Governor Rochas Okorocha, on Saturday, March 5, 2016 refuted the Thisday Newspaper online report published on Friday, March 4, 2016 that he had “Jet out of Nigeria as EFCC Queries Diversion of N2billion bailout”, with the governor stating that the report was totally false because he didn’t travel out as reported.
Addressing Journalists at the Government House to that effect, Governor Okorocha said he decided to have the press parley as early as 8- O’clock to refute the allegation and to show that the report was totally a blackmail because he didn’t “Jet out” to anywhere.
The Thisday Newspaper, had published an online report credited to their correspondent in Owerri, Andy Uneze titled “Okorocha Jets out of Nigeria, as EFCC Queries Diversion of N2billion bailout”, stating that the reporter who wrote the story having come from the same place with the governorship candidate of the PDP in the last election has always written negative things about him and the government of the state.
His words, “If I am with you Journalists here this morning, when someone wrote and published yesterday that I had Jet out because of EFCC, you can imagine the level of falsehood or mischief. I won’t take any legal action against the Thisday Newspaper, but I only need a retraction because the story was not true. The newspaper was deceived by the reporter.”
He continued, “For a long time, I have not travelled out of the country. So the report was mischievous. The PDP has persisted on impugning on the image of the government. I call on them to leave such acts as this is the time to face governance and development.”
On the EFCC issue, the governor remarked that, “The EFCC querying the alleged diversion of N2billion is not out of place as the Commission has visited the state more than fifty times over the past four years and the state has always come out clean. For every report or petition or allegation made to EFCC, it is binding on them to investigate it whether founded or unfounded. That does not mean that the allegation is true.”
He continued, “Every worker in the state was paid beyond the bailout fund and period. The state used the bailout fund judiciously. The records are clear and accessible. There is nothing like diversion as alleged. You know the PDP elements are good in writing petitions. They have no other business at the moment than to write petitions.”
“They wrote petitions, and made allegations. The EFCC acted on the petitions and were disappointed after their investigations. The Principal Secretary, Dr. Pascal Obi reported to be detained by the EFCC is the one by my side. These people tell a lot of lies.”
“I want the EFCC to come as many times as possible so that when you leave government, it will be better for you. The government has performed much more than what the resources available can do. People should come and ask me what is the secret and how I have been able to achieve all these, instead of writing petitions. It is all about vision and ideas”.
“Imo State is not owing any bank any loan as been remoured in some quarters. The only loan payable by the state is the bailout fund. Imo State is the fatest growing city in the country, and the government intends to improve on that.”