Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that, with its meagre federal allocation and a paltry Internally Generated Revenue, Imo State did not have the N17bn said to have been illegally withdrawn by him.
He also challenged the governor-elect of the state, Emeka Ihedioha, to probe the N17bn allegedly withdrawn from financial institutions in the state in the past one week.
Ihedioha had threatened to recover what he called “Imo property” from the incumbent governor, with directives to financial institutions in the state to stop further dealings with the state government.
But in a statement made available to newsmen by Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, on Monday, the state government advised members of the public to ignore the governor-elect’s allegation.
“He is just smart, politically; but political smartness is different from having the capacity for leadership or governance,” the government statement said.
Boasting that the “governor-elect lacks the capacity to measure up with Okorocha’s numerous achievements in the state,” Onwuemeodo added that Ihedioha was only “laying the foundation for excuses to Imo people as to why he would fail as a governor.”
He challenged Ihedioha to mention how the alleged N17bn withdrawal was made and where in the state, saying, “Where in Imo State with meager federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue can one see N17bn to withdraw?
“He is coming to be governor with the only income he made at the National Assembly because, prior to his going to the National Assembly, he never did any paid job and is trying now to blackmail a man adjudged to be the highest property owner both in Owerri and in Abuja several years before coming for governor.”