Pensioners in Imo State staged a protest demanding that the State Government led by Governor Hope Uzodimma pay them their pensions.
The senior citizens who as usual blocked major roads in the state capital Owerri on Tuesday, taunted the governor for allegedly lying to them through the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmas Iwu.
Iwu had allegedly promised the protesting pensioners last week Tuesday that they would receive their payments last Friday, 27th June, but the promise did not materialize.
The pensioners who accused the governor of playing politics with their welfare, passed a vote of no confidence on the administration and vowed to occupy the Government House by next week Tuesday if the Government fails to pay them.
They accused Uzodimma and the State government officials of snubbing them, saying that they have reported the governor to God for betraying the trust they reposed in him.
“Somebody that we trusted and gave our loyalty believing he will take care of us but he continued to look elsewhere.
“We are here to stop Hope Uzodimma’s government from owing us. He must pay us our money. Next week, we will come here to play our script”. They warned.
However, a top government official denied snubbing the pensioners, saying the delay in the payment was as a result of the absence of the governor who according to him was away in Abuja for an important assignment that will benefit the state.
He urged the pensioners to show restraint and understanding as all their entitlements will soon be paid.
*Imo Lawmaker Opiah Commences Action To Revamp Imo Oil sector.*
The Imo State Coordinator of Petroleum, Oil and Gas, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah has commenced actions to ensure development in the oil sector of the state.
Opiah marking his first maiden outing, in Owerri met with stakeholders of Awarra Court Area of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state to obtain the situation of things in the communities as part of the oil producing area in the state.
The traditional rulers with their prime ministers, president-generals of Town Unions, women leaders, youth leaders and other principal officers from the four autonomous communities; Ochia, Obile, Assa and Awarra, including the Secretary for Bureau Oil and Gas, Mrs Chioma Njoku, among others, were all present in the deliberations.
Beginning, they reviewed the activities of the oil companies in the area, especially that of Walter Smith, Shell and Seplat companies in other to access their relationship with the host communities and the level of development they had attracted there.
They also agreed to review the old Memorandum of Understanding, MOU in anticipation of creating a new one between the communities and the oil companies.
On the way forward, the stakeholders in the communities were informed to present before the commission a list of the projects executed by the oil companies in the communities and make available the administrative framework within their communities with which they regulate with the oil companies.
In his address, Opiah stated that it was part of their programme to consult with oil producing areas and oil servicing companies with the intention of identifying and handling their challenges in other to enhance development in the sector and the communities.
The former speaker added that their mission most essentially is also to increase the quantum of oil produced in the state to a level it should be, saying that it was unbelievable that the state has ten oil companies but cannot boost of a 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
” We want to get to the root of the matter and Governor Hope Uzodimma is interested in seeing that the state develops to the level of a major oil producing state with evidence of growth to show for it,” he stated.
The former House representative, enjoined imolites to be patient with the governor, give him peace and time to work for the state as according to him, the governor is prepared to ‘resuscitate the near moribund ISOPADEC’ and make Imo be proud of being an oil producing state.
While speaking to newsmen, one of the community leaders, Hon. Ken Ekwueme, who commended the wealth of Knowledge of the oil coordinator, adding that his decision to meet with them was a right step in the right direction.
Ekwueme averred that he believes the commission is in the right hands and that soon, the narratives would begin to change for good in the sector.