By SAMUEL PRINCE-NNAJI
The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has said that the Ndigbos are being deceived by the Indigenous People of Biafra with their agitation for the actualization of Biafra nation, stressing that any form of war will cost the Igbo N3 trillion both in property and in assets.
Okorocha made the assertion when he handed staff of office and certificate of recognition to the 16 newly recognized traditional rulers in the state.
He also frowned at the fact that though the agitation of Biafra by IPOB is causing negative ripples in the nation yet, traditional rulers, leaders and pastors who should caution them are rather kept silent.
“On IPOB, the cloud is gathering storm; nobody is talking even our traditional rulers, Pastors and leaders. This is bad for our people.
“If you will remember vividly that few years ago, during the Civil War, it was a similar story. That was how it all started. At that time, we believed that the Ohafia warriors will be able to fight and decimate the North”.
“Now we are being deceived that IPOB will drive away Nigeria and give us Biafra. Even our Pastors, men of God and some leaders in the rural areas, nobody is speaking out against this action and the song of war is coming gradually like a desert encroachment.
“We fought the war and it was believed that the Igbos will learn from it but they still went ahead developing the resources of other regions”. He said.
According to Rochas, any outbreak of war will cause the Igbos over 3 trillion naira.
“There are five million Igbos living outside the shores of Igbo region. Any form of war will cause the Igbos over 3 trillion naira loss in properties and assets.
“No sane person will spread the message of division and war because it does not benefit the Igbo in any way. I urge you traditional rulers to speak against it and educate your people on the true state of things. Igbo need to build bridge of unity across the nation”.
The Governor also stated that the major of his government is the issue of pension and hence promised to demise means that will ensure that the pensioners get paid.
“One of the challenges I have in my government is the issue of pension and it is not my intention not to pay pension.
“I have decided to pay with the help of the Paris Club refund of 7.1 billion naira, our pension is about 9 billion naira.
“I want to clear this pension. Last time I saw the pains of our pensioners; some of them, especially those from level 1 – 7 were paid full pensions”.
He also said, “Now I am making frantic efforts to make sure we pay all the pensions we are owing, 100% of their money.
“As I am doing this, I will like to seek the help of the Community Government Councils in identifying the fake pensioners; I still don’t believe that Imo State will be the only state in Nigeria paying 1.5 billion naira as pension where states like Lagos pay 250 million naira.
“What I am paying as pension is more than what 15 States put together pay as pension. Something is wrong. I am partnering with a Chinese Company now to solve this problem”.