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HOW GOVERNOR ROCHAS OKOROCHA LOOTED 16 BILLION NAIRA IMO 13 PERCENT OIL DERIVATION FUNDS IN 3 YEARS

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Some months ago, I made a telling revelation that the sum of 1 billion naira belonging to pensioners in the 27 LGA of Imo State was “squandered” by Sir Jude Ejiogu the current Chief of Staff to the Governor of Imo State. Ejiogu squandered this money when he was the Chairman of Imo State Local …Government Service Commission. I lamented the “squandering of the significant sum of 1 billion naira and another 3 billion naira looted by the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly Mr Benjamin Uwajumogu. I cried out because most Imolites but especially the poor, continue to suffer the effect of failing public health and education system as well as decrepit infrastructure and battered institutions. I highlighted what I see as the dawn of naked impunity in Imo State.

 

Uwajumogu, Ejiogu and their megaphones have called me all sorts of names. I have been threatened, i have been harassed and i have been closely monitored. They want to shut me up by all means. But as a citizen of Imo State, I am not intimidated. I will continue to speak out. One of the fundamental elements of democracy is the right to free speech without having others trample on your opinion. The capitalist thieving vampires currently in power in Imo state are looting our monies and yet they want us to shut up. They also want us to vote them again in 2015 for another round of impunity.

 

I am not accusing these men falsely as they are claiming. I speak the truth about their fraudulent activities with anger. You will recall that in May, 2011, Owelle Rochas Okorocha took power from Ikedi Ohakim as Governor of Imo State. There was high hope by the masses that Okorocha’s rule will bring an end to mass poverty, worsening living conditions, mass unemployment, suppression of democratic rights, massive corruption, and insecurity of lives and property. But more than 3 years after, the high expectations of Imolites for real positive change in their lives have been shattered. Not only has there been no substantial improvement in the lives of the Imo working masses, in some respect the situation has become worse. Thousands of Ndi-Imo still live without access to good food, housing, good roads, water, electricity and healthcare while Okorocha and his men are looting our monies.

 

The anti-poor policies of sales of Imo public assets, commercialization of health, housing and other social services, and sack of workers in Imo State have made more and more Imolites poorer and the rich minority richer. Corruption among the elite has not only remained, it has become more sophisticated.
Imo State has become one of the most unequal societies in the world, with the richest 20% of Imolites getting 55.7% of the state’s total income while the poorest 20% are left to struggle for just 4.4%. Currently Imo faces gargantuan problems in all areas of socio-economic and political endeavours. The State has further nosedived under the Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s government, lower than any other time since 1999. In every area you look at the only conclusion you will come to is that the Okorocha’s government has failed Imo people resoundingly.

 

Mind you, when i say Okorocha has failed Imo , it is not an isolated opinion. Indeed this is the opinion of the mass majority of Imolites. According to a FAMOUS NAIJA opinion poll conducted in August 2013 , 81% of Nigerians assessed Okorocha’s performance in Imo as very bad; but only 19% assessed his performance as very well and fairly well. In March 2014 another FAMOUS NAIJA opinion poll was conducted and 85% of Nigerians think the present Owelle Rocha’s government has performed very badly in improving the living standard of the poor while only 15% think he is doing very well in improving the living standard of the poor.

 

The most serious aspect of Imo’s problems is the poor and hopeless condition of the youths. Today unemployment has become a permanent feature of the life of Imo youth. Governor Okorocha has failed to offer Imo youths a real future. He sacked 10,000 Imolites from the civil service in year 2011.The 10,000 sacked youths are suffering today.

 

I cannot keep quite and watch Okorocha and his men loot Imo dry.Last week, I was in Bonny Island in Rivers State of Nigeria . I arrived the Island in the morning by boat and was amazed to see that the Island has electricity as the eyes could see . I turned to Mrs Hart who came to welcome me and I inquired about the reliability of electricity in the Island. “It’s steady,” She said. “How often do you see power outages?” I asked. She said “we have light here 247.If they take it,it comes back in 15 minutes time. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we witness power outage here in Bonny. It is pay as you go. You recharge your card and your light is on” I could hardly mask my bewilderment and sense of humiliation!I felt humiliated because I am from an oil producing kingdom like Bonny called Egbema in Imo State. By contrast, the people of Egbema’s narrative in terms of electricity is awful .

 

Power supply is non-existent in the 13 Egbema towns. Since Governor Rochas Okorocha came into power in 2011, the people of Egbema have not seen electricity. Yet on monthly basis 13 percent oil derivation fund is paid to Imo State for the development of the oil producing areas in Imo. Out of this 13 percent oil derivation found 40 percent is meant for ISOPADEC, the commission set up to develop Imo oil areas. Where are the monies? From may 2011 to December 2013 Imo state received N16,613,768,782.98 (sixteen billion, six hundred and thirteen million seven hundred and sixty eight thousand seven hundred and eighty naira ninety eight kobo) as 13 percent oil derivation funds for development of the oil communities in Imo State. Find below the monthly breakdown.

 

May 2011 N278,919,682.00
June 2011
N491,415,545.00
July 2011
N607,508,024.40
August 2011
N691479700.1
September 2011
N650318411.4
October 2011
N742,626,299.53
November 2011
N506556992.7
December 2011
N513122495.7
January 2012
N624755732.8
February 2012
N430283610
March 2012
N495,802,869
April 2012
N530,948,180.82
May 2012
N414,451,615.90
June 2012
N557,851,267.36
July 2012
N441286601.6
August 2012
N563593288.1
September 2012
N436,366,936.76
October 2012
N507,915,584.96
November 2012
N453147887.2
December 2012
N433,746,138.22
January 2013
N548,284,488.83
Febuary 2013
N433,812,735.87
March 2013
N548908424.6
April 2013
N702685396.7
May 2013
N536243879.4
June 2013
N533,171,999.86
July 2013
N465,435,601.16
August 2013
N464,118,297.86
September 2013
N596,526,274.32
October 2013
N702681346.1
November 2013
N439,814,732.12
December 2013
N548,908,424.70

Where are the monies? The monies have developed wings. It is so sad to note that leaders from Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta where Imo oil money comes from are not speaking about the comatose ISOPADEC. Schools, water, road and hospital rehabilitation in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta which form part of the duties of ISOPADEC remain in their same dilapiladated state and the political class from the oil area are not speaking about the development. Next week I will give you figures of LGA funds looted in Imo state.
Do we allow just one person in the capacity of governor Rochas Okorocha to continue to make our mothers and grandparents suffer helplessly in the villages? Do we continue to allow the governor of Imo State to deprive local governments of the funds needed to build schools, roads, motor parks, markets etc.? Do we continue to herald him with the title “His Excellency” when he has made us beggars and impoverished us in a perpetual state of squalor?

 

Do we continue to clap for Owelle Rochas Okorocha at the commissioning of petty projects, which is far below the commensurate allocation given to him? Let’s ask questions now ,otherwise we shall continue to cry aloof with no one to beckon on us. We shall bear the pains of our parents been rejected in the hospitals for our inability to pay their medical bills, our siblings shall continue to be denied admission because of free education on paper while schools are denied developmental funds. We shall be tempted to become kidnappers and arm robbers at our own peril. Let us stop placing ourselves in subservient position, thereby helping an uncaring governor to achieve his deadly political ambitions at the expense of the state. Wisdom is profitable, how long shall we continue to be fooled?

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Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

 

More details later…

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Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub

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The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

 

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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report

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Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s X.com handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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