The Abia State government has revealed that the past administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, left a vandalized old Government House and an uncompleted, unfurnished new Government House complex at Ogurube layout Umuahia.
This is in reaction to a recent media report that the state governor, Alex Otti, abandoned a newly built multi-billion naira Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, since assuming office about six months ago, accusing him of running the government from his country home.
Dismissing this report, the Chief Press Secretary, to the state governor, Kazie Uko, who conducted newsmen round the old and new Government Houses’ rooms and offices, regretted the level of vandalization of what used to be the Government House, used by the last administration.
He said, “At what was designated as the Governor’s Office, the level of vandalization was so much that not even a single furniture was left, even as cable television dishes, decoders, televisions and wires were removed. This is what we inherited.
“At the new Government House complex, a section of the peripheral wall has caved in, while inside apartments are yet to be completed as carpenter’s wastes and planks filled the rooms.
“But for the left wing of the ground floor of the new Government House, which has three air-conditioner units and some furniture, the rest of the two-storey building are yet to be completed.”
Continuing, he lamented, “This is where Governor Alex Otti is expected to live. There was no handover, and our administration did not even know what was here, except that it was an uncompleted building. They called it New Government House, when it is supposed to be Governor’s Lodge.”
Recall that the Okezie Ikpeazu administration had commissioned the new Government House on 28 May, a day before the end of its tenure, but according to the CPS, “If fully built, how come we have a bottomless pit in place of lifts, no electricity, uncompleted wiring, no furniture, dilapidation in and outside the building, unfixed doors, carpenter’s wastes and materials littering everywhere?
“The New Government House is a mere workman’s workshop. Hence, the last governor finished his building at his village and relocated there and that was where he operated from for eight years. It wasn’t until the eve of the handover that he hurriedly commissioned the so-called new Government House.
“The whole place was barren. It was like a huge carpentry workshop, with huge heaps of wastes, dusts, woods here and there, rubbles, absolutely nothing.
“That was a clear indication that they never prepared for the incumbent governor to live and work from any Government House, whether old or new. Apparently, they never believed that he, Otti, was going to win the election
“They had clear three months after the election to hand over and didn’t do anything about these facilities, to refurbish the old Government House, furnish the new Government House or build and complete it as it ought to be and furnish it adequately. So there was no provision made for him to live and work in any Government House environment.”