By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI.
The growing anti-Rochas Okorocha sentiments in Imo State, has taken a new twist, as his effigy that was installed in his Ideato South country home was destroyed by unknown persons.
The statue, which depicted Governor Rochas Okorocha on a horse back and mounted at the Ogboko Junction, along the Orlu-Urualla federal highway, as the frenzy over his gubernatorial success was at its peak.
Vanguard, who rushed to the scene of the destruction, on getting wind of the news, noticed that the effigy had been brought down and damaged beyond redemption.
Although the state government and its functionaries has remained silent over the destroyed Governor’s effigy, no individual or group has however claimed responsibility for the destruction.
Vanguard recalls that the people’s resentment started escalating, following the state government’s inability or unwillingness to pay staff salaries and pensions, as well as severe economic hardship facing and numerous bad roads facing the citizenry.
Imo workers and pensioners had in the past three days, been holding peaceful protest march in Owerri, the state capital, to press home their demand for the payment of the arrears of their unpaid salaries and stipends.
The workers besieged the Government House gate and held the place hostage for the greater part of Wednesday, even as the Governor’s wife, Nkechi Okorocha, was celebrating her birthday.
Addressing the angry workers, Okorocha’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Kingsley Uju, pleaded with them to exercise patience, stressing that government was already doing something to alleviate their suffering.
He also assured the protesting workers that the necessary computations and paper work was going on and payment of their arrears of salaries would commence Friday (today).
As at the time of going to press yesterday, the aggrieved Imo workers were already gathering at Edede Street, Owerri, preparatory to moving for another round of peaceful protest.