Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Media Assistant to Dr Alex Otti, has accused the Abia Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, of performing badly in office.
Ekeoma made the remark in Aba, Abia, Ekeoma saying Ikpeazu had performed abysmally and did not deserve to be re-elected.
Otti, a former banker, was the governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance in the 2015 general elections in Abia at which Ikpeazu was elected.
Ekeoma accused the governor of feeding the people of Abia with propaganda and false claims on projects that did not exist.
He said: “Otti has critically assessed the performance of Ikpeazu’s government and compared what the government has received in terms of funds with the projects executed.
“He has come to the conclusion that the government has performed abysmally.
“It is a verifiable fact that many civil servants in the state are owed up to 10 months salary arrears.
“Many health institutions in the state are lying comatose and the fact that you owe health workers about nine months salary arrears defeats every claim of achievements by the government.”
He said the government’s inability to pay health workers had serious implications for healthcare delivery.
Ekeoma said: “When you owe health workers for nine months, then you do not have the moral right to expect them to attend to patients.
“People will die because the leadership wants it so. Our people are suffering. Ikpeazu has failed.”
Ekeoma said that it was unfair that the administration, which received N30 billion from the Paris Club refunds, not to pay workers.
He said although Ikpeazu had built a few roads, they were not worth celebrating because they were of poor quality.
He said: “Look at Faulks Road, Aba, the government claimed that it is 4.6-km long and being built at the cost of N6.8 billion.
“What that means is that they are building a kilometre of the road with almost N1.4 billion.
“Again, they claimed the road is being built by a construction company called Setraco Heartland.”
Ekeoma said there was no construction company called Setraco Heartland., adding: “What we have as a construction company is Setraco”.
He alleged that the governor “brought a mushroom company called Heartland, owned by his friends, hired equipment from Setraco and branded the company Setraco Heartland”.
Ekeoma faulted the quality of work on Faulks Road, leading to the popular Ariaria market.
According to him, the newly constructed drains have not addressed the problem of flooding in the area.
In his reaction, the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi, described the allegations as “frivolous and baseless”.
Okiyi told News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview that Ikpeazu had worked tirelessly to redefine the socio-economic landscape of Abia.
He said that Heartland Construction Company was a subsidiary of Setraco Nigeria Limited and that the governor had nothing to do with it.
Okiyi said: “The company is fully registered as a subsidiary of Setraco and has been in existence long before Ikpeazu became governor.
“It is handling the reconstruction of the Port Harcourt Road in Aba and another project at Umuagu-Isingwu in Umuahia.
“Federal Government also uses it to execute its projects in the country.”
The commissioner further denied that workers in the state were owed 10 months arrears of salaries.
He said that all the 67 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government had been paid their May salaries, adding that the June salaries would be paid as soon as the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee impasse was resolved.
He said that the state only had issues with parastatal agencies, especially Abia Polytechnic, Aba.
He attributed the problem of the polytechnic to the management’s inability to harness its huge internally generated revenue potential to augment the government’s monthly subvention to ensure regular payment of salaries.
Okiyi said that government was making frantic efforts to clear the backlog of pensions and salary arrears, including the four months owed secondary school teachers.