–      Says: Gov, Now Father Christmas 

The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, says it has uncovered Governor Uzodinma’s alleged plan to induce election officers to ensure his re-election despite his poor and abysmal performance.

The Acting Publicity Secretary of the party, Mazi Emenike Nmeregini in a release dated September, 21, 2023, alleged that Governor Uzodinma has spent enormous amount of the state’s scare resources to actualize “his dead on arrival second term bid that skinned and subjected the state into serious economic quagmire. 

News report published by an online news medium, “Sahara Repoters” alleged that Hope Uzodinma, in his desperate bid to rig the upcoming Governorship election, declared a humongous gift package for Election Officers (EOs) and the entire staff of the electoral body. The gift items according the online news include;  30 SUVs and cash of N5m for the EOs and 20 SL-570 (2021) model Lexus jeeps for the senior electoral staff. 

The report also has it that another sum of N20bn has been earmarked as package for both senior and junior staff. Again, it disclosed a plot by a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the southeast to assist the Governor rig the election with an undisclosed amount of money as inducement”.

The release also stated that, “It is indeed disturbing to note the volume of state fund that is going down the drain just for inducing the state election workers. Of course, it is expected that same provision is made for staff of the electoral body at its headquarter in Abuja.

Other stakeholders such as the Police, DSS, Civil Defence Corp and myriad of other paramilitary operatives may not be out of place in the sharing formula of the package. 

We also know that the Governor has been on a support hunt for individuals, groups and organisations within and outside the state to adopt and support his unpopular and ill-fated ambition. Again, he has been poaching opposition camps, PDP in particular, to fish for support.

The big concern is the sincerity of most beneficiaries of his Christmas gifts, knowing that he has slim chances of wining the election. They are only interested in ripping the state”. 

The PDP also expressed dissatisfaction with the plight of Imo workers and pensioners which it described as deplorable and pathetic adding most of them are presently owed arrears of over one year accumulated arrears of salaries and pension.

“Again, all the workers and pensioners tagged “ghosts” by the Governor on his assumption of office in 2020 have been without a dime, yet they go to work and carry out their legitimate duties. 

In the last quarter of 2022, Uzodinma subjected the feeble and frail looking lmo pensioners to series of documentations and verifications in the guise of paying them gratuities. As we speak, no mention has been made of it in the recent past. 

A couple of months ago, the state Governor promised to pay 40% minimum wage to lmo workers. As it stands, not even the 30% minimum wage pronounced earlier has been implemented nor paid to anyone. 

These are but tip of the iceberg of sordid experiences of lmo workers and pensioners under Uzodinma. Yet, he has enough money to throw about.

Some of the beneficiaries of his acts of generosity are not even from the state, so, the tendency is that most of the packages will leave the state as capital flight.

We therefore call on Governor Uzodinma to apply restraint at the rate he plays father christmas with public fund. Imo state is much encumbered with devastating load of responsibilities and cannot afford to embark on wasteful spending”.