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Poor performance: Okorocha’s popularity suffers heavy setback •Madumere, Ohakim, Ihedioha a threat to anointed successor

By News Express on 05/11/2017

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•Governor Okorocha
•Governor Okorocha

The governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, who is working tirelessly to produce a successor is having sleepless nights in actualising his dream of installing his in-law and present chief of staff as his successor. Emmanuel Mgbeahuruike writes

The Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who basked in the euphoria of his acceptability in the state appears to have dramatically lost this appeal due to introduction of unpopular policies and his quest to install his in-law, Hon. Uche Nwosu, as governor in 2019.

This scenario inevitably threw up governorship aspirants such as Prince Eze Madumere, the current Deputy Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former governor of the state and the immediate passed deputy speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume who are all positioning themselves to take over from the incumbent governor, Owelle Okorocha, at the of end of his tenure in 2019.

The unveiling of Rochas Okorocha in Imo state witnessed wild jubilation all over the state with his popular mantra known as the ‘Rescue Mission’. He took advantage of this as the man of the moment and brandished populist ideologies which he used to capture the heart of the people.

The Governor who introduced free education at all levels, sewed uniforms for students and introduced policies that are beneficial to the masses seems to have reversed the gear of the administration, thereby inflicting injuries to the masses.

In Imo today, this scene could be described as direct opposite of what the people bargained for and are wondering if this is the same Okorocha they voted for in 2011.

All the popular mantra and sign post that elevated his stature seems to have taken flight as his popularity has dwindled to an uncomfortable level. No thanks to his plans to install his in-law Hon Uche Nwosu as a successor which is being resisted by Imo citizens not minding political inclinations. Imo citizens also seem uncomfortable with Okorocha’s administration for now due to his obnoxious policies that inflicts injuries and hardship to the teeming populace.

Expressing his disillusionment in respect of the state of affairs in Imo State, All Progressives Congress (APC) Stalwart, in the state and former member of House of Representatives Hon Uche Onyeagocha while addressing newsmen, stressed that having fought against oppression and arbitrariness all his life as a civil rights activist, revealed that Owelle Okorocha’s administration has brazenly drifted towards dictatorship and despotism. According to him, “I am not comfortable serving the present administration in any capacity and have made up my mind to resign honourably.”

His words, “I hereby write to resign my membership of the State Development Council (SDC) which appointment I was not offered to accept or reject from the outset. The reasons for my resignation are expressed below in as plain and simple language as possible to dispel every risk of ambiguity.

“I am no longer able to allow myself to be used as an instrument against Imo State workers and pensioners. I oppose your current plan to extort Imo pensioners of 50% of their pension rights having previously extorted them of 30% of their pensions and other workers salaries. A state that is incapable of paying her pensioners and other workers, her Governor should not be moving around in private jet.

“I am no longer submitting myself to be used as an instrument to emasculate the State Civil Service which structure you have deliberately distorted and almost completely destroyed.

Having fought against oppression and arbitrariness all my life as a Civil Rights activist, I’ve long observed that your administration has brazenly drifted towards dictatorship and despotism. Every effort to advice you in the contrary have failed. I am left with no option than to join forces with other progressive minds to stand up against your dictatorial tendencies.”

According to him, the Governor has deliberately underfunded and emasculated our great party (APC) at every level. This is pronounced in the fact that no single branch of our Party in Imo State has a bus.

Party offices of Wards & LGAs have been seized by their landlords because you have refused to assist them to pay rents. Our Party State Headquarters is only but a shadow of what the State Office of a governing Party should be. All appeal to you on these matters has failed, making us to doubt your loyalty and support for APC which delivered you as Governor of Imo State.

While revealing that Okorocha has impoverished all your political appointees who ought to be making contributions to fund and support our great Party. Precisely, your commissioners, advisers, assistants and Transition Committee Chairmen – past and present – have been paid peanuts that turned them to beggars rather than benefactors to our great Party. The situation today is so bad that every of your appointee who had been relieved of their appointments have turned into an enemy rather than asset to the party.

“The Governor’s deception and continued refusal to conduct LGA elections after 6 long years have further worsened the development and growth of the Party and the LGAs. I challenge you to honor your word for once by conducting LGA elections in Imo State in September 2017.

“The state has suffered so much from your lack of planning and hatred for due process in the affairs of government. I am compelled to join forces with well-meaning and egalitarian APC leaders to rescue APC in Imo State and the state itself from you.”

In his comments, the former Attorney-General of the state, Prof Francis Dike (SAN), has described the unveiling of a statue of the South African President Jacob Zuma and the naming of a street after him by the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha as a gratuitous insult to Ndigbo, saying that honouring a president who has failed to protect Igbos who are being massacred in his country is to rub salt on injury.

This was even as the leaders Igbo National Council (INC) and Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) have accused the Imo State Governor of alleged sabotage and deliberate subversion of the collective interest of Ndigbo in both political and socio – economic issues in Nigeria and in Africa.

Reacting on the issue which have provoked a plethora of negative reactions amongst the people of the state, Prof Dike, a chieftain of the United Progressive Party (UPP) former Special Adviser (Legal) to Governor Okorocha queried the wisdom behind the erection of an effigy of the South African President in the state who is currently facing 863 cases of corruption in his country and which the country’s apex court said that he must answer to.

He accused Okorocha of converting the state into his private estate saying that the hosting of the president Zuma in the state is an insult to the whole nation and Imo state in particular.

According to him, “Okorocha is an emperor who wakes up in  the morning  and does  whatever he likes  whether it is against  the wish of the people  or not. What is the essence of putting up an effigy of Zuma in the state?”

Similarly, the state chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Valentine Amafili said: “If you go to South Africa, can you find a statue of the great Zik of Africa, Dr. M.I Okpara or Akanu Ibiam any where? Imo is grappling with a lot of problems such as non-payment of salaries and gratuities to pensioners, flood disaster, hunger, unemployment, insecurity, no means of transportation and yet the governor is wasting money on frivolities.”

In a joint press statement by the Igbo National Council (INC) and the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) Imo State noted with great dismay what it described as a show of shame saying that it is only in Imo state where a president of a country who is facing serious corrupt charges in his country is being honoured in the state.

In view of the above, the Igbo National Council (INC) and the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) Imo State therefore call on Governor Rochas Okorocha to immediately to reverse the naming of a street in Owerri after Jacob Zuma, dismantle that Jacob Zuma statue and also rename the centre to bear its former name – Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu Centre.”

Another factor that would stand against the governor is his penchant to starve his appointees of funds including the party functionaries.

This according to Imo citizens is with the view to pursuing perceived personal presidential ambition. This is coupled with the fact that the roads claimed to have been built have all failed because of substandard materials, equipment and employment of quacks.

Given the egalitarian disposition of Igbo, the concept of dynasty remains an aberration according to pundits. The idea of perceiving a successor within family enclave is dead on arrival and unacceptable for a society as enlightened as Imo.

All these developments have raised the quest among the citizenry for a search of candidates with solid background to govern the state having classified the incumbent governor Okorocha as an outgoing governor who should allow the people to decide who governs them in 2019.

 Excerpted from a LEADERSHIP Sunday report.


Source News Express

Posted 05/11/2017 11:35:34 AM


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