The Imo State House of Assembly has debunked the report on page 2 of the Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper of June 26th, 2020, where it was stated that honourable members of the state legislature have lamented their inability to treat themselves after allegedly testing positive to the Coronavirus pandemic because the Hope Uzodinma led government has not paid them their salaries.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information and Judiciary, and member representing Oru West State constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon Dominic Ezerioha, who spoke to Nigeria Watchdog on the issue, said, “reports and speculations being circulated in Newspapers and the social media that some state legislators who tested positive to the Covid-19 scourge, do not have money to treat themselves, members of their families and aides are not only false but attempts by some biased, mischievous and disgruntled elements to antagonize the government and rubbish the rising profile it has earned through hardwork and excellent performance within a short time.
He stated that, the leadership of the Assembly has, aside making money available for members to take care of themselves and do the needful, allowances of legislators are paid as and at when due, stressing that, “we have already received our allowances for May, and the four or five legislators who initially tested positive to the virus have presently tested negative and have been declared free of Covid-19”.
Responding to a question, Hon Ezerioha, a lawyer explained that, “the wage bill of the 27 state legislators is quite enormous and as part of the government, we should understand, appreciate and partner with the executive in untying difficult knots, finding lasting solutions to problems in governance, to ensure that our state moves forward. We all know that the state government is trying to harmonize the BVN issue and block all conduit pipes through which frauds were perpetrated and save money for developmental projects. There is therefore need for us and all concerned to exercise patience, support and encourage the government to succeed in it’s onerous task of moving the state forward in the interest of Imo people”.
He urged his colleagues in the legislature to remain calm, focused and refuse to be distracted or pitched against the state government by peddlers of falsehood, misinformation and disharmony.