The Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has described poverty as worse than the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, adding that nothing would make him, his family and generation return to poverty.
He said this at the fourth Nigeria Governors’ Forum retreat in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday.
Okorocha stated that it was not necessary for governors and other political office holders to pretend they were poor, adding that paraphernalia of political offices had nothing to do with poverty.
“I was poor and I decided to fight against poverty and nothing will make me, my family and my generation to go back to poverty again. Poverty is worse than HIV. You can’t pretend to be poor.
“The governor must have charisma and the President, when he speaks, must have charisma. You should also know that political power is entrusted to you by the people and if you don’t hold it well, they will never forget you,” Okorocha stated.
Also at the event, a former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, urged current governors to consider going into entrepreneurship in order to meet the needs of people around them after leaving office.
Kalu, who was one of the speakers at the retreat in Port Harcourt, pointed out that people would still come around former governors or political leaders to seek one favour or the other and added that opportunities could be given to such people in areas where the ex-governor had investments.
He told the governors, “Know that the burden you will carry as a former governor is for life. Even if you leave office poorer than you went in, a cynical public would never believe you. They believe half of the public treasury is kept in your house.
“They will come daily to line up, telling one tale of woe after the other. If you give them, they will say they only came to collect what belongs to them. If you don’t give them, they will say you are selfish and stingy.
“When you become poor, the same people will abuse you of being a foolish man. It is head, you lose; tail, you lose. Public service is truly a thankless job in Nigeria,” Kalu, who was represented at the occasion by the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the New Telegraph Newspaper, Mr. Gabriel Akinadewo, told the governors.
Kalu said his businesses shrunk while his scope and reach as a businessman and investor were limited as a result of his involvement in governance for eight years.
Source: Punch


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