Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that the local government election in the state will be held in September, 2017 and that before the time, the House of Assembly must have amended the local government law to make the tenure of chairmen and councilors three years instead of the two years it has been.
The governor made the disclosure when he interacted with Journalists in the state for about six hours on Monday, April 10, 2017 at the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) Press Centre Owerri, adding that the court cases instituted by the PDP people over the local government administration had caused the delay in the conduct of the election.
The Monday parley at the NUJ Press Centre would be the second time the governor had gone to the centre for interaction with Journalists and in each case Journalists asked the governor all manner of questions without restriction.
His words, “we are going to have local government election in the state in the month of September. And the election will be conducted in such a way that people will not spend much and as a result wanting to win at all cost and getting back their money at all cost for something that is meant to serve the people”.
He continued, “The amount of money spent in running an election is what brings corruption in the system. This is what we are trying to change in Imo State and in our democracy. We want to bring our people together and as much as possible bring consensus candidates to reduce cost. We have one party in Imo State which is the APC and there is no division in it”.
The governor also explained that there are federal presence in the state at the moment, while more are expected adding that the Nigeria Army has taken over the General Hospital at Owerri West LGA, and the command schools in Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri, while the Navy has taken over the General Hospital at Ngor Okpala and the Maritime University at Oguta. The Airforce has taken charge of the hospital at Owerri North while the Police has taken over the hospital and the Police college at Ideato South”.
He said the International Cargo Airport, and the taking over of the Egbema Power Station by the federal government are all evidences that Imo would not complain of the absence of federal presence again in the state.
The governor who took his time to marshal out the monumental achievements of his administration in less than six years to the delight of the Journalists also said that “Judiciary has been so neglected all over Nigeria but we want to show example in Imo State as most of the magistrates and customary courts are in shanties. Government has declared state of emergency on judicial infrastructures. We are building an ultra-modern high court complex called Justice Oputa High Court complex and before the end of the year, it will be completed. The High Court will be relocated to more befitting court complex than the bungalows they are now using”.
We are equally looking into their welfare and having discussions with them from time to time. We are equally looking at having children’s court, it is still been processed by the chief Judge”, he added
The chairman of the Imo State Chapter of the NUJ, Sir Innocent Igwe in his remark, said the Journalists in the state would continue to appreciate Governor Okorocha for always making himself available to interact with the media practitioners in the state, adding that the Journalists would continue to appreciate him.