Following a rejoinder I did in response to the earlier write-ups published by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s former Commisisoner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu and his Spokesman, Onyebuchi Ememanka, I asked a critical question, which is ; what did Ikpeazu do with our Bailout fund of 14.15 Billion and Paris Club Refund of 22 Billion since Ikpeazu neither cleared the arrears of Salary nor pensions incurred by him?

Given the fact that my Senior friend, Mr. Obinna Oriaku was the Commisisoner for Finance during the period under review, coupled with the fact that I quoted him in a paragraph, he thought it expedient to respond, sadly, the attempt was futile because the response was very watery as it bore the Ikpeazu rhetorical trademark of “We utilised the funds judiciously”, without reference to result-based specifics.

I know Mr. Oriaku’s interest may not be connected to the Missiing Airport issue, so let me not waste time on that subject matter, of course, the facts about the diversions will be unleashed in due course, to the shock of the Lying brethren and the disbelief of every doubting Thomas.

Shortly after his inauguration in 2015, the Ikpeazu led-government approached the House of Assembly for approval to enable it borrow the sum of 30 Billion Naira. While the executive said that the loan was to service existing loans, the PDP House of Assembly said it was for infrastructure development. On the basis of that contradictory claims, we opposed the approval, and asked APGA Assembly members not to support ut. The Assembly would later suspend one of our Assembly members for several months over his opposition to the loan.

To ensure that there was clarity in the state finances of the state to enable us as opposition ask the right questions and properly direct blames, we requested the Ikpeazu government to disclose to Abians what it was inheriting in arrears of Salary and Pension from the T. A. Orji administration (in months and figure), unfortunately, the government lambasted us and told us to shut up. The aggression was understandable, because the government didn’t want us to use empirical facts to question the loans they were gunning for, and probably expose them.

The former government of Chief T.A. Orji had claimed that they left only three months pension arrears, a claim that was repeated after Ikpeazu assumed office.

Since Mr. Oriaku didn’t answer the question as to where the 14.15 Billion bailout fund and the 22 Billion Naira Paris Club Refund went to, and since the salary and pension arrears were not paid, I would like to hum ly ask him now again:

1. How much did you people inherit from Ikpeazu’s successor in arrears of pension and salary that N36 billion couldn’t defray?

2. What specific amount did you people spend to pay the salary and pension arrears you claimed to have paid after setting up those committees?

3. Doesn’t it sound vacuous and look like an attempt to bamboozle the public with intentional references to inconsequential committees that were set up for the utilisation of the Paris Club Refund and the Bailout fund for salary and pension payments?

The truth is that, if 20 tranches of Paris Club Refund had been given to that administration, it would have been swiftly squandered through such committees because that era did not prioritise prudence, coupled with the presence and interference of too many De facto Governors.

It is actually too late for those who participated in that heist to extricate themselves, because our connectivity is full bar. The only thing they still have the time to do is, Plea Bargain.

It’s very funny to hear Mr. Oriaku allege that we are lucky to be receiving “trillions” while the government he served received nothing. When and where it concerned the payment of salary and pension and general development of the state, the government claimed it got nothing, but when and where it concerned the welfare and well-being of the so called critical stakeholders and party leaders, the government ensured that overnight billionaires were created.

We are actually not interested in dwelling on these issues, because they represent cheap distraction, especially when the claims made are not different from previous claims, rather, we merely raised them ab initio to prove who the liar is. For now, we are searching for our Airport, and we are determined to expose all those who played one role or another in the diversion of funds meant for the development of our state and people.

Ferdinand Ekeoma
April 23, 2024.