Hope Uzodinma has cried out over alleged blackmail by Imo labour and opposition political leaders milking the state through the civil service.
Uzodinma who alleged that his predecessors succumbed to the blackmail by failing to address the rot in the civil service speaking on Friday vowed to take on the cabal head-on for the benefit of the state.
As a first measure, the governor has vowed to disprove what he alleged as the blackmail by Imo labour and opposition politicians by publishing the list of all those who have been paid up to December. He said that those who have not been paid were those who had failed to regularise their details and BVNs before the appropriate authroities.
Speaking in his New Year address to the state, the governor said:
“The orchestrated blackmail against the government, by the opposition parties and some partisan Labour leaders, is just one of such price we have had to pay.
“These unpatriotic elements have continued to allege that we have not been paying salaries and pensions. Believe me, my beloved NdImo, what they are doing is nothing but the tepid attempt of corruption to fight back.
“It is sheer wickedness and bankrupt falsehood designed to reverse the hard-earned gains we have recorded in our determined fight against public sector corruption.
“It is sad to admit that the greatest bane of Imo State is a massively corrupt public service, oiled by a powerful cabal drawn from the political class, the public service and some members of the leadership of organised Labour. Not surprisingly, previous administrations were either overwhelmed by the cabal or simply compromised or chickened out of a fight.
Continuing on the alleged blackmail by Imo labour and opposition leders, he said:
“Because of our covenant with the Almighty God, we found the courage to fight this hydra-headed monster. Our motive was to secure our state from the hands of a few heartless Buccaneers who feed fat on a corrupt public service.
“However afraid of losing the unjust privileges they hitherto enjoyed from a corrupt system, the opposition resorted to every unimaginable antic to discredit our success story. But they failed woefully because no one can deter us.
Insisting he would not fall to the blackmail by the labour and opposition leaders, he said:
“Let me make this clear: No amount of blackmail, falsehood or campaign of calumny will stop us from concluding our fight against public sector corruption. In addition to a new Imo of fully rehabilitated infrastructure and job opportunities to boost economic growth, the greatest legacy I want to bequeath to the next generation of Imo Leaders is a corruption-free public service that serves only the interest of the good people of Imo State. On this mission, no cabal can stop me.
“Like I said a few days ago before the altar of God, almost everyone verified to receive salaries and pensions in the state has been paid. The few having problems, maybe because of double entries or multiple BVN, have been urged to approach the appropriate quarters or the head of service to clear themselves. But because the guilty are afraid, they have refused to comply.
“However, the time is here to put an end to the mindless serial blackmail by this group over a non-existent claim of nonpayment of salaries.
“Consequently, and as a further demonstration of our transparency and accountability, I have directed the ministry of information and strategy to publish the names of the over 40,000 civil servants and 21,000 pensioners who have fully been paid up to December 2020.
“This information is already on our website, but will still be published in the conventional media for the people to see and know that we mean business and to shame the perennial prophets of doom.
On how he would counter the blackmail by Imo labour and opposition leaders, the governor said:
“The names of the few who have refused to comply with the automation process will also be published.
“This should serve as a final warning to those parading falsehood of non payment of salaries to shut up or publish their own list of those who have not been paid with all the relevant automation data, showing that they are real civil servants. Should they fail to do so or should they publish falsehood, then they will have to face the music of the legal consequences of their unpatriotic actions.
“Beyond that, we have used the outgone year to lay a solid foundation for a new lmo State founded on our shared prosperity agenda. This year is not only the year of promise but that of divine accomplishments.”