A lot of questions have been asked concerning the state of mind of the members representing different constituencies in the Imo state House of Assembly. Their palpable silence over issues of governance in the state has given citizens great concern. Most people have wondered aloud if they have passed any law or domesticated any bill from the Senate.
This jinx was broken for the first since their inception yesterday when they unanimously expressed their disaffection with the leadership of the state. The lawmakers also boycotted the presentation of the 2018 budget proposal scheduled for 10a.m. at the House of Assembly complex according to reports.
Some of them who spoke to journalists albeit anonymously barred their minds on the manner Governor Rochas has been running the state, his working relationship with them and the need for them (lawmakers) to sit up and ensure governance is taken seriously in the state.
According to report on ThisdayLive, the lawmakers said they are demanding three things from the state governor, which included furnishing them with the details of bailout funds, Paris refunds and constituency funds for the past three years.
According to them, “For three years now, the governor has not implemented any of the budgets. He has not also implemented any constituency funds for constituency projects. He has not done it for us. So, we are asking him now to give us accounts of last year and previous year’s budget performance.
“We are demanding budget performance before we can do otherwise. We are not resuming until we see the budget performance for the last three years. Also, we are demanding details of what came to the state as bailout funds, Paris refund and let us know whether they were captured in the previous budget or not. If we don’t have these details, we are not resuming.”
The lawmakers said the governor “should give us our constituency projects; give us details of the bailout fund and the Paris refund. That’s the only three demands or questions we are asking him. We are not going close to there, in fact, all of us are wearing shorts and jeans.”
Reacting to this, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemedo, refuted the reason for boycotting the presentation attributing to “disturbing discrepancies discovered in the budget speech”.
“With utmost regret, we wish to inform the public that the announced presentation of the 2018 budget to the state House of Assembly by the Governor, Rochas Okorocha, fixed for Tuesday (yesterday) could no longer hold, owing largely to disturbing discrepancies discovered in the budget speech. A new date for the budget presentation will, as usual, be made public,” he said.
The Chairman, Assembly Committee on Information, Kennedy Ibeh, also attributed the postponement to typographical error and pagination of the budget speech.
A lot of people who were eagerly waiting for the budget presentation up till 5pm had to leave when the information filtered in that the presentation won’t hold.