Hon. Alex Emeziem Jnr is a former legislator of the Imo State House of Assembly who represented the Aboh Mbaise constituency from 2003 to 2007.
While at the House, he chaired the Judiciary committee. He is credited to have attracted several water projects to Aboh Mbaise and has awarded numerous scholarships and grants to indigenes through his NGO, Positve Youths League.
It is worthy to note that Hon.Alex Emeziem Jnr was the Chief sponsor of the motion that led to the establisment of the bureau for sanitation and environment (ENTRACO)
In this interview with IMO STATE BLOG, Hon. Alex Emeziem Jnr, shares his views on the 4th tier government and much more.
As a former Legislator, how would you access the Imo State House of Assembly under the Speakership of Rt.Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu?
EMEZIEM: I have said it in different fora that we don’t have a House of Assembly. Unfortunately the State does not have an effective legislature. In Parliament, its always good to have some experience in other for you to preside well. I hear the Speaker is the man in charge of road contracts in Imo. If this is true then he can never do well because he is doing an executive work instead of overseeing the executive.
Rt.Hon Kelechi Nwagwu was the Speaker during your time at the House of Assembly, how will you compare his Speakership with that of the present Speaker, Rt.Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu.
EMEZIEM: Absolutely no comparism. Benji is a commissioner according to Rochas.
What is your view on the Community government (4th Tier) being introduced in the State?
EMEZIEM: The 4th tier government is funny and doesn’t seem to make any sense to me.One would have expected the government to conduct free and fair local govt elections and give the councils all the money due to them with adequate supervision,then if the system doesn’t work, then we think of what next to do. Mind you, all the electoral wards in the state are represented by a councellor who knows what the community wants.
What are your expectations from the present Legislators? Especially those in the opposition.
EMEZIEM: I want to believe that with time they will wake up from their slumber. They should be alive to their oversight functions and to check the dictatorial tendencies of the Governor because the man seems to be a dictator.
EMEZIEM: There is a saying ” Power corrupts and, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. If the Governor is not checked, he will just go ahead and do what he is wants to. For all i know, there is no opposition to check him.
In February, PDP defeated APGA to reclaim their seat at the Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency. How would you analyze that election?
EMEZIEM: Well I would say the Mbaise nation and to a larger extent Owerri zone has made their point that they are unhappy with the APGA led government in Imo state. Particularly on the University relocation from their zone to the Governor’s village (Ogboko). Nobody can take people for granted. Once again, this goes to show that PDP is the party to beat in Imo state.
What if the issue of the relocation did not arise, would it have made any difference?
EMEZIEM: Truly it would have been a different ball game. It was a very strong campaign massage used effectively by PDP. Almost all politicians worth their salt in Mbaise were for PDP including those of APGA and ACN eg: Alex Obi, Sen.Chris Anyanwu etc
Irrespective of party affiliations, was it surprising that a seating Governor was unable to deliver his party in 2 local governments ?
EMEZIEM: (Laughter) That shows you how grounded he is.
There have been a lot of changes in the State over the past few months. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, how would you rate the performance of the Okorocha Administration?
EMEZIEM: Five (5).
Why did you settle for this number?
EMEZIEM: I settled for this number because the Governor seems to have good intentions for the state but unfortunately, he doesnt seem to know how to go about achieveing it and doesnt have the right team to help him out. If he doesn’t get the right team and continues on this his 4th tier government, I see him heading for destruction.
Already, there is so much confusion in the system. People do not know the direction or vision of his government. Civil servants are confused and disillutioned because they dont understand how they are expected to work with their Ezes who do not understand the ethics of civil service.
There is total lack of trasperency in the way government is doing business. He is going into projects that are very unnecessary eg the 3 five star hotels…. whats that for? The level of his budget deficit is unheard of. It’s too high.
In your opinion, what should be the Governors priority at this time?
EMEZIEM: Well the Governors major priority at this time should be on Job creation, Security and Massive infrastrucral development.
Massive infrastructural development he seems to be doing well even though I have my reservations on the quality of these jobs and the method in which those contracts are being awarded.
On Job creation, the Governor is doing very poorly. He started by sacking 10,000 employees of the government. One would think that he should have even doubled that number considering the kind of massive unemployment in Imo.
I personally think that Imo people need more of employment than the FREE Education he is offering. How can you be thinking of producing a lot more graduates when the ones that passed out 10 yrs ago are still unemployed?.
He has come with massive taxation when you have not even bothered to ask the business community that are providing jobs for your citizens what their challenges are and if at all the are making profit. I see businesses closing down if these taxes and levies are not reviewed.
Security is also a major challenge for him. I keep wondering how kidnapping will be reduced to the bearest minimum in Abia only for it to topple astronomically in Imo.
Imagine a former no.3 man in the state, Rt Hon Dikeocha has been held by kidnappers for several weeks and up till this moment, the government has made no statement. No efforts to the best of my knowledge and you expect people to come home and invest when those with Police escorts are kidnapped?
I will advice him to wake up on security.
What are some of the suggestions you can recommend in order to move the State forward?
EMEZIEM: I will advice the goverment to convene a state summit where stakeholders in the state will come together and aticulate these his strange policies and programs with the aim of keying into it.
He has time now to make amends otherwise he will end up as the Governor who had the best of intentions for his people but ended up not performing well.
Tell us more about your NGO, Positive Youths League.
EMEZIEM: As the name implies, its about getting the youths to think positively. We are focused on the less privileged youths. We want to encourage them to do the right thing with the right attitude. For those who want to go to school but drop out because their families cannot their school fees, we grant them scholarship to continue.
What is the criteria for awarding scholarship to these youths?
EMEZIEM: For one, they have to be from low income families and show interest in returning to school. They must also be of a good behaviour.
Thank you, Hon.Emeziem for sharing your views with us. All the best with the NGO.
EMEZIEM: You’re welcome, Joi. Thank you.