Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday challenged Governor Hope Uzodimma, to account for the sum of N241 billion state funds.
The PDP threw the challenge in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Collins Opuruzor, while reacting to the planned visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state on Tuesday to inaugurate projects.
The PDP linked the N241 billion to the alleged rising of the state debt profile and issues surrounding Local Government funds.
The statement read in part: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State views Senator Hope Uzodimma’s obsession with constantly seeking to bring President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo State to commission uncompleted projects or projects that have been in use for three decades as a ploy to always subject Nigeria’s helmsman to public scorn.
“The party holds that Uzodimma’s announcement that the proposed presidential visit on Tuesday is to commission the Owerri-Okigwe Road, which completion rate is still below 30%; and the Imo State House of Assembly Complex which was built by the iconic Sam Mbakwe in 1983, proves that the far-spent regime of Uzodimma still has nothing to show to Imo people as its achievement.
“Our party, therefore, condemns the move to bring President Buhari to Imo State to re-commission a 30-year-old repainted complex and the uncompleted Owerri-Okigwe Road. The President should not bow to self-serving pressures from Uzodinma to lend his exalted office to such caricature. We challenge Uzodimma to take President Buhari through the road set for commissioning to prove that it is truly in existence.”
Imo PDP notes that having failed to account for the whereabouts of the over N241 billion state funds, “the truth now is that the non-performing regime of Uzodimma has become jittery over the increasing hues and cries by the people for accountability, hence the desperation to repaint and re-commission old buildings and uncompleted roads.
“Imo PDP regrets that even when Uzodimma has usurped and pocketed the sum of N160 billion belonging to the Local Government system, and has also increased the debt profile of Imo State to well over N205 billion, having borrowed a total of N81 billion in the last couple of months, there is still nothing on ground to justify the humongous borrowings. What is mind-boggling is that Imo State today shoulders a debt burden bigger than all the other states of the South-East put together,” PDP said.