Nigerian Workers At The Mercy Of State Governors
I weep for Nigerian workers. Their lives are in shambles. Their families are in disarray. They have been completely disorganized. They are no longer worthy to be called Nigerian workers. Thanks to the State Governors who have devalued the lives and standard of living of the Nigerian workers.
Many states in this country have refused to pay their civil servants. Some of these civil servants are owed as much as 2 years of their salaries. Yet these states collect their monthly allocations from Federal government. Yet there are increased internally generated revenues in these states. What convincing reason are state governors giving for their inability to fulfill their primary responsibility? None. These shameless governors talk from both sides of their mouths? The other day these thieves parading themselves as state governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari to plead for a bail out, but Mr. President told them his mind. And I ask; has anybody bothered to ask himself or herself why Nigerian workers are owed these numbers of months without their governors bathing an eyelid? Has anybody bothered to ask why pensioners are owed for over 3 years in some states? Has anybody bothered to ask why there is so much cash crunch in many states?
To answer these questions and more, I will open the minds of the reading public by driving down to one of the states in this country to prove that these states governors are thieves who have consciencelessly and heartlessly taken the Nigerian workers for a ride by using their supposed salaries for personal comfort. Let us use Imo State as benchmark or standard of proving how ruthless and Godless these governors can be.
- Some of these governors were bankrupt before they were sponsored into office. They were owing so many banks, so as soon as they became governors in their respective states, state funds and workers salaries were used to service their indebtedness to these banks. It is an acknowledged fact that Governor Rochas Okorocha was owing several banks in this country before his inauguration as governor in 2011. Today he has reportedly paid off all his bank debts, while civil servants in the state are at the receiving end.
- Some of these governors are today proud owners of private jets which they never had prior to their inauguration. They used state funds to acquire private jets and use same to maintain them to the detriment of workers welfare. Governor Rochas Okorocha has never had a jet in his life prior to his inauguration as governor. But today, as a sitting governor, he has acquired a private jet and reportedly uses states fund to maintain it while civil servants got to work with their salaries unpaid running into several months.
- Children of these governors who get married are sponsored with state funds . State governors lavish without conscience state funds on their children’s weddings. In January 2013, Governor Rochas Okorocha reportedly spent over N600 million of state funds to sponsor his first daughter’s wedding with his then commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning. Also few months ago, the same Okorocha reportedly spent over N600 million naira of state resources to sponsor his second daughter’s wedding with the son of his then Secretary to the State Government. Yet civil servants salaries have remained unpaid for several months.
- These shameless state governors rather than pay civil servants their salaries have embarked on property acquisition. Some state governors have acquired properties worth billions of naira in their respective states, yet civil servants whose minimum wages are just N18,000 = are being owed several months of salaries. Governor Rochas Okorocha is currently on a spending spree, acquiring choice properties across the state, across the country and across the globe. Infact some of his old properties that were dilapidated are currently wearing new looks. Billions of naira has been spent to renovate them. His SPIBAT property which was reportedly 15 plots of land has suddenly expanded to over 1000 plots of land. The four bedroom bungalow that was previously sitting on that SPIBAT property has suddenly grown to over 35 Duplexes plus a sprawling palace all valued at over N20 billion naira. Yet civil servants salaries are yet to be paid. His own wife (Nkechi) is also on the same acquisition madness. She has a property known as WODDI’S PLACE at new Owerri valued at over N500 million. She is currently developing an estate worth billions of naira along Wetheral road by OTAMIRI greenbelt region. How and where did she get the funds she is using to fund all these acquisitions and projects? The office of the wife of the state governor is not constitutional. Also Okorocha demolished his village mansion at Ogboko in Ideato South and replaced it with an almost a replica of the SPIBAT ESTATE. His old properties all over the nation which were reportedly used as collateral for loads he took from banks many years ago have been retrieved and renovated. Go to Jos-Plateau State. All his properties along Ahmadu Bello way in Jos Plateau State have been retrieved from banks and are now wearing new looks. Yet civil servants are being owed in Imo state. If you go to Abuja, the same story. Imo State funds have been used to renovate and refurbish personal properties of Okorocha. What has civil servants done to Okorocha? Why is he finding it difficult to pay them? Do not forget that I am using Imo State as a yardstick to prove how Irresponsible, heartless, useless and stupid these state governors can be. Civil servants are treated as fifth class citizens who must not be paid.
- Again part of the reasons why some State governors and State governments do not have resources to pay their workers is because incomes that would have accrued to or gone to State government establishments have been diverted by these governors to their private enterprises. Perhaps an example will confirm this. In Imo State, Governor Rochas Okorocha deliberately allowed the Imo State owned Concorde Hotel to deteriorate to the extent that their generating sets have all broken down. Visitors and guests have been diverted to his private Hotels and guest Houses. Today Lamorde Hotels is the ‘’official’’ Hotel for guests especially contractors seeking for contracts.
I can go on and on to prove that the Nigerians workers are now at the mercy of State governors. These workers are treated with disdain to the extent that senior civil servants who offer genuine and sincere advices to state governors on how to save cost in the execution of projects and in the running of governments are either kidnapped or summarily killed. In Imo State, it is no longer news that Governor Okorocha kidnapped a top civil servant, SIR EMENIKE IHEKWABA on the 26th of August 2012. He has refused to release the top civil servant till today (3yrs after). He killed another civil servant, MR LAZ. ANYANWU in January 2013. I have since personally petitioned the Inspector General of Police exposing these political atrocities and killings committed by Governor Rochas Okorocha and his cohorts.
Do we talk of the fleet of cars in the convoy of these shameless Governors who behave like emperors? These fleet of cars are maintained with state funds, yet civil servants are being owned several months of their salaries. These governors prefer to maintain their fleet of cars to paying civil servants their salaries. Few days ago, 22 cars were recovered from the wives of the immediate past Governor of Bauchi State, MALLAM ISA YAGUDA. His fourth wife is yet to return her own fleet of cars. In Imo State it even worse because Governor Rochas Okorocha has over 20 fleet of cars in his convoy. His wife (Nkechi) has over 10 fleet of cars in her convoy. His son in-law (Uche Nwosu) who is the chief of state has his own fleet of cars. His in-law and former Secretary to the State Government (Prof. Anthony Anwuka) has his own fleet of cars. All his in-laws, sisters, brothers move in convoy of vehicles which are maintained with state government funds, to the extent that ordinary snacks in Government House are supplied by Okorocha sisters at 4 times the real prices.
Do we talk of Idiotic life style of these governors who are shameless homosexuals and drug addicts? They use state funds to maintain their homosexual lovers to the extent that events are organized by these homosexuals. To further consolidate on their evil desires, these useless governors offer their same sex lovers political appointments and contracts. These governors use state funds to maintain their hard drugs life style but refuse to pay civil servants. To further add insult to injury given to these civil servants, their landed properties are seized under dubious and most fraudulent government policies. I have already exposed how Governor Rochas Okorocha criminally acquired landed property across the state; from Spi-Bat estate to Irete, from Ihiagwa to Ngor-Okpala, from Nworieubi to Owerri Municipal, from Ideato North to Ideato South ETC. Houses belonging to civil servants which Okorocha believes in his imagination deface his SPIBAT estate have all been demolished. Please Google “IMO STATE: WHEN AN EVIL MAN IS IN AUTHOURITY. Let me put it on record that state funds are reportedly used to maintain the SPIBAT estate, yet civil servants are yet to be paid their several months of salaries in Imo State.
The lists of the atrocities of these shameless governors are numerous. Do you know that these governors sponsor their court and tribunal cases with state funds? Their “re- election” was also sponsored with state funds running into billions of naira. Governor Rochas Okorocha’s own is even worse, in that he spent billions of funds belonging to Imo State to sponsor his so called Presidential aspiration and when he failed woefully, came back to impose himself again on the frustrated people of Imo State in a most fraudulent gubernatorial contest in the history of Nigeria. Also these shameless state governors use state funds to sponsor their killer squads rather than pay civil servants. In Imo State, Governor Okorocha funds a killer squad which he uses to kill innocent citizens. I was a victim. All these are contained in my petition to the Inspector General of Police. One had expected these so called governors to adjust on their prodigal lifestyles, see Godly reasons and pay civil servants and other workers their salaries. But No is their answer. They would rather choose to reduce their states respective workforce than to adjust on their insatiable ways of life. In Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has “insipidly’’ chosen the devil’s alternative to sack workers, merge ministries and other parastatals rather than paying them their salaries. At Imo Transport Company Ltd (a states government owned parastatals), workers are being owed at least 2 years salaries. At Adapalm Plantation, the same story. Civil servants in various ministries are owed several months of arrears of salaries. It is indeed very unfortunate. Truly unfortunate. Honestly Governor Rochas Okorocha has convinced everybody that he is a thief. And he is very proud being called a thief. What of the security votes of these governors? Their security votes are in the region of between 4 billion naira and 6 billion naira. What of their imprest? What of their travel allowances and estacodes? Can’t these shameless governors cut on these frivolous expenses so as to save cost of governance?
Let me just stop here because these shameless governors are not worthy to be called Governors. Our civil servants should take the bull by the horn. They cannot continue to keep quiet in the face of these humiliations by these thieves who parade themselves as governors. These governors should be treated as enemies of their respective states. They are security risks. We do not need to wait on their State Houses of Assembly to impeach them. Let decisive actions be taken and promptly too.
I rest my pen.
Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha
Former Senior Special Assistant on Media
Immediate Past Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties
Imo State House of Assembly
4th July, 2015