PART 2: Okorocha, where are the jobs in Imo State? – Kenneth Uwadi

The Supreme Court has given its judgment on the Imo State gubernatorial election petition and Owelle Rochas Okorocha is still the occupant of Douglas House Owerri.

The Supreme Court had upheld Okorocha’s election upon the technical claim that the appeal elapsed the required 60 days as provided by the law.The governor and his cronies celebrated the Supreme Court victory .They shouted in boyish delight, popped Champagne bottles and danced in government House Owerri. In hoarse macho voices, they sang victory songs.

In his victory speech, our governor jumped up, boxed in and ‘talk the talk’ about how he is making Imo State an El Dorado and described his victory as a victory for democracy and a victory for Imo people. He banged his fist on the table and beat his chest about how he is making Imo State a model State and asked critics to give him a breathing space to work. He lambasted critics saying that they are sponsored to paint his administration black. ‘’If they have some criticisms why don’t they watch me for four years’’, he said.

 

I have been smiling many, many times ever since I heard this information .For me it is good governance that I am fighting for. My interest is human progress and the progress of Imo people. The wake-up call to vigilance cannot come at a better time than now.

Every high profile public servant is like a gold fish. He has no hiding place. His actions will be scrutinized every minute. Like Dr Emenike Nwankwo once said “ Our duty is not to support Okorocha the man no matter what. Our duty is to support what is good for Imo people .If he moves along the line of making Imo what we expect, we will give him our full support’’.

 

Okorocha cannot claim good governance when he is not creating jobs.He should not expect praise when he is sending the people out of jobs. Imo State unemployment rate is high. Thousands of Imolites are willing to work but are not employed. Unemployment is the number one issue in Imo state today. In an SP poll, 89 percent of Imo citizens cited unemployment as the state’s most important problem. Imo people need jobs. That is how they can put food on the table.

Every day, thousands of our unemployed brothers and sisters , including those who lost their jobs due to the sack of the 10,000 jobs, scan the pages of newspapers and websites for job advertisements. Why can’t we create jobs in Imo State ? Unemployed graduates, unemployed construction workers, unemployed engineers, unemployed teachers, unemployed security guards, unemployed cooks, unemployed waiters and those desperate for a job in Imo can no longer wait. Job is number one priority in Imo State and Okorocha cannot continue to confuse Imo people with some false claims and abracadabra.The question remains where are the jobs in Imo State?

 

He should stop being over desperate for people’s applause and give the people jobs. He sacked the beneficiaries of the 10,000 jobs. He should recall the sacked 10,000 legally employed civil servants in Imo state. His inability to create jobs for Imo youths is unacceptable. We want to know how many graduates in Imo State owe their jobs to his efforts. We want to know what new facilities are underway to serve as a job base for the people of Imo State. We what to see him build industries, schools, bridges, water systems, electricity networks and other projects in our LGA’s that facilitate job creation.We want to see him build good roads in our LGA’s not the coal tar that he is pouring on sand in Owerri in the name of roads.

 

He should stop making unimaginable promises that we know he cannot fulfill . He should stop the window dressing to attract undeserved applause.He said he will give scholarship of N25,000.00 per annum to every primary school pupil in the state; N40,000.00 scholarship to every secondary school student in the state; N60,000 scholarship for every OND student of the state Polytechnic; N80,000.00 scholarship per annum for every HND student and N100,000.00 scholarship for every Imo State indigene studying at the Imo state University in addition to receiving tuition free.

 

 

According to a Professor at Imo State University, out of over 35,000 student enrolment at the Imo State University, about 31,500 are indigenes of Imo State. It will cost the state about N3.5 billion to offer scholarship to the University students as proposed; N416 million for Polytechnic students; and N21 billion for primary and secondary school students, each year.This comes to about N24.9 billion per annum. The average annual income of the state is N 34 billion. Can you see the abracadabra? How will he sustain the free education? Why does he believe that Imo people are this daft?

 

We are not comfortable with the directive that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Imo State should engage in commercial activities in order to generate their salaries and allowances. Subventions to the MDAs in Imo state have been completely withdrawn which has resulted to over taxing of Imo people. Imo government now churns out multiple taxation and harsh levies on Imo citizens using indecent task forces and unethical conducts.

 

We are not comfortable that Okorocha has not paid Imo State Civil servants the so-called N20, 000 minimum wage. My sources told me that Imo Civil servants are receiving only N11,000 salary for grade level one. Imo workers are afraid to voice out this truth for fear of victimization. We have not seen any movement by Labour Union in Imo State to address the challenges faced by workers in the state. This is totally unfair and shows that Labour in Imo State has no sense of concern about the plights of workers in the state. It should pain and worry NLC in Imo state that workers are hurting.

 

 

We are not comfortable that he has not redeemed his N100million development fund to each of the LGAs in Imo. What about the N1billion that he also promised to each of the LGAs? He has so far not redeemed these pledges to the LGA’s. Where will he even get the money from? Was it budgeted for? He talks too loudly and too often without fulfillment.

 

 

We are not comfortable that no development is happening in over 90 percent of Imo State Councils. Why are our LGA funds held hostage and why are we deprived the opportunity to function democratically at the grassroots? Why can’t we have council election in Imo State? Why must we be deceiving Imo people every month about the allocation given to LGA’s. Do the LGA’s really receive the advertised amount? He should conduct council election.Who is fooling who? Save us o’ God.

 

 

Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State, Nigeria

 

 

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