The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), the umbrella body of all the youth organizations in the Southeast zone, Thursday defended the N38.8 billion former governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji spent as his security votes while in office as governor of the state.
In a statement signed by the President-General, Goodluck Ibem and Secretary-General, Comrade Kanice Igwe, the organization said that the senator representing Abia Central Senatorial Zone and who held sway as the Executive Governor of Abia State from 2007 through 2015 used the security votes that were allocated to his office judiciously.
“As a former civil servant who rose through ranks and who knows, understands and appreciates the relevance of financial discipline and accountability, His Excellency Chief T. A. Orji ensured that every farthing of government was properly accounted for and diligently too.”
The group said that during his tenure as governor, “he received international and domestic awards as an accountable leader and a manager of lean resources. Several international reputable organizations wrote to his office to honour him at that time, most of which he turned down. The only awards he received were those his people invested him with, which turning down would mean neglect.”
According to the group, Abia State was faced with serious security challenges ranging from heist, broad daylight robbery to kidnapping. Severally were banks robbed on weekly, if not on daily, basis, adding that. Orji used the security votes at his disposal to deal decisively with those hoodlums, flushing them out of the state. “It was during this era that the kidnap kingpin Osisikankwu was neutralized.”
“That as it stands, the federal government has invested over N2 trillion in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and armed bandits in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and other states in the North and have yet to make a headway in the fight to eliminate these insurgents and hoodlums. But in Abia state, Senator T. A. Orji received N38.8b security votes in eight years which he used judiciously to stop notorious kidnapping and robbery gangs.”
They described the media hype on the security votes as “the handiwork of few disgruntled elements who were denied the opportunity to feed fat from the state coffers as the governor’s prudence denied these elements such opportunity”