Posted by News Express | 12 August 2019 | 1,027 times
Imo is a state jointly bounded by three geo-political zones of Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri. Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe governed (old Imo State) in the Second Republic, (1979-1984), Chief Evan Enwerem led the state in the Third Republic (1993) prior to the arrival of the Fourth Republic in 1999.
These periods under review recorded unprecedented boost in the economy of the state. Most of the capital infrastructures currently generating revenue in the state were constructed and built by either Chief Mbakwe or Enwerem when they held sway.
Without sounding judgmental, the state received little or no federal allocation to assist in the payment of workers’ salaries, including the realisation of other ancillary projects embarked upon by the then government yet, many achievements were recorded.
During the periods, chief executives of the state paid much attention to governance, rather than engagements such as recovery, slapping or other jamboree exercises, as the case maybe, owing to the fact that corruption was neither formalised nor customised by both the governor and appointees of the government in the Second and Third republics. The major impetus for accepting political appointment then was the capability of the individual to work sincerely, creditably and assiduously for the development of what we enjoy today in Imo.
Be that as it may, 1999 ushered in a brand new Fourth Republic, with Chief Achike Udenwa (Onwa) as governor. No doubt, this period witnessed systematic penetration of corruption in the political firmament of the state. The reason may not be unconnected with the pause on civilian rule by the military which, however, brought humongous hunger, starvation and penury. Yet, the government of Chief Udenwa recorded myriads of sustainable achievements in the state. The Fourth Republic has witnessed six democratically elected civilian administrations. Regrettably, the issue of non-performance on the side of chief executives of the state has led to vendetta and revenge missions. This has done more harm to the state than good. No wonder, individuals would complete eight years as governor of a state as ours without any sustainable achievement to crown the administration, apart from frivolities and painted sepulchres in place of projects. This is not only preposterous, exasperating, ludicrous and pugnacious, but bizarre, comical and incongruous.
Obviously, a sane person will see it as high-jinks for an alleged looter of social amenities in a state like Imo to possess a strong army of powers to confront government committee for the recovery of properties said to have been stolen by the individual(s). This is, indeed, what my Government teacher back then in the Secondary School described as Illegitimate Power, which is ascribed to a “criminal” who comes to your house to rob.
However, an action can be exhibited by cunning “criminal” to divert attention, especially when it is obvious that his/her days are numbered. This could be ascribed to the issue of “slapping” of a former chief of staff’s wife and the “recovery” of government property.
Tactically, the public should be knowledgably smart to reckon that issues like “slap” never came up prior to an attempt by the recovery team of the state government to withdraw some properties of the state from individuals suspected to have been illegally and criminally converted to private use. This idea to recover government properties is commendable, but the ovation and sympathy the said “slap” has generated no doubt has reduced the innocence of the recovery team. It is, indeed, a diversionary tactics to mortgage the conscience of Imolites as well as to curry favour.
To be candid, in our country today, the helpless Nigerians only see, read or informed on television, radio, or newspapers when loots are discovered in Paris, Geneva, America or Britain, but are sidelined when the widely broadcast “Abacha” loots are recovered. What it is used for and how it was recovered may not be the business of the masses, but the business of the leaders. This is indeed a modern digitalised way of scamming the tax payers.
The message in question is that some unholy greedy individuals entrusted with public trust looted the state dry, and not christening or baptising the issue of mere slap. The former should not be allowed to gain credence than the later to avoid rendering the whole efforts of the recovery team to get the state back to work futile and fruitless.
It is very annoying that a state like Imo has become a dumping site, where the shout of slap and recovery are capable of outshining the issue of governance. No doubt, the Governor of the state, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, has allowed the issue of “slap” and “recovery” to divert his attention from rendering governance, which is the fulcrum on which he was elected by Imo people.
Every road in and around the state capital is dangerously bad, the ones at the rural level are mostly hit, yet the governor is keeping quiet with or without any sign that he is ready to hit the ground running, having assumed office since three months. The people of the state elected Ihedioha to render good governance and not to be distracted with recovery team. However, since the said committee is recently bedeviled with bribery scam, there is need for the governor to disband them immediately, to give way for governance.
Imo people should not forget in a jiffy that the same way Governor Ihedioha is recovering alleged stolen government properties today was the same way the ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha recovered some government properties when he came on board: The case of HRH Eze Cletus Ilomuanya is a typical example. Yet, he left the state worse than when he met it.
•Onuoha, Media/Public Relations Practitioner, is the state Publicity Secretary, Imo Concerned Citizens. e-mail:email@example.com
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