IMO BUDGET SAGA
Five days after he received a rude shock from members of the Imo State House of Assembly which will become a negative milestone in the life of his administration, Owelle Rochas Okorocha is not resting on his oars to prove his might over the state legislators.
Against all expectations, the efforts of the governor to present the 2018 Appropriation Bill to the members of the House, met a brick wall as the lawmakers shunned the Assembly complex for certain reasons.
Despite claims by the state government that last minute “discrepancies” noticed in the Imo Budget already scheduled for presentation was responsible for the abrupt cancellation of the program, According to reports, the action of the House members was a deliberate ploy to frustrate the governor from stepping into the chamber for the exercise.
The refusal of the lawmakers to be part of the presentation has instituted another round of conflict between them and the governor. Though, unconfirmed reports have it that the non challant attitude of the members is a by- product of the ill manner Okorocha is accused of applying in their relationship. While allegations on non consideration of the welfare of the lawmakers was top on their lists of grievances, his lack of courtesy to the state Assembly was also cited as part of the grouse giving rise to the new desire to battle the governor in the days ahead.
Trumpeta.com reports that Okorocha is exploiting all avenues to take his pound of flesh from the lawmakers. Part of the plans to shape the members into line and do his bid henceforth is the reported use of 2019 elective position as a measure to score heavy points.
Before now, Okorocha has been endorsing some of them for a second term while others considered good for higher positions like House of Reps, Senate, Deputy Governor and Governorship position keep romancing the governor.
In various meetings in Government House, Owerri, Okorocha named some serving legislators that would return and even went further to endorse few others for higher positions in the coming elections. Authoritative sources disclosed that the governor has now changed gear about his endorsements after the botched Budget presentation on Tuesday and may rescind on the decision to back some of them either to return to the House or go for higher positions.
Findings revealed that apart from backing majority of the first time lawmakers to get APC ticket in 2015, Okorocha was instrumental to their victory by providing “logistic” supports during the campaigns and run up to the elections. Similarly, the governor is said to have shortlisted five members marked for a second missionary journey while the likes of Ugonna Ozuruigbo, the Deputy Speaker is earmarked by him for the Nkwerre, Isu Njaba, Nwangele Federal Constituency post in 2019.
Based on experience he has gotten so far from the members, Okorocha is said to be no longer comfortable with the crop of lawmakers and no longer disposed to guaranting each any support for elective position come 2019.