The Unpaid Imo Contractors (UPIC), have once more taken to the streets of Owerri, Imo state capital, demanding immediate payment of contracts delivered to the state government from 2011 to date. This is despite denials by the outgoing Governor, Rochas Okorocha that he owes no one, not even banks.
The Imo Contractors carried placards which have inscriptions as “A laborer deserves His Wages. We are the laborers behind rescue mission, pay us – Imo contractors”.
Other placards had such inscription as; “Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Please, don’t leave office without paying us – Imo Contractors. We have been verified and account details taken, yet no payment. Please, pay us Imo Contractors. We are part of the rescue mission government- Imo contractors”.
Speaking during the street protest, the Chairperson of Imo State Contractors, Rev Udogadi Ononiwu, said that since the coming of Governor Okorocha led rescue mission administration to date, the Imo contractors have been involved in socio- political development of state and that construction works, supplies etc have been carried by the Imo contractors who are not yet paid. “We only hear that there was payment by the government, but none of our members has been given anything as payment”, he added.
The Chairperson of Unpaid Imo Contractors noted that they “had written series of letters to the Governor, appealing to him to pay us, but our effort was futile. By God’s grace, your meeting with the Secretary to Imo state government on our payment materializes, we are hopeful of getting paid by the governor before he leaves office on May 29”, 2019, he stressed.
Ononiwu while begging government to consider them as to save them for payment so from hardship and embarrassment from some financial institutions whose money was borrowed from to execute the contracts, regretted that 30 of their members had died out of shuck, some facing serious financial challenges, while others are in various states of ill-health, infirmity and helplessness.
They added that the governor would pay them as demanded after seeing their doziers, because he listens to the voice of reason like theirs. “we are very optimistic that the state government would relieve Imo contractors of this predicament by paying us appropriately”.