By Chidiebube Okeoma
Retirees of the Imo State civil service have barricaded the roundabout leading to the Government House in Owerri, protesting Governor Rochas Okorocha’s slashing of their
pension arrears by 60 percent.
In support of the pensioners , the immediate ex-Governor of the state, Ikedi Ohakim, has accused Okorocha of snuffing life out of the people of the state through most of
his policies which he described as being very disastrous .
Ohakim also expressed fears that Okorocha’s actions might lead to disease outbreak in the state, condemning the state of disrepair of the 1 ,930 water schemes built by his ( Ohakim ) administration across the state between 2007 and 2011 .
Ohakim spoke to newsmen when he toured the water scheme at Achingali in Obowo Local Government Area of the state.
The ex- governor who decried the bad state of the mega water scheme , said Okorocha ’s attitude towards the water scheme negated the United Nations charter which stipulates
that everyone must have access to clean water wherever they live .
Ohakim said , “ The whole water scheme has been abandoned and vandalised. My administration built this project in almost every nook and cranny of the state.
“ We built 1 ,930 of such water schemes across the state . The idea was to make sure that there is water in every kitchen in Imo State . Water is life , what is the essence of building these non durable roads or empty halls when the water
scheme has been destroyed or left to rot?”
Meanwhile , the protesting pensioners have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to mandate Okorocha to pay them the 77 -month pension arrears and gratuities being
owed them by the state government .
They accused Okorocha of attempted seccession from the Nigerian State through his alleged flagrant disobedience to the Section 18 of the Pension Act , which makes the pensions
and gratuities of retirees a right and not a privilege .