By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
The former governor of Imo state and the Senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Senator Rochas Okorocha, on Tuesday, denied that he never gave five hundred million naira, to the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in Imo state.
Okorocha stated this in Owerri, through his Special Adviser on media, Sam Onwuemeodo, on the report that he (Okorocha) gave N500 million to IPOB to stop agitations.
Okorocha said that he only gave N500 million to militants from the oil areas to empower them and stop agitations for peace to reign when he was governor of the state.
According to Okorocha, “The officials of the lmo State Government, rattled and cowed by the Superlative outing of Senator Rochas Okorocha on Channels’ Television, Sunday night, had come up with the jaundiced story of Okorocha, claiming that he gave IPOB N500 million, while he was governor.
“Those who had had the opportunity of watching the Programme Sunday night, and even those who could not watch the programme while it was on, but had watched the attendant videos, would attest or confirm that Okorocha had, at no time, claimed that he gave IPOB N500m.
“He only explained intelligently, how he managed the group, using God-given wisdom and knowledge, to ensure that Imo enjoyed maximum peace throughout the eight years he had held sway, as the Executive Governor of Imo State.”
“Senator Okorocha had talked about how he released N250 million, on two occasions, totalling N500 million, for empowerment programme, for Militants in the Oil areas of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta, who had accepted his appeal to embrace peace and surrender their arms. And that was how total peace returned to those areas.
“And he also enlisted thousands of them and other youths, into Imo Security Network, (ISN), Imo Civil Guard, Niger Delta Security Network, Youth Must Work Programme and so on, with their stipends being N15,000 or N20,000 each, monthly. Okorocha never claimed to have given IPOB N500 million. The Imo government is an expert in chasing shadows, and passing the buck or looking for scapegoats,” Okorocha said.