: Imo Gov Appoints Another Priest To Head ISOPADEC Youth Fund.
In a desperate move to disabuse the mind of the people of Imo State about the current scam going on in the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has again appointed another priest as the Technical Adviser on Youth Fund for Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta LGAs.
The new man is the current rector of the state Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Rev. Fr. Wence Madu.
His appointment followed the rejection of same by Archbishop Anthony Obinna of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri.
According to a document obtained from the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Rev. Fr. Madu is among the 21 new aides appointed by Governor Okorocha yesterday, Monday August 26.
The governor had appointed Archbishop Obinna and Bishop Cyril Okorocha of the Owerri Anglican Diocese to manage the disbursement of N500 million(N250 million in each of the two LGAs).
The governor was alleged to have told the people of the oil bearing areas that he had already made the money available for their empowerment while in actual sense, no money was made available.
But speaking recently during a pastoral visit to Assumpta Cathedral Parish, Owerri, Archbishop Obinna denied being given any money by the state government for Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta LGAs youths.
According to the prelate, ?I want to state clearly that i did not touch the N250 million, that i did not accept the offer?.
He explained that one of the two reasons he rejected the governor?s appointment was that his mentor and predecessor, Bishop Mark Unegbu had warned him against accepting government appointments.
The other reason, he hinted, was it was not his duty to distribute money for youths, saying he is not a local government agent.
The ISOPADEC fund has been an issue of concern for the people of the oil producing areas, with allegations flying that the governor had since converted the money meant for the development of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta areas.
In fact, that was one of the cardinal points of campaigns during the recent House of Assembly rerun election for Oguta State Constituency.
Before then, the governor told them that the ISOPADEC Fund was being used to build a maritime university at Oguta and a secretariat for the commission.
But investigations revealed that no work is going on at the proposed site for the university.
When it appeared that no activity was going on in the two LGAs with the ISOPADEC Fund, with youths of the area regularly protesting, the governor decided to float the N500 million Youth Empowerment Fund.
To make it look real, the governor announced the appointment of Archbishop Obinna and Bishop Okorocha as heads of the committee that would distribute the money, giving impression that the money had been given them.
The revelation by Archbishop Obinna that he did not touch the money has stirred reactions from the youths of area.
According to the leader of Concerned Youths in the area, Comrade Thomas Nyerike, Governor Okorocha is playing politics with the N500 million Empowerment Fund.
Nyerike who spoke with journalists in Owerri, described the empowerment fund as a Greek gift that does not reflect the wishes of the youths, adding that it was a political exercise meant to deceive the people of the area.
He said the governor only wants to hoodwink the youths into forgetting their agitations for better funding of ISOPADEC and provision of basic amenities.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Obinna has to cautioned the Rochas Okorocha-led state government to stop politicising prayers in the state, adding that Catholic prayers like Angelus is not government business.
The governor had reportedly directed that the prayer be said at every hour.
But the prelate stated that the governor had no right to determine for the Catholic church when and how the Angelus prayer should be conducted by the church.