South East activists declare Okorocha, Obiano failed governors
Posted by News Express | 8 February 2017 | 1,859 times
Okorocha and Obiano.
Feuding South-East Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Willy Obiano of Anambra have been declared failures by a coalition of rights groups in the region, specifically the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs). They unreservedly condemned the recent war of words between the two governors.
In a statement issued in Onitsha, Wednesday, the groups lamented that “the present political harlotry, mercantilism and lack of effective leadership in the Southeast Geopolitical Zone have thickened and gotten to a maddening proportion.”
They recalled that “just recently, the governors of Anambra and Imo states chose to wash their dirty linens in the public, instead of facing mountainous governance challenges in their respective states.”
“We had on 11th December 2016, during the 68th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), named the trio of Messrs Nnamdi Kanu (POC), Peter Obi and Ike Ekweremadu as the Three Igbo/Southeast Distinguished Personalities for 2016. Their choice arose out of their respective efforts presently and in the past in advancing the collective interest and emancipation of the Igbo race without recourse to political mercantilism and other primordial interests,” Intersociety and SBCHROs said.
They said the need also arose out of urgent need to find replacement for and fill leadership vacuum in the Southeast geopolitical zone and to ensure that “marauding renegades, political harlots and mercantilists running riot in the zone are never allowed any breathing space. They must be trounced; and rejected with their stolen wealth.”
Continuing, the two groups said: While Citizen Nnamdi Kanu (POC) has effectively used his IPOB and RBL and nonviolence or pacifism to fight against the age-long and systematic physical and structural violence against the Igbo race and the entire Southern ethnic nationalities in the country.
“Citizen Peter Obi was very outstanding when he held sway as Anambra Governor (2006-2014); particularly in the areas of due process, rule of law and massive infrastructural development and fiscal discipline. It was also under his leadership that the Southeast governors and other leading politicians and public office holders from the zone were congregated under the Southeast Governors Forum for effective socio-political representation and development of the zone.
“Citizen Ike Ekweremadu, on his part, has been very dogged and unyielding till date as the Deputy President of the Senate and true son of Igbo Land. The trio have steadily, particularly since 2015 lent their voices against ethnic cleansing policy of the present Federal Government towards the Igbo race particularly by standing up in condemnation of indiscriminate and mass killing of hundreds of unarmed and nonviolent Pro Biafra Campaigners by the Buhari administration as well as killing of rural Igbo Christians by the Federal Government backed nomadic fulani jihadists.
“Prior to the choice of the trio of Nnamdi Kanu (POC), Peter Obi and Ike Ekweremadu, the Southeast Geopolitical Zone was not only leaderless, but also politically parasitic.
The Zone is presently invaded and taken over by an assemblage of renegades, political harlots and traders; who brought sorrows and miseries to the people of the zone in their days as public office holders. The leadership vacuum in the zone has widened and deteriorated till date. Today, the Southeast Geopolitical Zone can no longer congregate and aggregate their human and material resources for the overall development of the Zone. It is sad that meaningful socio-economic and political developments have continued to elude the Zone; thereby giving rise to the urgent need for the vacuum so created to be filled by those who never or have not disappointed their people when they held or are still holding sway as public office holders.
“In Imo State, for instance, governance has so failed that Owerri is the only accessible city out of the state’s 27 LGAs. This is not to talk of mountains of abandoned key infrastructural projects littered across the state’s 27 LGAs. The Orlu Road dualization project, for instance, started as far back as 2011, and is still not completed. It is an impossibility in the state today to access and connect its 27 Local Government Areas by road. The state’s inter LGA/communal road network is a death trap and gets worse during the rainy season. The free education programme of the state is also a ruse owing to dearth of teaching staff, their poor and unpaid remunerations and massively dilapidated primary and post primary school classrooms. Mango trees and others have now been converted to classroom blocks. Imo State is also the most indebted state in the Southeast geopolitical zone. One of the easiest ways to ascertain how much the state owes presently locally and internationally is to calculate its budgets from 2011 to 2016 and deduct them from its statutory non loan receipts from the Federation Account and funds received from donor agencies (if any) as well as its meagre internally generated revenues (IGRs). The rest, called 'budget deficits', constitute the bulk, if not totality of public debts borrowed locally and internationally by the state in the past five years of Rochas Okoroacha’s governorship. These exclude debts inherited from the previous governments in the state. Remuneration arrears of serving and retired workers in the state are either halved and paid through bailout borrowings or owed for several months and concealed.
“In Anambra State, under the present government of Governor William Obiano, the situation would have been noticeably different, if not for a saving grace enjoyed by the state in the areas of vast amount of massive infrastructural development, healthy civil service management and sound fiscal state bequeathed by the administration of former Governor Peter Obi. Yet in practical reality, the state has slumbered and stunted in its economic growth and development ratio and ratings under Governor Willy Obiano.
“Today, vast majority of the said key infrastructures particularly roads, drainages and waterways are begging for maintenance and sustenance. The Anambra State’s debts stock is also on steady increase from its lower level of N11 billion as at March 2014 (see DMO updates). We have also identified political elitism as the main killer force behind the slow pace of governance under Governor Willy Obiano’s administration; likewise the Okorocha Government in Imo State. The two states are also bedevilled by governance by prototype, pretence and falsehood. In electoral democracy, nothing is hidden under the sun. A saying still goes that ‘a fowl with broken legs is not sold at homestead, but in a distance market or community’. The totality of the forgoing has deeply saddened us and explained why we singled the two governors for condemnation, for having the effrontery to wash their dirty linens in the public instead of facing the governance responsibilities in their respective states.”