The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, has launched a fierce attack on Governor Rochas Okorocha, saying it will take 25 to 30 years for the state to recover from the damage the embattled Imo governor has done to the socio-economic status of the state.
According to a statement Sunday by his media aide, Uche Onwuchekwa, the deputy governor said this during a fund-raising dinner held in support of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hope Uzodinma.
“It is not going to be a bed of roses for the next governor of Imo State. What Okorocha has done to the socio-economic status of this state, quote me it will take 25 to 30 years for the state to recover from the damage done to it. The level of damage is simply unimaginable,” Mr Madumere said.
Mr Madumere had been embroiled in a supremacy battle with Mr Okorocha, because he had wanted to run for the governorship seat against the wish of his boss, who is rooting for his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to be his successor.
The running political battle which is at the centre of the current crisis within the Imo State APC fold saw the birth of parallel factions in the party.
While Mr Madumere teamed up with a former senator, Osita Izunaso, the erstwhile national organising secretary of the APC, and Ifeanyi Ararume, a former senator, to conduct ward, local government and state congresses of the party in May, the governor supported a separate faction which conducted parallel congresses.
Although the APC faction supported by Mr Madumere and Mr Izunaso was initially recognised by the national leadership of the party, its election was upturned by the court in the lead up to the party’s national convention.
Messrs Izunaso and Ararume would later leave the party for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
After their bids for the APC governorship ticket failed, Mr Madumere threw his support to the party’s candidate, Mr Uzodinma, while the governor is backing his son-in-law who left the party for Action Alliance (AA) to become its standard bearer.
Knocks for Okorocha, commendation for Uzodinma
In Sunday’s statement, Mr Madumere proclaimed his support for Mr Uzodinma’s candidature.
“Senator Hope Uzodinma’s project is my project. governorship election is no one man project. It is about service to the people and not a personal business.”
He said Mr Okorocha had less than N5 million while running for office in 2011. “It took the donations of the good spirited Imolites and Nigerians to help Okorocha manage his financial needs for the campaign and election.”
Mr Madumere said the governor presented himself as an angel of light “but turned a big monster by night”. He called on Imo people to “stick together to end Okorocha’s reign of impunity.
“Today pensioners, our pensioners are being owed arrears of their money. Salaries are short paid by 30 per cent. Medicare is nonexistent in the state.
“I call on Imo State to rally round Senator Uzodinma and vote for him massively to ensure that he takes over Douglas House, he will do well as a governor.”
The deputy governor predicted that Mr Uzodinma will emerge the next governor of Imo State in the upcoming March 9 polls.
Mr Madumere has been repeatedly accused by the Imo governor of disloyalty and dereliction of duty leading to his controversial impeachment which was voided by the court.
Saturdays’ presidential and national assembly polls signalled another round of controversy for the outgoing governor who appears to be facing different battles from all sides.
Mr Okorocha who is still enmeshed in the controversial outcome of the Imo West senatorial election results, was among the two governors suspended by the APC two days after President Muhammadu Buhari was announced the winner of Saturday Presidential polls.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC suspended the two governors after a meeting.
Two others suspended were the Niger Delta minister, Usani Usani, and the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu.