By Kenneth Uwadi
I know how much I spent in one year on fuel to generate my own light for my household in Mmahu-Egbema of the Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo state. That automatically means that I am my own Governor, no matter the idle Mallam, unproductive fellow pretending to occupy the office in Owerri. During the Ikedi Ohakim administration the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC) paid yearly NEPA bills for the oil producing areas of Imo State and we had light. But today ISOPADEC is dead, killed by the Imo Mallam .
If then I am doing for myself what ISOPADEC is supposed to be doing for me, it can only mean that as far as I am concerned, ISOPADEC does not exist, having since lost its relevance, the basis for its existence. It might as well be scrapped. A tree that bears no fruits only emphasizes its crying irrelevance.
If anyone needs potable water in Imo state today, such a one must provide it for himself for Mallam Rochas is sleeping. During the Ohakim era, one could just walk to any tap, even by the roadside, open it and drink clean water. Ohakim built over 1000 portable water system across Imo. Today in Imo, whoever tries to walk to any tap, even by the roadside, open it to drink, if at all any liquid gushes out from the tap, is attempting suicide.
Today in Imo , because Government only exists in name, people must sink boreholes in their compounds to provide potable water for themselves. Others must make do with “ pure water’’. Government hospitals today in Imo have long become a quick way to the grave, which only those who cannot afford any other alternatives still go to gamble with their lives. It is sad, so sad. It is most painful and overly frustrating.
The way Nigerians today rush for cell phones and other favorite imported soft drinks, fruit juice, biscuits, cosmetics, shampoo or DVD player is the way the people of Imo State in Nigeria are shouting ‘’ we don’t want Rochas again’’. In First Samuel Chapter Fifteen, Samuel said to Saul: “The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: Now therefore, hearken unto the voice of the words of the Lord”. Saul was commanded by God to go and smite the Amalekites and “destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass”.
But after defeating the Amalekites, Saul spared the life of Agag and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of their fatlings and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. That was contrary to the commandment of the Lord.The Lord sent his servant Samuel to deliver His pronouncement.
“Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king”. Today , the Lord has rejected Mallam Rochas from being Governor of Imo State. The voice of the people is the voice of God. The people of Imo are shouting for change and in 2015 watch out for a protest vote in Imo.
The people of Imo State are tired of dictatorship,lies, a totally abused and weakened civil service and stealing of Imo monies. Rochas Okorocha is the one who shot himself on the leg. His sins are too many. First he dissolved democratically elected council chairmen via radio broadcast and appointed his boys as caretaker ‘ share men’ of the LGA’s to loot council funds. Till date he never conducted any LGA election . He said Ohakim’s LGA election was selection yet he never conducted any one no matter the flaws. Yet he wants Imo people to democratically elect him again in 2015 after depriving them democracy at the LGA’s for four years now. Is this fair?
Another sin of the imperator Mallam is the sack of 10,000 legally employed civil servants via radio broadcast. He left the workers sad. He broke the brittle hearts of their loved ones into two; and that is very bad . This was the same Mallam that when he was campaigning for governorship, deceived Imo people into believing that former Governor Ikedi Ohakim did not employ any single person in the public service and promised to create thousands of jobs if elected. Immediately he came into power, this con man ,instead of creating jobs , sacked the 10,000 workers and lied to the people again that Ohakim employed them two weeks to his departure and that he will review the employment.Then came another lie that he has reemployed 4000 out of the 10,000 workers . Till today , none of them who were sacked have started work including the ones he claimed to have re-employed.
Governor Okorocha sees the governance of the state as mere con art and the loud protests of Imo people did not bother him. He believes that he can manipulate the minds of Ndi-Imo through his rescue Imo sweet talks when all he had been doing is game of deception and rescuing his own pockets. Can someone tell me why he did not conduct LGA election in 4 years? Can someone tell me why he ruled Imo state with his relatives and with relatives of his wife and his personal associates as if Imo state is his personal property?
When it comes to globe-trotting jamboree of Nigerian governors, Mallam Okorocha has few peers. .He failed to attend to pressing issues in Imo State because he was always traveling out of the country.
Okorocha , who became governor on May 29th 2011 hardly spend up to one week in the state capital, Owerri, without travelling out.. Okorocha has been junketing from one foreign city to the other. Either he is in the United Kingdom or Germany or USA or Saudi Arabia,China or the United Arab Emirates. He is another Vasco da Gama .
Additionally to funding the overseas trips with the state funds, the governor received huge out-of-pocket allowance for each trip, which he did not account for. While the rank and file workers in Imo state are being asked to celebrate Xmas on empty stomach , the Mallam wasted billions of naira in useless presidential campaign. If one were to count the amount of overseas trips, times the amount of out of pocket allowances that Okorocha received plus what is going on in our LGA’s in the name of caretaker government, it exposes the ugly underbelly of what he meant when he said he was on a rescue mission.He is really rescuing his pocket. He even told us that if any politician brings money in pick up in 2015 , he will bring money in trailers. Ndi ori.
We now have an Imo state of unemployed youths; Imo state were minimum wages are denied workers, Imo state were workers are owed salaries, Imo state were 10,000 young people are being denied employment in spite of their potentials; Imo state of executive lawlessness, Imo state were LGA funds are looted, Imo state of disregard for constitutional rights. Oh yeah, rather than giving the people jobs our governor pronounced a sham youth must work programme.
Enough is enough. Let’s bring back Ikedi Ohakim . I say Ikedi Ohakim is the better candidate among the lot contesting for Governor now. Let’s bring back Ikedi to re introduce his vision that obviously led to massive job creation, youth and women empowerment, industrialization, solid road construction, rural development driven by democratically elected local government system and environmental cleanliness that made Owerri the cleanest state capital in Nigeria during his time . Let the fresh air in Ekiti gets to Imo. Yes we need someone that is more popular at the grass root than the lot, that can defeat a sitting governor as was done in Ekiti. The 10,000 workers must come back to work. Our LGA’s must work again. Stay tuned for part 2.
(Uwadi is from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State. He is the Coordinator of Youths Against Human Rights Violation And Corrupt Practices (YAHVCP))