilt all the Council headquarters.
Built Chapels & ICT Centres in the LGA Headquarters.
Built more than 270 bungalows for indigent women and widows through the wife’s Pet Project, SNARP.
(4) AGRICULTURE: They also scored us below Average in Agriculture. We reject it intoto and quickly score ourselves ABOVE AVERAGE, on the basis of our achievements in that regard; Governor Okorocha introduced Ikuona nkwu in all the communities and the outcome has been remarkable.
Reconstructed the fish farm in Oguta and the result has also been wonderful.
Introduced rice farming in the state.
Remodeled Avutu Poultry and Adapalm and made them productive.
Introduced Poultry Farming in the 27 LGAs in the state.
Remodeled Imo zoo.
Introduced Back to land for Agriculture. And the attendant result is that with free education, the poverty level in the state has drastically gone down from 57% in 2011 to 14% in 2017, according to United Nation’s report.
(5) EASE OF DOING BUSINESS: No CLARITY ON INVESTMENT DRIVE IN Imo, for
which they scored the state “poor”. And since they didn’t explain what they meant by that, we approach it in our own way:
The governor repurchased the Resin Paint Industry in Mbaise sold by those before him and handed it over to a Chinese Company SKYRUN now producing electrical gadgets at Nguru Mbaise.
The Paper Packaging Industry at Owerre ebiri equally sold by those before him was also repurchased by Governor Okorocha and is today working.
There is an industrial Park now in Owerri and artisan village.
And because of the high level of security and infrastructural revolution in the state, investors have “invaded” the state and there is, at the moment, population explosion and business/investment evolution in the State.
To say the least, there is no aspect of governance, Rochas Okorocha does not deserve to be scored above average. Let anybody or organization with anything in the contrary challenge us on this harmless claim. We have done our own bit and it is now left for those behind the report in question to act well their own part.
Like we had earlier intoned, we hold THISDAY and its management team in high esteem and we would continue to do so not minding the report under scrutiny.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor