By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—THE growing rift between Imo State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, and his boss, Governor Rochas Okorocha, has deepened, following an allegation making the rounds in the state that Madumere has abandoned his office for 90 days.
Reacting to the rumour, the Special Assistant, SA, to the Deputy Governor, Mazi Uche Onwuchekwa, opined that “the allegation could only emanate from mischievous elements.”
Similarly, some members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Allied Forces, who were contacted on phone yesterday, said: “We know where the allegation is coming from, but it cannot help their cause. Truth will always triumph over falsehood,especially now that we are collectively fighting against tyranny, injustice and palpable fraud.”
In his own reaction, Onwuchekwa said: “The insinuation that the Deputy Governor has abandoned his office is a fat lie. It could only have emanated from mischievous elements.”
He described his boss as “a very responsible public officer, who has been coming to the office when necessary, since his main job of handling boundary issues is in the field.”
Continuing, the Deputy Governor’s SA said that his principal has proved beyond reasonable doubt that “he is a result- oriented public officer, who has never abdicated his official responsibilities.”
A civil servant in the Deputy Governor’s Office, who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, equally denied that Madumere has been staying away from office for a long time.
“It is not correct that he (Madumere) has been staying away from his office. Are you sure it is not part of the ploy to pin something on him, so as to make his eventual impeachment simple? The man stays away only when he is out of the state or on field work, especially for boundary matters”, the civil servant said.
He recalled that only last week, the Deputy Governor played host to a number of people and groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria, in his office.
“Although the office leaks each time it rains, thus begging for serious attention, the Deputy Governor has been putting up with this ugly situation patiently. I wonder where the story is coming from. I see the entire allegation as sheer mischief.”
Imo needs govt with human face—Ihedioha
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has said that “Imo State needs a government that will sincerely and conscientiously work for the people and save the citizenry from their current avoidable hardship”.
Ihedioha, who stated this while addressing party faithful in Owerri municipality, also pointed out that “the economic health of the state, between when I contested the 2015 governorship election and now, has further deteriorated, while the growing concerns of well meaning stakeholders spurred me to offer myself, again for service.”
He maintained that, “our dear state has gone through avoidable maladministration. We have not only become an object of caricature among the comity of states but have sadly also, become a reference for a collapse of government.”
Chief Ihedioha reminded his hosts that sequel to the realities on ground today in the state, only a person with relevant capabilities, can perform the needed surgery to bring Imo back to life.
“As we march towards 2019, we must always remember that Imo State of today is in dire need of an experienced surgeon in government, who will perform the needed surgery to bring the state back to life”, Chief Ihedioha said.