|Gov. Rochas Okorocha|
By Kenneth Uwadi
I have told you the story of Ali Baba of Imo State before. Situation demands that I say it again. Ali Baba is a character from medieval Arabic literature. He is described in the adventure tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. This story has been used as a popular story pantomime plot such as in the pantomime/musical Chu Chin Chow(1916) Popular perception of Ali Baba, and the way he is treated in the media shows that he became the leader of the “forty thieves.
Ali Baba, a woodcutter was in the forest when he saw forty thieves stop in front of a cave. The leader said “Open Sesame!” and before Ali Baba’s amazed eyes the sealed mouth of the cave magically opened and the men disappeared inside. To come out and close the entrance, the leader said “Close Sesame” and the cave sealed itself once more. Trembling with excitement Ali Baba waited till the thieves had left and then entered the cave after saying the magic words. To his delight he found lots of treasure and took some away .He later became the leader of the “forty thieves.
In Imo State of Nigeria we have Ali-Baba and the House of Assembly thieves. The Governor of Imo State Chief Rochas Okorocha is Ali Baba himself while Mr Benjamin Uwajumogu the Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly and his dishonorable Imo House of Assembly members of course are the other thieves. Like Fela Kuti would say ‘ them be International THIEF THIEF’’
I am bold to call them International Thief Thief .The road projects in Imo State and what happened in the 27 LGA’s of Imo State where 175 billion naira LGA fund was looted come to mind as two of the several examples of their colossal looting of the Imo treasury. I am also talking about the looting of the 13 percent oil derivation fund of (ISOPADEC) , how they awarded themselves road contracts that they never executed but collected billions for them, how they stole IROMA trucks and equipment valued at N12.5 Billion, how they ran away with $2.5 M dollars paid for the sale of Imo Concorde Hotel, how they looted N400 million Imo flood money, how they connived with Joseph Dino of Jpros Limited and stole Imo tax payers N1.3 billion naira, how they sold Government owned companies to themselves and relatives in the guise of lease e.g., ITC , Adapalm, Concorde and Imo Municipal transport company, how they connived with Joss Marinlopez-pepe and stole Imo tax payers N3.5 billion. My brother the matter plenty!
The Imo State House of Assembly under the leadership of Benjamin Uwajumogu connived with Ali Baba , aided and abetted gross financial impropriety in Imo state and that is why I am calling all of them thieves including Luke Chukwu from my constituency who took part in the looting of Adapalm and ISOPADEC. What happened to 175 billion naira Imo council fund? Stolen in conjunction with Imo House of Assembly ! This is a clear case of crass abuse of office, criminal conspiracy and outright stealing of public funds which should attract very serious sanctions. These same men joined hands to sacked 10,000 Imo graduates since 2011 and refused to reinstate them. They went ahead to sack another 30,000 workers.
It is regrettable that rather than check the executive arm, the Imo state House of Assembly criminally teamed up with the executive in fraudulent diversion of billions of Imo people’s money. Who doesn’t know how Okorocha and Uwajumogu criminally shared n45billion and n28billion loans illegally secured with Imo LGA’s allocations .In the past, LGA funds in Imo State was used to develop certain vital social services in the grass root like education, health care and key investments on
infrastructures like water, electricity, roads, industries, etc, all which severally and collectively positively impacted on the living standard of the ordinary working masses in the grassroot areas .
In sharp contrast, the current Okorocha’s so-called government, acting under the dictates and or in concert with imperialism completely jettisoned the idea of government using local government funds and resources to better the lots of the local councils Instead, it adopted a whole scale capitalist, neo-liberal strategy of looting of council funds.
Ndi-Imo let us use the 2015 electoral exercise to put some form of improvement in the quality of lawmakers that would be in the Imo State House of Assembly by May 29th 2015. Uwajumogu and all the 2011 Imo House of Assembly members should be shown the way out! Ka Opuo! Rochas Okorocha should be shown the way out ! Ka Opuo!! Sadly, Imo found itself saddled with a class of legislators under Uwajumogu that is 1000 times worse than any it ever had. Yes, Uwajumogu’s House of Assembly is 1000 times inferior to the one we had before. Time to say NO MORE to them all.
Any reader of my write up would easily recall that severally , I have never been able to contain my sorrow and deep pain over the quality of lawmakers we ended up with and how such misfortune sabotaged our best expectations for progress and development, since all Uwajumogu and co in the House does is to extend generous incentive to the Executive to celebrate its insufferable ineptitude and lack of direction with indecent fanfare.
Our decadent politics in 2011 inflicted the State with grossly underweight and light-minded fellows as lawmakers, that is, individuals who neither have any acquaintance with sound ideas nor the capacity to appreciate the gravity of the assignment they are supposed to be performing in Owerri. What Imo got from the incompetent House led by Uwajumogu is retrogression and unchecked decay. What has remained sadly true is that for most of the lawmakers who presently diminished our legislative chambers with their uninspiring presence since 2011, their real reason for showing up in the House was just to scramble over dirty naira notes like wanton street boys. In them, we found the best example of a prodigal House of Assembly that goes to kneel down before Governor Okorocha sweating and begging for crumbs. Let’s say NO MORE to them .
Okorocha and Thief Benjamin Uwajumogu are now running here and there campaigning for votes from Imo masses. Uwajumogu wants to become Senator while Okorocha wants another 4 yrs of stealing. As I see the reports of the numerous rallies the APC in Imo is addressing in several parts of the state , I am always forced to ask: what really is the APC in Imo telling Imolites? I have not attended any of their rallies. Someone said Okorocha is shouting JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! FACTORY! FACTORY ! FACTORY as what he will do in the next 4 years.
There is nothing I hate like listening to speeches, everyone knows, including the speaker himself, are full of lies and empty promises, and only meant to deceive the hearer, or show that the speaker thinks his listeners are a bunch of fools. In such an instance, the fellow just feels he needs to tell his hearers something, and so, he opens his mouth and vomits even what he himself does not believe. These criminals we have in Douglas House and Imo House must go! Ka Opuo! !!
(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)