By Kenneth Uwadi
I came into a bar by 4pm on Friday in Owerri. People working at the bar were wearing skinny jeans and white on top. I ordered for a bottle of beer. The bar top was sticky and the walls were painted yellow. It wasn't my favorite bar. In fact, it was one of my least favorite bars. I have no excuse for being in such bar beyond it being a convenient place to grab a quick drink. Near the bar was a Clean Tokunbo Toyota Hiace Hummer Bus. The deafening blaring of the horn of the bus and the noisy engine was like a welding workshop. The bus was turned into a church house by the passengers, a preacher as the master, the passengers forming the chorus.
Bunmi walked into the bar with my friend Jack. There is something about her which was not quite alright and it was from my point of view, a big thing. She is an adamant atheist. Her only divinities were Lenin and Marx. She is in her fifties .She finds time to read diligently through immense tomes on early socialism. She was wearing long shiny earrings with bracelets on each arm. Her cloth hugs her body; the lightest of cotton. She is dark, of Yoruba lineage and with large brown eyes. As Bummi and Jack sat down closed to me, someone came falling down and what we saw was vomit on the floor. He even ran into me, spilling my beer in the process. That is just not good for business. He couldn't even make it to the toilet or even outside the bar instead he did the whole thing on the floor in the bar before everyone.
You can imagine how it will look like if the young man who left his vomit on the floor of the bar starts licking it. This is what a certain Onwuasoanya Jones who calls himself ‘FCC’ is currently doing in Imo . For some months now I have watched his bizarre attempts at defending Owelle Rochas Okorocha , the governor of Imo state. I laugh as he tries to portray him as the best governor of Imo after Dee Sam Mbakwe. So far he has invoked the highest hypocrisy as he trumpets and advertises white elephant projects of the Imo State Governor in Owerri the state capital. In one of his write ups he said he visited Owerri after three years and the infrastructural developments are very impressive. Street lights, expanded road networks, vibrant night life. Jesus! He now celebrates what he sees as Okorocha’s handwork in Owerri as if Nigeria has a state called Owerri . As if Imo is only about the capital city of Owerri. This is the same Jones who for almost 5 years wrote articles condemning the Okorocha’s government. Today he is coming up with ludicrous statement in support of Okorocha, leaping to his keyboard to provide us some worn out nonsense. He wants to force it down our throats that Mr Ibu is more handsome than Ramsey Noah. Ndi mmadu self!
We all know that it is six years of Okorocha’s government and yet democracy does not exist in the 27 local government councils of Imo state as provided for in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whereas neighboring states have elected men and women in their councils. The result is a comatose Imo LGA's begging to be attended to. Lack of basic amenities has made these LGA's a ghost environment.How can we praise a man who was elected democratically but has deprived the same Imo people democracy in their LGA's. We see him using Imo LGA monies to fund his private concerns and award inflated contracts to his companies and cronies. He has told Imo people that they have no right to elect their leaders in the LGA's and they have no right to elect their town union officials and youth leaders at the grass -root. He is saying “Imo people shut up”
The state of things in Imo's LGA's are direct reflection of Okorocha's commitment to enslaving the people, a situation reminiscent of biblical Israelites in bondage in Egypt. Nothing is working out in our LGA's ; no light, all government establishment are starved of funds, government buildings are dilapidated , markets are falling down, no security, no social infrastructure, majority of borehole water system are bad, LGA workers are starving .So huge is the level of economic and political failure of the ruling political party in Imo at the grassroot areas of the state that, if you visit our LGA’s you will shout Jesus twenty times.
How can we praise Governor Okorocha when he has been looting the 13 percent oil derivation funds of Imo oil producing areas. ISOPADEC, the commission charged with development of Imo oil areas is in comatose. Schools, water, electrification, roads and hospital rehabilitation in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta which form part of the duties of ISOPADEC remain in their same dilapidated state. Do not also forget that since our governor came into office he has not been able to create jobs for Imo youths. Instead of sitting down in Owerri and creating jobs for Imo Youths, Okorocha spent millions of naira junketing the globe and entertaining his friends and political associates in Nigeria and abroad for six years now leaving Imo State youths without jobs.
Rather than create jobs he sacked 10,000 Imo State graduates in the State Civil Service. Or you think we have forgotten the 10,000 legally employed Imo civil servants that he unjustly sacked in 2011 and their families and friends of their families. You think we no more remember workers of Imo State origin too who were sacked in the Abia State civil service that he promised to help but has done nothing to alleviate their suffering till date despite their entreaties. When decisions made and actions taken directly deflate job creation, the result is always more problems for the citizens. Where are the jobs, jobs, jobs that Okorocha promised Imolites? Where are the factory , factory, factory ? I tell you the only sign of youth employment in Imo is the convoy of the governor's children, his maids, his in-laws and few hangers on who feed fat on the allocation of Imo State. The monumental unemployment situation in Imo has turned the State into a seething time bomb.
Governor Okorocha was advised by well-meaning Imolites not to sale Adapalm Plc but he did not listen. He sold the multi-million naira Adapalm PLC to Roche Group .Some say Adapalm was sold for 20 years. Adapalm plantation which is located in Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A of Imo State is now dead, completely dead. 3000 persons lost their jobs due to the closure of Adapalm. Governance in Imo is now Baba Sala's nkwobi and pepper soup joint were they dish out alms to the poor. Imo youths have been turned to slaves, motor park boys and babi-ala's in their state . He also used his brand of military rule to persecute the people of Owerri zone demolishing their houses and shops here and there without compensation. You want us to forget all these in a hurry. Imolites are just praying for Okorocha’s tenure to be over and hoping to get a messiah in 2019 no matter the political party. We must get it right this time. Help us Oh God!
(Uwadi wrote from Mmahu, Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria (08037982714))