Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has said that his Rescue Mission Government in the State is open to constructive criticisms but takes exception to politically motivated criticisms that do not reflect any practical reality.
The governor spoke on Monday when the Federal Commissioner representing Imo State in the Public Complaints Commission, Chief Willie Amadi and his team paid him Courtesy Call at the Government House, Owerri.
The governor remarked that the Public Complaints Commission must take note that Nigeria is in a serious problem with this issue of what he called “Elastic Freedom” that allows people to go on the internet and misrepresent facts, regretting that if one should be relying on stories on social media, the person might be making a great mistake.
His words, “The worst part of it now is that it is no longer an attack on governments, but on individuals. People are defaming others on daily basis because they have access to phones, they can touch a few buttons and send out the wrong messages, and completely misinform the members of the public”.
He continued “For the very reason that the commission works to ensure checks and balances between the employee and the employers of labour, let it be known to you that Imo State Government has paid salaries of November in the first week of the month, thereby reversing the entire law of nature which says you must work before you get paid but in this case, they get paid before they work. And that is a great innovation and all to ensure that we alleviate the sufferings of the ordinary citizens in the State”.
His words, “Again we have also set aside N5billion to offset all outstanding Pension Arrears by this administration. I also want to inform that this is the only State as far as I can tell, that has built headquarters for the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), to bring about synergy between labour and government. We have also built complexes for Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). All these are to make sure that institutions work”.
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The governor further explained “Talking about this decision to move Ekeukwu Market, you were once the Chairman of ENTRACO in this State, and I know that you did a publication showing that there was EXCO decision during Ohakim’s time to remove Ekeukwu Market and you are the Chairman of that Committee and all efforts you people made could not work. But we came in with a greater political will to relocate it to a different place because its location is not good for the security of the State and it created so much problem for traffic in the land. These are some of the complaints that might be reaching you but I’m happy that you are in a better position to answer those questions having been one of those who pioneered this very move to do so”.
He stressed “It is also very important to inform you that some of the speculations on demolitions is not true. All we have done in the course of Urban Renewal was to carefully remove fences though we had always said there should be no fencing within the capital city. It’s only in this part of the world that people build houses in the capital city and fence them which encourages criminal activities.”
In his speech earlier, the Commissioner, Chief Amadi said that they were on a courtesy visit to interface with the government, adding that the commission functions as an alternative dispute resolution that takes complaints from the Public and Civil Servants, private and public companies even multi-nationals.
He appealed to the governor to facilitate prompt responses to their letters to Agencies of government so as to inform distressed people correctly since they don’t have access to vital reasons why government took certain decisions.