|Governor Rochas Okorocha|
By Kenneth Uwadi
I read a Sun Newspaper article written by Godson Offoaro where he said that Rochas Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State ate his lunch by wrestling power out of the hands of Ikedi Ohakim. I ‘do bale’ at Offoaro’s style of trying to get another lunch pack, this time from the Prophet of Rescue, the man with shinning white buba and red cap by speaking sweet talks and shouting ‘Rankadede’. With the confidence of his gift of the pen, Godson Offoaro with the spirit of ‘any government in power’ invoked the highest hypocrisy by trumpeting and advertising sham accomplishments of the Imo State Governor. One of Okorocha’s accomplishments according to the gospel of Offoaro is the tarring of roads. Missing in his claims is the poor quality of the roads that Okorocha has tarred.
Offoaro failed to tell us that our Governor poured ‘coal tar’ on sand to give the appearance that roads have been tarred. He failed to tell us that Imo State has a proper way of awarding contracts such that it must take a tender board to put up adverts for contractors to apply. He failed to tell us that Okorocha did not follow due process of putting up invitation for tender in awarding the so called road contracts. He failed to tell us that contractors were not invited, screened or shortlisted for the road contracts. He failed to tell us that the contracts were awarded to friends and relatives as their own share of Imo State cake.
Going against the law in other to compensate friends and relatives will end up inflicting more harm than good to the scheme and system of things. Why must we be pouring ‘coal tar’ on sand in Owerri when the rural areas where over 90 percent of ‘Imolites’ are living are not accessible? .It is only a professional sycophant that will feel duty bound to cheer a Governor to failure because of a lunch pack. Reading Offoaro , you will think that there were no roads and services before Okorocha came to power. We all know that Okorocha is currently battling to resuscitate his dwindling popularity. We all know that he has contracted many Spin Doctors to build fake mass support for his deceitful activities. But no amount of spin from his Spin Doctors will disguise the fact that he has not performed well so far.
Can the Spin Doctors erase the fact that Okorocha is looting our LGA funds? Okorocha sacked democratically elected LGA Chairmen and Councillors and appointed Sole Administrators for our LGA’s. The Sole Administrators are his agents for diverting our LGA funds for his personal use. Today, the Councils in Imo State are dysfunctional. Nothing is happening in over 90 percent of Imo State Councils. Our LGA funds are held hostage and we are deprived the opportunity to function democratically. Instead of conducting Council election in Imo State our Governor says he is into LGA reforms and that our LGA’s will soon be called Committee of Government Councils where each Council in Imo will be headed by a Traditional Ruler and members will be LGA Sole Administrators, Town Union Presidents, Women Leaders and Youth Leaders .
Okorocha’s praise singers should please tell him that we don’t need his unconstitutional Committee of Government Councils. We need LGA election in Imo State. They should tell him to stop looting our LGA funds. He must hands off Council funds so that our Councils can begin to thrive as expected. Unless our LGA’s are free to govern self, we have no grassroots democracy. We must permit the LGA’s to elect their own leaders, who in turn can embark on developing their areas. We must stop denying the people governance at the third tier.
Only a professional sycophant will sing the praise of a Governor whose policies have been changing like the British weather. Okorocha has made so many promises that he did not fulfil. For example, he promised to pay 20,000 naira minimum wage to Imo State Civil Servants instead of the Federal Government approved 18,000 naira. He has since failed to pay the 20,000 naira minimum wage. During one of his showmanship events in Owerri recently, Okorocha with his gift of gab spoke to Civil Servants of the State telling them that Civil Servants in the State can beat their chest that their salaries come to them by 25th of every month and their 20,000 naira minimum wage has been paid, The Governor was interrupted with shouts of No! It is a lie! The Civil Servants shouted Rochas down for telling lies yet professional sycophant are praising him.
Only a professional sycophant will sing the praise of a Governor who has crippled all Ministries, Department and Agencies of government in the State by starving them of funds. Okorocha directed all Ministries in the State to generate money to run their Ministries themselves which has resulted to over taxing of Imo people. Okorocha’s government now churns out multiple taxation and harsh levies on Imo citizens using indecent task forces and unethical conducts. The question is whether the Ministries can really fund themselves. LGA’s cannot even generate enough revenues to run their affairs not to talk of Ministries. What is happening to the allocation of the State? Who is looting what?
Only a professional sycophant will sing the praise of a Governor who since he came into office has not being able to create jobs for Imo youths rather he sacked 10,000 Imo State graduates in the State Civil Service. Okorocha has no reason to sack the workers other than he is anti-people and anti-workers .When decisions made and actions taken directly deflates job creation, the result is always more problems for the citizens .Imo State is regarded as the 5th richest state in Nigeria and it is not difficult to pay salaries to the 10,000. Tell me why we can't help these poor youths.
The same man who told us that Imo will have problems in paying salaries to the sacked 10,000 workers is the same man that is now boasting everywhere that Imo State has money and went ahead to declare free education for tertiary schools in Imo state. Governing Imo State is not Rochas Foundation, neither is it Baba Sala's nkwobi and pepper soup joint were we dish out alms to the poor. Promising free education to Imo tertiary students is playing to the gallery. Free education for Imo tertiary students as announced by Okorocha few days ago is another Nollywood drama. It is another deceit. I say so because Okorocha will never sustain the free education for tertiary schools. He knows that sustaining the free education policy in tertiary schools in Imo State will make Imo to run into difficult financial circumstances. What Okorocha should have done is to reduce tuition fees. The Governor is responsible for the State’s fiscal health, and cannot afford to run negative balances. He must restore taxpayers’ confidence that their naira are being used wisely and in the best interests of all people. He should be honest to the people and stop playing to the gallery.
The professional sycophants should tell Okorocha to sack his present cabinet if he wants to succeed. The fact of the matter is that Okorocha’s cabinet which is his toolbox has unfit tools in it and he needs better tools. His unfit tools are the cause of his administration’s political missteps. He should do away with the unfit tools in his toolbox and get better ones. Some of those in his cabinet are spent forces. They have no ideas on how to lift the state to an enviable height. I am of the view that his cabinet is overdue for a shake-up. Sacking his cabinet has become very imperative in order to inject fresh blood that will correct all his administrative missteps.
What is the Commissioner that collected 5 million naira bribe from his classmate as reported in the media still doing in government. What about the Commissioner that was slapped by a sex hawker at a high flying night club in Owerri. What about those that advised Okorocha to relocate IMSU sited in Owerri to of all places, Ogboko, his village in Orlu zone. Okorocha should surround himself with people with sound ideas of how to put ‘Imolites’ into jobs; people who have the passion and capacity to develop the state; people who can look him in the face and challenge him on the workability of the state, people that will remind him that the sycophants around him will not remember him beyond the present if he does not leave behind concrete and credible achievements.
(Uwadi Wrote From Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)