BY IKENNA SAMUELSON IWUOHA#
Opposition is the beauty of democracy. Effective opposition is what makes a sitting democratic government to be on its toes. This is because without opposition, a government may be executing anti-people policies without knowing. This therefore makes opposition a major ingredient in the democratic governance of a given system.
In Imo State, the so called opposition is not performing this primary function of putting the government on its toes. What we rather have are political opportunists who do not have the welfare of the masses at heart and in mind. It is expected that those in opposition should always come forward with better options, ideas, structures, initiatives and alternatives to counter government policies and programmes. Truly speaking, I have not seen any of such. Rather,what I see are people (especially ambitious politicians) desperate for power playing to the gallery. What do I mean?
Few weeks ago, Governor RochasOkorocha made known his administration’s intention to ban Keke-Tricycle transport operation in the State Capital Owerri, with effect from the 30th of September 2017. He also went further to say the tricycles would be replaced with PASSAT Vehicles, which would be given to the Keke-tricycle drivers on hire-purchase agreement and understanding. Whether this policy of Okorocha led government was wrong or right depends on the political divide one belongs.
Nevertheless, one had expected the so called opposition to come up with better alternatives and options to the proposed or impending ban on Keke-tricycles. Rather, desperate and ambitious opposition political seekers have gone into competition with the Okorocha led government in making available vehicles which would replace Keke tricycles in the State CapitalOwerri. I see this as playing to the gallery. Perhaps, the opposition wants to be seen as political leaders who care for “NDI-KEKE”. They want to score cheap political points through the back door.This unproductive action of these politicians has clearly put them on the scale; which has shown that they have nothing to offer the people of the State.
Honestly, I see them as opportunists who have no better ideas on how to move Imo forward.
By making Passat Vehicles available, these opposition political opportunists have clearly shown how desperate they are for power and profit. They want to make profit from the crisis situation. They have even gone further to ask “NDI-KEKE” to come forward and fill forms and then take the vehicles at a given price. No matter how anybody looks at this, it has become a business transaction; rather than humanitarian gestures. They have exposed themselves as leaders with no human feelings; and who are only out to make profit from the confusing situation.
Feeling frustrated, the Keke operators approached me for solution to their plight. They came to me in their thousands, and poured out their frustrations and grievances. Honestly, I felt their pain, anguish and frustrations. I saw clearly the exploitative tendencies of the so called opposition political opportunists who have eyes fixed on 2019. I saw the imminent socio-economic harm hanging on the heads of these obviously frustrated Keke-operators in the State. I also confirmed during my interaction with the Keke operators that many of them are University and Polytechnic graduates, who due to unemployment in the private and public sectors, have resorted to driving Keke-tricycle on Hire-Purchase agreement deal. I wept for them. I wondered why the so called wealthy politicians who are currently playing opposition politics in the State have vehemently refused to establish viable industries that would have naturally absorbed our teeming graduate’ youths. These wealthy politicians prefer to pour in billions of naira of their (perhaps) ill-gotten wealth into politics and “Shakara” philanthropy, just to create confusion in the system, and to give the impression that they care for the masses.
Nevertheless, I assured the Keke-Tricycle Operators that I would approach His Excellency, OwelleRochasOkorocha on their behalf, by writing a letter to convince him on the need to shift the proposed ban on Keke-Tricycle operation in the State capital by at least three months, to enable them prepare adequately for the new challenges ahead. So on the 13th of September 2017, I wrote a letter to the governor and gave him twelve solid reasons why he should not ban Keke-tricycle operations on the 30th of September 2017. I sent him the hard copy through RED STAR EXPRESS (FEDEX) COURIER COMPANY and also through Email. The letter was also published on several social media platforms and on print media.
I am happy to announce that Governor RochasOkorochas has graciously shown that he is a leader with human heart. OwelleOkorocha has demonstrated that the Keke Tricycle Operators in the State Capital are also his children and subjects. He has shown that he has listening ears when approached responsibly, calmly and maturely.
Governor Okorocha has not only extended or shifted the ban on Keke-tricycle Operation from 30th September 2017 to December 2017; he is currently making arrangement for the graduates among the Keke-Operators to be gainfully employed both in the private and public sectors.
The question now is: NOW that Governor RochasOkorocha has disappointed the desperate and ambitious opposition politicians who bought vehicles to be sold to Keke Tricycle operators, with the hope that Keke operation would be banned in the State capital on the 30th of September 2017; what would happen to those vehicles? RochasOkorocha has once again beaten these opposition politicians in their game. He has effectively achieved six things effortlessly as follows:-
(1) Governor Okorocha has successfully introduced official taxi cabs in the state capital with the name – TAXIMO.
(2) Governor Okorocha did not ban Keke-Tricycle operation in the state Capital.
(3) 98% of Keke Tricycle operators are now comfortably happy with Governor Okorocha.
(4) Opposition and desperate politicians who wanted to score cheap political goals with the vehicle they bought are now stranded and confused.
(5) Keke-operators now see these opposition and desperate politicians as opportunists who only wanted to use them to score political goals.
(6) 98% of Keke operators will mobilize support for Okorocha’s candidates as 2019 draw closer.
One thing is very clear here; these ambitious and desperate opposition politicians lack the principal thing, which is wisdom. They lack wisdom and that is why they have not been able to wrestle Governor Okorocha to the ground. This lack of wisdom has made them not to know how to build confidence and trust with/on the people of the State. Every of their actions smacks of desperation, unpreparedness and unseriousness. It is obvious Governor RochasOkorocha is far ahead of these disgruntled, desperate and ambitious opposition politicians in the state, in this game of politics.
When Almighty God gave King Solomon a blank Cheque to ask for anything from him, King Solomon simply asked for wisdom.In 1 Kings Chapter 3 verse 9, Solomon responded thus“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge the people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people”? The point I am trying to make is that most of these ambitious and desperate politicians (with eyes fixed on 2019) lack wisdom, and have refused to acknowledge it; hence they have continued to wallow in political darkness.
If I were in opposition in the State, I would have outsmarted Governor Okorocha in this present situation and circumstance effortlessly; and the Keke tricycle operators and indeed the majority of Imo populace would have followed me.
Nevertheless, let me urge Okorocha to continue to remain focused in his vision for the state. He only needs little adjustments here and there, and he would be certain to succeed in his geometric desire to install his successor come 2019.
The opposition in the state does not have what it takes to confront Okorocha. They are asleep. They are empty, but the word of God has told them in John Chapter 15 verse 16 to be fruitful. Since these opposition politicians have refused to bear fruits, they will remain condemned perhaps, until after 2019.
I rest my pen.
Hon. Citizen Dr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha FCAI, MKDA.
Former Senior Special Assistant on Media
Former Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties
Imo State House of Assembly
Owerri Imo State Nigeria
2nd October, 2017.
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