Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Article: Imo State House Of Thieves



By Kenneth Uwadi

 April 29th this year was a Saturday. It was my birthday and friends came to wish me well. It rained, not very much really but it was pretty cold outside. The tiny "rain" caused so much traffic delays. My friends who live inside town were screwed. One of them who only live 12 miles away from my place had a three hour drive to my home. Another got stuck on some odious bus that wasn't moving anywhere and took nearly two hours to reach my place. And it took yet another person three and a half hours. My God!


I brought out shots and we ‘cheers’, we clink glasses and did the normal "happy birthday” thing. I turned up my sound system to the highest volume. In fact, I was surprise the sound system can actually be that loud. I honestly did not think it was capable of generating that much sound. We all whoop it up and had a good time dancing like kids . I am currently passing through challenges so my birthday celebration did not come with the normal serving of fried rice. However, there is one thing I can never overlook and that is the blessings I enjoy in the form of life. By having a deeper appreciation of what we have had and what we still enjoy, our life will be greatly enriched. Life is a gift and it offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to give something back.

Aye came to see me too. He is a former House member in one of the Nigerian States. When he got to my house it was about 5:00 pm and the tempo of activity was gradually winding down. He has grown beard but his beard isn't that weird. When he was in the House he sponsored in his state a bill to prohibit forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties, violent and fraudulent conduct in relation to landed properties. In my state, Imo, government officials have turned land grabbers, forcefully collecting the land of Imo people. These are some of the things we speak against and they say we wail like siren. They say we should keep crying and getting wrinkles.

I have always made it known that I write what I write as service to humanity. My concern is the well-being of the people. I think, speak, write and act as the unknown servant. My intentions are pure. I never write to promote evil. I act for general interest. And for those of you who say I always criticize my state government, remember the words of the master Jesus: “ I come into this world to show the way to sinners and not to the just, since it is the sinners and not the just who need guidance’’ The qualities I expect of a leader include honesty and integrity,goodwill ,altruism, foresight and a love of peace and justice.

I cannot say I am proud of the members of the Imo State House of Assembly from 2011 till date. First it was Benjamin Uwajumogu . Now it is Acho Ihim and his gang. Imo has been unlucky to have morally challenged characters as legislatures since 2011. With Uwajumogu and his cousin Acho Ihim, Okorocha wrapped the entire Imo up, confidently put it away in one of the folds of his wife’s wrapper and retired to his bed for a long, refreshing sleep. Is it not deceitful for a governor to rule a state for six years now without elected council officials? Since 2011, the councils in Imo have been run by unelected appointees of the governor yet our House members have done nothing but are ‘looking yansh, killing goat’’ like the music master Sunny Bobo. The powers of the legislature are not judiciously exercised to guarantee Imolites the dividends for electing their representatives.

By not conducting council elections for six years Governor Okorocha has acted unconstitutionally and violated the democratic rights of Imo people. Section 7 of the 1999 constitution says "the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed” Under Okorocha many communities in Imo have ceased to have pipe-borne water. Other things like markets, schools , government buildings, that were in good condition before he found himself in the apex political seat of the state are neglected. Certainly, Imo LGA’s are worse under Okorocha. So many roads in our rural areas are impassable; thus making him one of the most hated political office holders at this time. Other LGA’s in the state except Owerri are out of the circle; groping in the dark, isolated and treated as leprous victims.

That we don’t have elected council government in Imo for six years shows the collaboration of the Imo State House of Assembly with the Executive in the looting of the state. Imo House of Assembly members are part of the too many impunities of this government . The House is involve in the pro-rich pro-imperialist cum capitalist policies that Governor Okorocha has been operating. Okorocha’s government, acting under the dictates and or in concert with imperialism has completely jettisoned the idea of government using local government funds and resources to better the lots of the local councils Instead, it has adopted a whole scale capitalist, neo-liberal strategy of looting of these funds. Today, over 80% of Imolites at the grassroot areas are suffering.

The members of the Acho Ihim led Imo State House of Assembly are nothing but 27 thieves. They are conniving with Ali Baba of Imo, aiding and abetting gross financial impropriety in the state. I am bold to call them thieves. If Nigeria is Nigeria some of these House members will be in one of our dilapidated and uninhabitable prison houses enduring the just recompense of their grave sin against Imo. Do they think we don’t know about the looting of the 13 percent oil derivation funds of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta . Do they think we don’t know about what happened to our bailout funds? Or what happened to our Paris fund return? We will , week by week say so many things.

Our House Members are doling out fitting sadism to Imolites while fittingly lining their dirty pockets with dirty money with their tag team partner. I laugh whenever I see them carrying people around showing them white elephant Bongo square and Heroes square projects in Owerri as if the city of Owerri is now a state in Nigeria .It is regrettable that rather than check the executive arm, the Imo state House of Assembly is criminally colluding with the executive in fraudulent diversion of billions of Imo people's money.After stealing our money they turn round to give youths Okada( motto bike) as constitutional project. Nani Okada o!.

Do we allow them to continue to make our mothers and grandparents suffer helplessly in the villages? Do we continue to allow them to deprive local governments of the funds needed to build schools, roads, motor parks, markets etc.? Do we continue to call them “dike na mba” when they are all “agadi na agwo ofe’, when they have made us beggars and impoverished us in perpetual state of squalor? Who will save Imo in 2019? “Ihe ojo ama nme na Imo ozo’. Our Saviour will come no matter the political party.Help us oh God!

 (Uwadi wrote from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria and can be reached via 08037982714)

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