I remember the joy in Imo State when Owelle Rochas Okorocha was declared winner of the Imo State Guber Elections. I was on my way back from Onitsha and as I drove into town, I saw people running on the streets shouting for joy. The people choice for once have been answered. Nobody knew Udenwa when he won the elections in 1999. Almost everybody voted Izuogu but Udenwa was installed for us and we kept quiet. Ohakim was even worse. I think I started seeing his poster after he was installed and declared winner. Before then, nobody knew him. So the people had the right to shout with joy when their choice was finally taken and Rochas declared winner. The euphoria is gradually dying down.
At Imo ADP, everybody used to love the guy even before he was declared winner. I remember a particular guy who made himself Rochas’ spokesman at Imo ADP. I don’t think the fire is still burning in him after the events that have been happening since the “People’s choice” came to power. Ask him whether his salary has been regular and he would scoff. It had been more regular during the dictatorship and dracular regime of Chief Ikedi Ohakim than the “Godly” people’s resuce regime of Owelle.
Ask those civil servants who dared Ohakim for the sake of Rochas what they think now and you won’t find that enthusiasim that used to be there anymore. In the civil service, I pity the 10,000 youths most. They bit the fingers that fed them and instead of voting Ohakim, more than 90% of them along with their families voted Rochas who they perseived to be a better deal than their benefactor. They are still smarting and cursing their luck for their mistake.
Is there something in that seat at Douglas House that makes anybody that sits on it totally insensitive? Ohakim came with promise. Imolites were clearly afraid of Ararume after Obasanjo’s neck-cutting demonstration and we didn’t protest or bother when a nobody was thrown into the helms of affairs of the state. He really had promise, procured cars and buses to ease our transport problems but his mouth was one of his major shortcomings and that was one of the reasons why when the priest’s saga happened people and his opponents used it to crusify him. He also had very bad advisers, something that became clear at the twilight period of his regime. He should know me if he scrolls through the blackberry phone he was using during the election as he personally replied one of my mails to him where I point blankly told him where he was doing wrong and where he was doing right. I will do the same with Owelle and I would not fear. God will frown at me if I keep mum as things spin out of control.
Owelle said on the issue of 10,000 jobs “I will deliver”, has he delivered? Some narrow-minded insensitive people like him probably those gaining favors from him will disagree with me. Owelle said he will pay higher minimum wage than even the Federal Govt, has he delivered? If so why are civil servants on strike? Owelle said he will procure books and school uniforms for school children, has he delivered? I still find it morally irresponsible and misleading young minds when we start teaching them about taking money, tomorrow they will become very corrupt and that seed of corruption is being sowed today. Children should know that hardwork is the way to making money because when the handouts stop, they’ll have to look for an alternative definitely criminal source for the stipends.
By the way when we produce all these children, where is the jobs for them? Instead of retire those too old civil servants and make way for young minds, Owelle sacked young minds (10,000) and retained the old ones who he probably hopes won’t be problem for him when he starts his manouvers in the civil service. Probably he intends to create educated keke riders or educated criminals. Didn’t we notice a decline in crime when those 10,000 youths were working. There is a pride in anybody to wake up and go to work even though they were not paid much.
What about all these white elephant projects springing up everywhere. Remodelling Owerri is a good thing, but is due process followed? Are the contract value honestly and truthfully quoted or are they avenues to legally steal money?
Those gates quoted at 5million and above still troubles me so much. For structures not worth up to 1million I’m wondering if Owelle and his cronies aren’t doing the exact things he accused Ohakim of. After the gates are completed they will be manned, probably by the red and black uniforms I had seen in Owerri wil mayorial affairs written on them. Who will pay them? definitely not your taxes my dear people, you will be made to pay tolls at those gates before you pass. A lot of money to be made. So many will abandon their cars and keke and transport prices will increase.The story about curtailing kidnapping with gates is baseless because a well armed criminal cannot be stopped by gates which he will just shoot through.
Another laughable issue is this fourth tier of government. Where did this man learn his government administration from? Even in Eliza’s country (Britain) the monarchy does not interfer in government and civil service. An Eze has died and another was kidnapped even my uncle who is traditional prime minister was attacked after he came to the radio to boast about N5million he was going to give them to pay salaries. He is not only corrupting our young minds but intending to corrupt our royals; what is the root of all evil?
I fear for Imo. My people are blinded by a fasade which for some people is now wearing thin.