The former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has been condemned by the Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri, over his inability to pay pensioners during his tenure in office.
He described the inability of the Senator representing Imo West to pay pensioners despite the resource at his disposal as shameful and disappointing.
Ohiri made this claim while speaking with newsmen at his residence in Owerri, the state capital over the weekend.
He acccused the Senator of attempting to play politic with the wellbeing of the pensioners during his two term tenure.
The traditional ruler claimed that Okorocha during his governance conducted “unending verification exercises” that never yielded any result.
According to Ohiri, the former governor of Imo State might have used the unending verification exercises to undermine the payment of pensioners in the state.
He noted that before the emergence of Emeka Ihedioha as governor, there were countless verification exercises of pensioners in the state.
Ohiri alleged that the Okorocha administration was kind of playing games with Imo senior citizens and that wasn’t right.
“At every opportunity, I made it known to the governor and the government that they needed to take care of our senior citizens, but nothing came out of it.”
Ohiri, however, commended Governor Emeka Ihedioha for commencing the payment of pensioners.
He said: “I want to thank God Almighty that finally something is being done through Governor Emeka Ihedioha. I have to say that in honesty and sincerity, I am happy that at this point that our pensioners are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
“I also commend the process, because it is not just paying them, it requires some planning. First of all, we need to understand and to know how many pensioners we have in the state and truly and accurately how much is due to each of them. And such planning and well thought out process was what I felt was lacking in the previous administration in the state.”
“Also, before now, some of the problems that we had or some of the complaints I received as the chairman of council of traditional rulers from these pensioners include that every month the government can decide to pay them arbitrary figures.”
“Somebody that was supposed to get N70, 000 or N60, 000 was paid N13, 000 or N15, 000. And nobody knew how government arrived at those figures. And they couldn’t go to anybody to get answers to those questions.”
“But now I thank God that the government has begun payment to them 100 per cent. So, I want to say that I have good faith in the exercise that has just been concluded and I believe it was sincere, honest and reliable.”