Following his constant resort through his attack dogs for blackmail to disparage the genuine efforts of the government and to deceive the populace, the Abia State Government has said that the former governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu’s pre-emptive blackmail won’t halt his prosecution for alleged diversion of public funds for private use and building his private house.
A recent report by Opera News said that the state government recently came across a document which showed that former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu diverted a whopping sum of Five Hundred Million Naira (₦500 million) meant for the renovation of Abia state Government House and used same to build a private house for himself in his Umuobiakwa country home in Obingwa LGA of the state.
This was contained in a statement released by the Special Adviser to Abia State Governor on Media and Publicity, Hon. Ferdinand Ekeoma.
The statement reads;
The government decided to take the necessary action to ensure that the former Governor would return the money without unnecessary drama, interestingly the former Governor got hint of the arrangement and decided to send his attack dogs led by his former Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu to carry out another laughable and thoughtless media onslaught, accusing Governor Otti of refusing to move into the so-called “New Government House” that does not exist and other outrightly mendacious fabrications.
For the records, Okezie Ikpeazu did not build any Government House, rather he completed two structures of two storey buildings each started by his predecessor, one of which looks like a poorly planned hotel, and another that looks like staff quarters.
Dr. Ikpeazu may not have associated with exposed and honest persons who were ready to help him understand and see modern governance beyond the mediocre standard that existed in Abia which obviously affected his taste and comprehension of what Government Houses look like, it’s important at this point to educate him that a Government House is structured to have the following:
The Governor’s Lodge which must be a standalone building as it’s expected to House the Governor and his family members.
The Deputy Governor’s Lodge which operates like that of the Governor.
The Executive Chambers for Exco meeting and which is domiciled under a different structure that houses other offices of the Governor and his immediate aides.
The Chief of Staff’s Lodge.
Banquet Hall for government’s official events.
Government House Chapel for religious activities.
Security Quarters where the Camp Commandant and other security agents are expected to live permanently.
Staff quarters where key appointees of the Governor, their aides, drivers etc are expected to live and many other structures.
There is nothing like the aforementioned structures in the so called New Government House.
Again, the so called Government House was never finished, neither was it furnished. Except the ground floor where there are swimming pool and lounge (of course enjoyment was their topmost priority) the first and the last floors remain uncompleted and empty.
The pent house which is to serve as an event hall, was poorly done, not even plastered and poorly ventilated.
Above all, Ikpeazu’s government failed to supervise the sale of lands to private individuals who turned around to build private high rise buildings around the new government house which gives viewing access into the compound to such residents thus compromising the security of the supposed Government House. This is a bizarre action that’s not seen anywhere.
Contrary to what Ikpeazu did within his first few months in office when he hurriedly built a palacious home for himself to replace his two bedroom bungalow in the village, Governor Alex Otti is living in his home he built with his personal money over a decade ago.
Unlike Ikpeazu who hurriedly bought several choice bullet proof SUVS for himself in the first few months of his government, all the official vehicles Governor Alex Otti drives today were bought with his personal money before he beccame the Governor, except the INNOSON G80 SUV acquired about two months ago.
Ikpeazu and his men believed that Government was and should be all about the Governor, hence they dedicated efforts only on the comfort of the then Governor and abandoned the citizens and key Government institutions and property to rot away while they partied, enjoyed themselves every week and built personal mansions and businesses at the expense of the people.
Ikpeazu had 32 Commissioners but never cared to renovate the Commissioners quarters which Otti that has 19 Commissioners has now renovated and retrofitted.
The massive but abandoned office building (Political Block) that was supposed to accommodate many political appointees, looked like a shrine. Today it’s a beauty to behold. Maybe the former Governor didn’t deem it fit renovating the building because it would not accommodate thousands of his advisers and assistants most of whom operated like ghost workers and are seen only on social media where they throw abusive tantrums.
What of the Emeka Omerua Guest house which was literally converted to a chalet; Governor Otti has completely renovated and retrofitted it. The leaking and dilapidated Michael Okpara Hall was not left out as Gov. Otti closed it down and started complete makeover which was completed a week ago. The Banquet Hall that was smelling, to the disgust and disbelief of visitors is now a beauty to behold. These are few key government institutions within and around the Government House which Governor Otti has brought back to life to make government effective and functional. Is there any other better way of showing that the Governor has completely departed from the old Ikpeazu’s ways?
Do Ikpeazu and John Okiyi Kalu want Governor Otti to draw hundreds of millions like them for the renovation of Government House, and turn around to squander it?. We are saying no; Otti is not Ikpeazu.
This primitive preemptive strategy of reckless media attacks geared towards blackmailing Governor Otti and bullying his government to abandon its responsibility of cleaning up the mess created by PDP and bringing perpetrators of Financial and economic crimes against the people to justice has already failed.
Finally, we are ready to expose PDP’s lies to the world by bringing notable Media Houses to come and see the so-called New government house for themselves, after which they would easily understand why the former Governor never moved into the so-called Government House for one day,” the statement noted.
Picture: Former Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu