Pensioners in Imo State raised alarm on Wednesday as the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha splashed the outgoing State police Commissioner, Mr Taiwo Lakanu gifts, landed properties as well five million naira to fuel his car.
Governor Okorocha had, in a statement in Owerri, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo announced the generosity.
According to the release, “Governor Okorocha named a road at the back of the Police Headquarters, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu Road, gave him a choice land at Shell – Camp Owerri, worth over N25million, gave him five million (N5m) for the fueling of his car.
“The governor also asked him to name any part of the state he would like to live even after his retirement from the Police.”
Defending the reasons behind the action, the governor cited the services he rendered to Imo State and her people.
He said: “What made you outstanding is that your job comes first before money.
“Your success came because money never counted in your willingness to succeed. You have set a very high standard for the in-coming Commissioner of Police.
“Now Imo people will Judge Commissioners of Police from your standard. I hope and pray that the new CP will measure up.
“You came with love in your heart. You mingled well that nobody will actually know if you are Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba.
“That is why you succeeded in chasing armed robbers, and kidnappers away from Imo.
“Imo people will decorate you with loudest of honour when the time comes. We shall be giving you our Imo Merit Award.”
Reacting to the generosity, an Imo State pensioner, who pleaded anonymity, lamented to Elombah.com that while pensioners are protested continued refusal by Okorocha to pay their pensions, Okorocha has enough to throw around.
Recall that scores of pensioners, led by their state chairman, Chief Gideon Ezeji, has in January blocked Okigwe road as well as the entrance to Government House, Owerri.
They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call Okorocha to order, saying Okorocha “behaves disrespectfully and treats senior citizens in the state deplorably.”
According to Ezeji, “Okorocha derives joy in seeing elders in this state coming out from time to time to the streets to ask for their pension.
“What did Okorocha do with the bailout fund that President Buhari gave to him? We are protesting for the third time.”
What provoked the poor pensioners more is the fact that Okorocha’s government has concluded plan to pay 40 percent of the accumulated arrears and gratuities, while the pensioners forfeit 60 percent.
“We say no to this latest government plan to deny us the payment of 60 percent of arrears up to December,” they said.