Barely a month after being criticized for erecting the controversial statue of South African President, Jacob Zuma in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Governor Rochas Okorocha has allegedly earmarked the whopping sum of N850m, to erect a christmas tree.
A socio-political group known as G-42 Imo Liberation Forum made this known in a statement released yesterday by its Director of Communications, Dr. Walter Duru.
The group described the alleged plan of the Governor to spend that amount on flamboyant frivolities as a case of misplaced priority and a sign of government’s insensitivity to the plight of its teeming populace.
The statement reads thus: “The attention of G-42 Imo Liberation Forum has been drawn to an alleged plan by the Imo State Government under the leadership of Chief Rochas Okorocha to spend about Eight Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N850m) on a meaningless tree ahead of the 2017 Christmas celebration.
“This is coming at a time Civil Servants and Pensioners in the state are being owed several months arrears of salaries and other entitlements; while poverty is at its highest level in the history of the state.
“The situation is made worst by the fact that the dust raised by the over Five Hundred Million Naira allegedly spent in the building of a Statue for the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma is yet to settle.
“We refuse to treat this as mere speculation as history has shown that this is not far from the style of the present administration in the state; a government that is not accountable to anyone and is run in utmost secrecy.
“The government must tell Imo people how much it actually spent on erecting the ridiculous Jacob Zuma Statue and others there-in, as well as the said Christmas tree.
“The G-42 Imo Liberation Forum, a Socio-political group in the state sees this as the highest level of insensitivity, misplaced priority and sheer waste of the people’s resources and hereby condemn it.”