Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has urged religious and traditional leaders to shun partisan politics and avoid actions and utterances that could give the impression that they are involved in politics.
Governor Rochas stated that both the religious leaders and traditional rulers represent two vital institutions that should not be allowed to be tainted by the vagaries of politics.
The governor gave the urge, while talking at the New Year Service held at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church Ogboko, Ideato South LGA, on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, adding that the non-involvement of religious leaders and traditional rulers in Politics would be more useful to the society and the Institutions they represent than their involvement in politics.
He added, “When pastors or bishops and traditional rulers delve into politics, I don’t know who we can go to if we run into trouble. These institutions must be kept alive and must never be made political.
“So, I advise all religious leaders and traditional rulers to stay away from politics so that if we run into trouble, they can come in and advise us, but when they become partisan; we wouldn’t have anybody to report our cases to. I advise traditional rulers and Spiritual leaders to shun politics.”
The governor also urged Imo people to be careful of who they will elect as their governor during the 2019 election.
He stated that electing a known fraudster or criminal, governor would not change the person, but would rather make the person an executive fraudster or criminal since political office cannot change a criminal or fraudster for good.
He added, “I also want to inform all of you that this is exactly seven years and seven months that I assumed office as Executive Governor.
“Going down memory lane, I can beat my chest and proudly say that Imo State is better than I met it.
“We can proudly say that Owerri the Capital is looking better than it has never looked in the history of its creation. Orlu and Okigwe followed suit.
“So, my government cannot be found wanting, in as much as we accept that we’re not perfect, but let it be known to all of you here seated that history will judge us as having performed and delivered on our democratic dividends.
“I am the fifth civilian governor to govern the State. I have done the ones I could do as a human being. There is no local Government in the State without the presence of the Rescue Mission Government.
“I will leave in few months’ time as governor. As we are talking about election, we have to be careful in electing who will govern the State.
“May God help us to have free and fair elections. I pray for peaceful election. With what we have been able to put on ground no governor will come tomorrow to tell Imo people that he won’t work because there is no money in the State.
“I am the luckiest governor in the history of the State that is leaving office and being celebrated by the people. History will have a nice place for me and my team.
“But of all these projects, there is one I leave with you which will remain in history; it’s the project of the free education.
“This has systematically reduced poverty in our land. This has given hope to our Communities and gave opportunities to those who wouldn’t have gone to school to now go to school.
“This legacy must be kept by subsequent governments if Imo State must be reckoned in the affairs of history.
“It’s for this reason that I advise all of you to vote wisely and vote those you think will continue with the Rescue Mission ideology because political office can never change anyone. So we know our people and we know who is who.
“The idea of pretence is for the outsiders because we know everybody. What is important is not the period of governance but what history will say about you after you must have left office. I believe that history will have a place for me and my team.”