Posted by News Express | 31 August 2019 | 482 times
On Sunday this week, I boarded the Air Peace Airline to Owerri, the Imo State capital, to personally witness the beginning of the remaking of history in the Eastern Heartland, which has only recently come out of eight years of desolation and crass bad governance by the immediate past governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha.
This remaking of history in my state of origin was the official flag-off of the World Bank assisted rural roads infrastructure that took place incidentally from Umuduru Market, which will cover my home town, Arondizuogu located in Onu-Imo Local Government Area.
While on board, I sat next to the newly-sworn-in Governor of Imo State Emeka Ihedioha, who was also travelling back to Owerri, apparently from an official engagement in the nation’s capital or somewhere nearby.
The governor came in to the aircraft with about half a dozen personal staff and his daughter, while one of his top private officials sat next to me.
This proximity afforded yours faithfully the opportunity of exchanging few words regarding the planned flag-off of this rural road infrastructure.
I also had about five minutes’ conversations with the governor whereupon I applauded him for remembering my hometown, which has faced horrendous ordeals of infrastructural deficit over the past decades, from virtually all the previous governors of the state.
Arondizuogu suffers from multiple deficiencies of social infrastructures, and the worst case scenario of marginalisation of unfathomable scale, even as the few signs of civilisation such as electricity and graded rural roads were done as a result of communal and/or individual efforts.
For instance, the only source of intermittent electricity power to most parts of Arondizuogu was donated by an individual who is also reputed to have single-handedly constructed some culverts and rural roads, beginning from his immediate community in Arondizuogu. It must be noted too that Arondizuogu traverses Okigwe and Ideato North local government areas.
In effect, our people are among those who feel the pains of a failed administration under Rochas Okorocha, whose long stay in office was characterised by predatory diversion of public funds to God-knows where; and who appeared to have spent more time in the media, spreading falsehood and outright cheap propaganda about some fantastic feats he achieved as governor which are not in existence anywhere in Imo State which today appears like the ruined segments of the war-torn Syria.
My readers can now understand my overwhelming enthusiasm to state that the Imo State governor has remembered a long forgotten part of the state and has, indeed, scheduled the flag-off of the World Bank partly-funded rural roads. Incidentally, this was made possible because the new governor paid the counterpart fund, which Rochas Okorocha failed to do.
My trip to my state was, therefore, a labour of love for my hometown and to witness the beginning of history and to be able to pen down my thoughts independently; and to charge Governor Ihedioha to ensure that the flag-off ceremony does not become the end of the dream of the longsuffering people for imminent liberation from an absolute denial of social amenities by the state government. This is exactly what this article is set out to do: Set agenda and remind the governor that we are monitoring his administration closely; to see whether he will rebuild the devastated state from the debris of ruins left over by the failed government of Okorocha, who miraculously manoeuvred his way to the Senate to represent Orlu, which is one of the places he destroyed by way of his incompetence in office as governor for two terms.
•RIGHTSVIEW appears on Wednesdays and Saturdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, a popular activist (www.huriwanigeria.com, www.emmanuelonwubiko.com), is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).
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