|Governor Rochas Okorocha|
By Kenneth Uwadi
Nigerian politicians never seize to amaze me. During pre-election period they will preach a new dawn, holding voters on their palms like raw eggs, gently, like the last raw eggs in the world. But once election is over the politicians will immediately tighten up their grips on the eggs, Just a little for a start, then a big squeeze. A little more and the hurt begins. The voters will wrench out a cry that slides around fear. The voters’ dream for a new dawn will then explode fiercely, like the head of a kitchen match, shattered.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha was ‘elected’ Governor of Imo state this year. Imolites expect him to “hit the ground running”, according to the new catch-phrase in our political lexicon. Okorocha has said it in several places that he is on a mission to rescue the state from the shackles of poverty and under-development. You would recall that the Governor during his inauguration speech laid out in broad outlines a set of objectives for transforming Imo state.
70 days after the instrument of Office was handed over to him, signals from Douglas House Owerri have failed to show any optimism that Imo will soon begin to witness the so called real progress rather Governor Okorocha has been behaving like a Papa Ajasco politician. A Papa Ajasco politician preaches sermon to the world that he is doing well for his constituency while he is busy defecating on the peoples head. Only a Papa Ajasco politician will be supervising (himself) the distribution of free kerosene to women of Owerri at the Dan Ayiam stadium and turning his back on youths in Owerri that are crying to have their jobs back.
All the enticing pre-election promises of transforming Imo State to an Eldorado within a few months appear to have become a mirage. Ndi-Imo have seen that public administration is a different kettle of tea from the management of a private enterprise where decisions by fiat are permissible. Okorocha has failed to understand that administering a state requires constant consultation with relevant stake-holders and the humility to accept advice and that is why he has so far committed so many administrative blunders.
My brother’s son ,a 10 years old, shocked me the other day. Good morning, Uncle! Ain't you heard? He asked me. Heard what? Uncle, don’t tell me you have not heard of the recent Owerri High Court judgment that Governor Rochas Okorocha has no power to sack elected Council Chairmen. Currently Imo has two Council Chairmen in each of the Councils in the state, the elected ones and the stooges appointed as Caretakers. Thanks to mal administration. The boy murmured gently over EdrisAbdulkarim’s music ‘ NigeriaJagajaga’ and left the room.
To me Governor Okorocha should resign for he has shown signs of incompetence. He has irredeemably lost authority and lost the confidence of Imolites . His polling rating has dropped drastically and he is being disliked by so many persons in so short a time .He has lost the confidence and support vital to the ability to lead, let alone to administer a state like Imo state.
Okorocha should resign for making so many administrative gaffes. He should resign for becoming dictatorial and lawless and for bringing Imo state close to anarchy. He should resign for announcing the sack of elected Council Chairmen and Councilors of Imo state despite advise from several persons .A Nigerian governor has no legal authority to sack LGA Chairmen . They are democratically elected officials of Councils and have specific period to be in office. This dissolution of elected Council officials runs contrary to the Constitution that recognizes Councils as the third tier of government.
I remember in November 2010 when the Nigerian House of Representatives condemned the dissolution of the Ekiti State Local Government Councils by Ekiti State Government before the expiration of their term of office and directed the Accountant General of the Federation to withhold all funds due the 16 Local Governments of Ekiti until the Local Government Chairman are returned to their offices. The House of Representatives also passed the resolution that federal allocation to Edo, and Ondo States be stopped until their sacked Council Chairmen are reinstated.
Okorocha must immediately resign as governor of Imo State and seek treatment for anger management. He should resign for sacking 10,000 workers legally employed by the last administration. Here is a Governor who during electioneering campaigns promised that before his first 100 days in office, he would create jobs for youths. Sadly, just 70 days into his administration, he has thrown back into the labor market 10,000 highly qualified youths. The Governor’s actions are callous. His basis for the dismissal of the 10,000 workers was that their appointments weren’t done according to due process and that they were cronies and mainly family members of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim and so he set up a joke called Jobs Verification Committee to look into the 10,000 jobs. What other due process requirement are needed.
Someone needs to remind him that the employment of the 10,000 was approved by the State House of Assembly and the state Civil Service Commission. The recruitment was conducted through due process. Advertisement was placed in national newspapers. Governor Okorocha’s decisions were taken in order to punish perceived enemies of his administration. To Okorocha what is good for Imo youths is unemployment, the angry hunger, that’s what the 10,000 Imo workers deserve for voting him into power. The 10,000 suspended workers are now at home jobless. Even the 2,035 persons he claimed to be the genuine workers out of the 10,000 have not been fix into payroll. He has continued to blame his inadequacies on lack of fund but he forgot that we know that Imo state is the 5th richest state in Nigeria
Okorocha should resign for sponsoring an illegal impeachment of Chief Goodluck Nanah Opiah as the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly with only 10 members of the House of Assembly out of 27 members just five days to the expiration of the tenure of Opiah. Imo State House of Assembly has 27 members and impeachment of the speaker in accordance with the provision of the Nigerian constitution and the House Rules require 2/3 of members of the house. Ten members were instigated by Okorocha to carry out legislative lawlessness by breaking into the chambers of the house while the house was in recess and announcing the impeachment of Opiah
Okorocha should resign for his vicious disposition to the top echelon of the state’s Civil Service and for sacking a Permanent Secretary of the Civil Service on the ground that “his Service was no longer required”. Just like that! He should resign for lobbying the State House of Assembly to pass a bill for the dissolution of the State Civil Service Commission and the Local Government Commission
Okorocha should resign for making things worse for the finance of Imo state with his over bloated cabinet. His over 150 cabinet members and committees is a perpetuation of a culture of waste. His cabinet is jobs for the boys, and each of these commissioners and aides will have a convoy of aides and they will also travel and be paid fat salaries and allowances. This is just a waste of our resources. The size of Okorocha’s cabinet is another sign of poor leadership traits.
Okorocha should resign for suspending the 106 new autonomous communities that were created by the last administration. Some indigenes who reacted over the suspension of their new traditional rulers questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision. They lamented that their communities went through due process in the selection and presentation of their traditional rulers. Okorocha has already lost the support of the 106 affected communities with an estimated population of 1.6 million.
Okorocha should resign for the removal in office of the chairman of Imo state Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya without due process and for privatizing the Imo State Transport Company (ITC). Contrary to the laws establishing the Traditional Rulers Council in Imo state which guarantee a specific tenure for Ilomuanya, the governor just woke up and removed the chairman. Go Okorocha, resign now for you have indeed failed in your obligation under the Constitution to uphold the laws of the land. Resign now
(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema ,Imo State,Nigeria)