BY: ONYENWE PRINCELY#
Action they say, speaks louder than voice” And in this context, it behooves on the people of Imo state to evaluate what exactly are the indices of development and the actions of government so far witnessed in the state. As good people of history and public opinion analyst, one could assert that Imo is gradually developing but in the eyes of democracy, the spirit and letters of the constitution are constantly jeopardized by the political leaders who find it difficult to obey the rule of law as stipulated. They cannot remain to seek achievement for themselves and forget about the progress and prosperity of their rural populace, communities and constituencies. I feel their ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others.
Therefore from my egalitarian viewpoint, if His Excellency Governor Okorocha led administration has granted free education, renovated Government house Owerri, built a new Eze’s palace, expansion of road networks across the state, repackage of civil servants dress code with wardrobe allowance, massive rural /urban renewal, relocation of state library, police headquarter and few other parastatals to more spacious locations, opening of new layouts, Imo green revolution policy (ikuola Nkwu), introduction of Imo Air, TAXIMO and Rescue Bus service, unprecedented infrastructural development, improvement on the state IGR and security and most recently the relocation of Eke Ukwu market are the indices of development, then he has done better than other governors who have served the state.
But if otherwise the cost implication of these projects have strangulated the economy of the state amid the intervention funds released by the federal government to the detriment of the incoming governor to maintain it, then posterity will not forgive him.
Reflecting back on the days of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jews who happen to be his own people have severally criticized him and gave him to the cross which after several years of history has become the crux of human salvation. What baffles me most is that the people that hailed and praised his actions, signs and wondrous works and miracles were the same said people that wooed him death. It could be recalled that Christ was dehumanized, battered, molested, and yet was denied by his so called closest allies Peter and others which was recorded in several portions of the bible.
Time will not permit me to thinker the serial portions of the holy book where his good works were mentioned but the actual fact to note in this piece is that no matter how circumstance may shuffle our actions on earth, Human nature shall ever remain insatiable. Governor Okorocha deserves commendation for deciding to take the bull by the horn.
However, since it is apparent in a democratic setting that government is working for the well being of the people, there is a very satisfactory stand to comprehend that change is always a constant. In the attainment of ‘the change’ desired by the people, it is also an aberration of the constitutional rights of citizens to benefit from fellow citizens’ disadvantage. Therefore a developing driving entity or government in this background will certainly apply some radical measures to actualize its vision. This is exactly the roadmap of the urban renewal going on in Imo State.
Admittedly, when government is a continuum, it implies that where an existing government stops, another government will continue. The government of Owelle Dr. Rochas Okorocha, has done so well and it is expected of the populace to be very patient with him and embrace the All Progressive Congress first class intension to transform the state’s economy, alongside infrastructural and physical development before the next elections coming up in the year 2019.
Without doubt, the governor may have in one way or the other stepped on peoples’ toes to achieve these feats. As a result therefore the relocation of Eke Ukwu Market and the plans to expand the ever full of activity Douglas road to connect the link roads within the municipality is a good step in the right direction.
It will certainly sanitize the city, reduce human and vehicular congestion and attract more investors to the state while rapid business development will strive at the suburb areas. The people of Naze/Nekede shall someday remember Governor Okorocha’s tenacity to develop the new business cluster in their area.
In the spirit of physical development, report has it that the widely accepted Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has distinguished himself among the-would-be gubernatorial candidates by his extraordinary support and kindness shown in various capacities to the Owelle led administration.
His distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has in his usual magnanimity and compassion for humanity paid off the hospital bills of the Eke Ukwu victims who are receiving treatment at Federal Medical Center, FMC Owerri and also offered scholarship up to University level to the elder sister of the deceased Somtochukwu Ibeanusi who gave his life in the process of demolition.
In the other hand, Chief Leostan Eke, the president of Zinox computers was said to have dolled out the sum of fifty million (50m) naira to ameliorate the plights of the affected Eke Ukwu traders. These are wonderful virtues of the political leaders needed to transform the state.
It is expected of Imo Politicians jostling for power in subsequent elections and those of them in the cadre of the investment driving experts mentioned above to rise up to the clarion call to come back home and invest on the people than to keep mobilizing tomfoolery, undue attacks and unbridled rumours against the government.
Above all, it is worth doing that immediately after any election brawl, whosoever emerges as the winner has eventually become the leader of all people? And on this therefore political party sentiments have to be avoided to develop the state and capture our civic responsibility to support the government. But then, one of the ways forward is to put to good use ‘our resources, once power is acquired.
Perhaps, the saying by Environmental experts that “urban renewal is time phased in Imo and so the urban renewal project of the recent administration is not out of place but it is lacking of a proper coordinated plan that has taken into consideration the mitigation of loses, the material, financial and physical assets of the citizenry in the process of carrying out an effective and efficient urban renewal project, the present agitation against the adverse effects of the renewal project on the citizenry would not have risen”.
And again, majority of Imolites are confused on the quality of work going on in the state. It is on this controversy therefore I pulse to ask these puzzling questions of mine; is Imo truly improving or retrogressing on its developmental policies? Are the political leaders in the state applying to a logical reality the phraseology that government is a continuum to action?
In keeping with the above position, rumours are growing too viral in the state and if nothing is done very hastily to amend and maybe upgrade the numerous projects embarked upon by the APC government in Imo, I can perceive a swift spell of consequence on the party by its members who are warming up in their numbers to decamp to other ‘fat-fed’ political structures in the state.
Thus far, a school of thought has posited that the recession in Imo has continued to favour only the government officials and their families whose investment are scattered all over the state. The irony of it is that most of our political leaders are still waiting to invest on people only when they will ascend the set of power to make some greedy gains and utterances against the mandate of the electorates.
It is not that the governor is not functional in his ability to establish his political architecture in the state but rumours making the rounds that poor quality of work prominent in this government has virtually affected all strata of work done including the leaking roofs of IICC Owerri and even some major apartments of Concord Hotel could be true. The low quality of asphalt used on our roads is another thick tear in the eyes of Imolites. Continuous patching of these roads after a few weeks of work done by the rescue compliant contractors has resulted to drop of confidence on our political leaders.
Indeed it will be a political catastrophe to a government that was overrated statistically at 100% excellence by its first tenure to surprisingly keep degenerating to a woofing failure of its developmental plans and lose of popularity.
The end time actions of government on its citizenry has in effect raised quantum of ill exclamations spitted against her. Be it as it may, Okorocha’s good work could have continued to better the state if it was properly set in motion. Solid works are supposedly done, pensioners pay should not have been misappropriated, some companies or factories could have been established before the tenure runs off, Alternative relocation sites would have been made ready with the needed facilities, projects embarked upon are expected to be completed and commissioned, low cost housing estates should have been built within the market areas in the state and these markets should have equally been segmented accordingly to avoid congestion of goods just like the oil mill market in PH, Aswani market Lagos, computer village, Alaba international market and Imo timber markets are known for certain merchandise.
His Excellency Dr. Rochas has remained a rank of politician who even if he decides to align with another political party someday as speculated, may not be tired in developing his people and the state to a model status. I was perplexed by the complaints of relief markets traders on the bad condition of the roads and congestion of the market at my recent visit to the relief market Owerri Thus far, the present drift of movement of Imo people against second tenure ship of Governors in the state is better encapsulated to be understood in a melodious tune ‘Owelle-Owere Enwurula Oku’ to address the feelings of the people before the next election turns up.
My laughter is that he is not a ‘learner governor’ in the atmosphere of politics and as such he seems to be more hardened and more pro-active in spite of the series of indentation by his oppositions and most times some of his lieutenants in the process of government. I am aware that by his sagacity, my governor cannot be tossed about by the ragging wind of political detractors. Though politicians could be greedy anyway but a sensible government would have considered the welfare and security of the people as the most paramount.
The government in their capacity must for the reason of goodwill stop trading on the will of the people. Hence there is famine, poverty and greed in the land. In all I cannot forget in a hurry the great words of my friend James F. Byrnes who says that power intoxicates men. It is never voluntarily surrendered’. Our civic obligation as Imo Indigenes is to be honest, loyal and uphold the policies of good governance. Consequent upon this, we shall enjoy it desired outcome of gains and pains to enable us accept a common vision of brining back home the wish lists of preferred cities and countries like United States of America, Dubai, Japan, Germany, Malaysia, China, Cuba, Turkey and the Philippines to mention but a few in Imo. I must salute Governor Okorocha’s political will and resilience and wish him well in the remaining flash of his political sojourn as the governor of Imo State.