Abia Governor responds to N58b ship allegation

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 2 September 2012 | 3,563 times

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Fresh from his month-long annual vacation in the United States, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has debunked allegations that he lost upwards of N58 billion in a ship purchase transaction that went awry.

Rumours had been flying around that the governor’s efforts to invest in the shipping business hit the rocks as he was allegedly duped of huge sum of money he intended to use in acquiring a ship.

Addressing Abians who swarmed the Banquet Hall of Government House, Umuahia, to accord him a rousing reception Sunday morning, Orji declared that he has never been business-inclined and never made any move to buy any ship.

During the governor’s absence, Abia was awash with accounts of how he had allegedly invested in the shipping business and had paid for a ship only for his business partners to disappear into the thin air with the governor’s money put variously at N20 billion, N28 billion and N58 billion.

Some versions of the rumour even quoted higher amounts.

Addressing Abians from all walks of life who had come to welcome him, Orji said he laughed himself hoarse when the gist reached him.

“While we were away, we heard both the good and bad things that were happening at home. I also heard that I went to buy a ship. I laughed my head off when I heard that story and I knew that some people were still suffering from hallucination,” he said.

“If you buy a ship and give it to me free of charge, I will reject it. I am not a business man and can never be. That I am a governor cannot intoxicate me,” the governor added.

Continuing, Orji said: “I am not here (in governance) to acquire the whole world. The world is a stage. You come and play your part and you are judged by the role you played. Whatever they are saying does not mean anything to us provided our conscience is guiding us.”

He enjoined Abians to have trust in him, assuring that his priority was the security and welfare of the people as well as development of the state.

*Photo shows Gov. Orji with his wife, Chief (Mrs.) Mercy Odochi Orji, acknowledging greetings from the crowd at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri on their arrival from their annual vacation.

Source: News Express

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