Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State, departed for Turkey on Wednesday with a 100-man delegation despite being unable to pay state employees and pensioners for three to nine months.
Okorocha’s spokesman in a statement said of the trip to Turkey: ‘The industrialists who constitute the bulk of the contingent are men and women whose vocations have been in various aspects of industrialization including agro based ventures.
The governor and indeed the state government decided to take them to Turkey to enable them tour some industries and factories in that country and also meet with some notable industrialists in that country to find out from them how they did their own and succeeded, and how they could assist the state to also succeed in such industrial establishments.
All these steps are aimed at giving teeth to the government’s policy of “factory, factory, factory; Industry, industry, industry; and job, job, job”, and a policy the governor has vowed to see it being realized like the Free Education policy.
The governor himself is the leader of the business-oriented journey and they are expected to spend three days in Turkey, which has succeeded in both medium and large scale industries.’
A source in Owerri has informed us that the delegation includes many members of Okorocha’s family and extended family. This seems to be in line with comedian Uche Ogbuagu’s description of Okorocha’s government as a “familiocracy”.
The source said the governor also has significant investments in Turkey from funds he has looted from his state.
It is very unlikely that much would come back to Imo State in terms of benefits from this trip, possibly apart from new billboards in Owerri showing Okorocha with Turkish officials – like the ones of him shaking hands with Barack Obama.