From Stanley Uzoaru,Owerri
Former governor of Imo State senator Rochas Okorocha has described as untrue the claim by the Imo State government that he gave N500 million to the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) to calm them down during his tenure as governor of the State.
Contrary to the claim, Okorocha who reacted in a statement by his media adviser , Sam Onwuemeodo explained that during his Television interview, he only stated how he used his wisdom to mange the inherent problems of the IPOB.
Also, he clarified in the said interview that he gave N250 million on two different occasions to militants in the State who wanted to derail his administration.
He said “Those who had had the opportunity of watching the Programme Sunday night, and even those who could not watch the programme while it was on, but had watched the attendant videos, would attest or confirm that Okorocha had, at no time, claimed that he gave IPOB N500m.
“He only explained intelligently, how he managed the group, using God given wisdom and knowledge, to ensure that Imo enjoyed maximum peace throughout the eight years he had held sway, as the Executive governor of Imo State.
“Senator Okorocha had talked about how he released N250 million, on two occasions, totaling N500 million, for empowerment programme, for Militants in the Oil areas of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta, who had accepted his appeal to embrace peace and surrender their arms. And that was how total peace returned to those areas.
“And he also enlisted thousands of them and other youths, into Imo Security Network, (ISN), Imo Civil Guard, Niger Delta Security Network, Youth Must Work Programme and so on, with their stipends being N15,000 or N20,000 each, monthly.
“Okorocha never claimed to have given IPOB N500 million. The Imo government is an expert in chasing shadows, and passing buck or looking for scape goats.
“Okorocha’s appearance on Channels’ TV and how he handled the questions didn’t go down well with lmo government and its agents .They decided therefore, to inject virus into that exciting outing.
“To say the least, the government in lmo, wants to prevail by strength. And whether it will work, l have my doubts.” Okorocha stated.