Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Thursday, August 27, 2015 claimed to have bought his two private jets before becoming governor in 2011. This claim came in response to media reports that said acquired two private jets while in office as governor.
Reacting to the reports, unpaid workers of Imo State had urged him to sell the private jets and pay their salary arrears. Okorocha described the reports as a fabrication by his political enemies to pull him down.
In a statement signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, the state government said, “As a government, we want to deny with high sense of honesty that since May 29, 2011 when Owelle Rochas Okorocha became governor, he has never bought any private Jet either directly or by proxy. Having made this denial let those behind the allegation make their facts public to fault our denial.
“The period Governor Rochas Okorocha bought Jets was years before he was elected, during the Olusegun Obasanjo regime when some of the presidential jets were auctioned. The governor bought jets then under the aegis of Lamonde Aviation, alongside few other Nigerians. Since he became governor, he has never bought any private Jet.”
The statement added: “Again, the Debit Management Agency penultimate week published the states and their respective debt profiles. And in the case of Imo State, they published N37 billion which was far from the hundreds of billions the opponents of the government have been claiming to be the debt status of the state. And the N37 billion debt include the ones owed by the previous administrations. The good story is that we have been vindicated on that.”
The issue of unpaid workers remains unaddressed in Imo State. Osun State led by APC’s Rauf Aregbesola is also burdened with unpaid salaries of workers.