I Don't Regret Being Part Of G5 Governors - Ikpeazu

The outgoing Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has replied to his predecessor, Theodore Orji, over the non-payment of salary arrears of workers and pensioners in the state.

According to the governor, his personal policy does not allow him to join issues with any of his predecessors in office.

Naija News reports that Ikpeazu was reacting to a statement from Orji’s camp, telling him to bear the consequence of the failure of his government to pay civil servants and pensioners.

Orji in a statement signed by his Abia State Liaison Officer, Ifeanyi Umere titled “Ikpeazu should carry his cross”, said his administration is not responsible for salary arrears of workers and pensioners in the state.

He said, “It’s unfortunate that I am forced to comment and refute the half-truths being dished out by those who through their own bad choices have found themselves in a quagmire

“For the avoidance of any doubt, neither myself nor my administration is responsible for the staggering salary arrears owed both civil servants, parastatals, and pensioners in the state.

“Before my administration came to an end on May 29, 2015, core civil servants were not owed even one-month salary arrears. Parastatals were the ones that were owed between two and four months. The records are there.

“At any rate, the arrears were necessitated by the dwindling federal allocation occasioned by the worsening global economy. The price of crude had crashed and the states were getting a paltry two to three billion naira monthly which was not even enough to run the state including capital and recurrent expenditures

“Those who took over from us inherited both assets and liabilities. In this case, the government is a continuum. So, if we were owing two to three months, we expected our successors to clear them. This expectation was based on the fact that they received bailout funds from the federal government more than three times running into billions of naira. Again the economy had picked up considerably enabling the outgoing government to chalk up considerable income as can be confirmed by the Ministry of Finance.

“So why was it difficult for them to offset the debts? Again if for any reason they couldn’t or were unwilling to offset, why did they allow it to skyrocket to between 35 and 40 months? Why do they also owe core civil servants? So basically, I am not the problem. They should carry their cross.”

However, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, on Saturday, Ikpeazu said, “The attention of the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has been drawn to a statement credited to Senator T.A.Orji, the immediate past Governor of Abia State.

“Governor Ikpeazu wishes to state that he is proudly carrying the cross of the governance of Abia State and will continue to carry it till his last day in office.

“Secondly, and as a personal policy, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu will not join issues with any of his predecessors in office. For the almost 8 years he has held office as Governor, he has not engaged any of his predecessors in any kind of untoward exchange, even when it seemed politically expedient to do so. This policy is largely responsible for the sociopolitical stability we have enjoyed in Abia State since 2015. The Governor intends to sustain this personal policy going forward.

“Finally, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is of the firm view that as in all matters, history and posterity will over time put all things in proper perspective.”

The post ‘I Will Not Join Issues With Any Of My Predecessors’ – Ikpeazu Replies Orji Over Non-payment Of Workers appeared first on Naija News.

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