Friday, 29 August 2014

Article: Details Of Imo State Council Funds Squandered By Governor Rochas Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha

By Kenneth Uwadi

I must confess that we are approaching the end of Governor Okorocha’s tenure and he has completely failed to meet the hopes and aspirations of unemployed youths in Imo State. Even the democratic rights which the poor working masses of Imo State enjoyed during the last administration of the state were withheld by this authoritarian Governor. May 2011 till date have shown a monumental failure of the capitalist thieving Governor Okorocha who has proved to be incapable in the areas of youth empowerment, health care and infrastructural development. This is in spite of the fact that the mentioned years witnessed the longest run of oil money in the history of Imo. In other words, the state got very huge financial allocation from FG in Okorocha’s tenure , much more than any period since the history of Imo State. But there has been nothing fundamental to show for it in term of employment, infrastructure and grass root development.
This is as a result of the grab all mentality of Okorocha and his anti poor, anti peoples philosophy which discourages social spending and sold public properties to himself under the guise of private-sector driven economy. This itself is corruption as the huge revenue at the disposal of the government is not primarily meant, in the eyes of Owelle Okorocha to be spent on the welfare of the people. Therefore the money was just there for looting. Even when money is allocated to a sector or project it is not used for the public good but to gratify the greedy top government functionaries and their fronts. The road projects and what is happening in the 27 LGA’s of Imo State under the Okorocha’s government readily come to mind as one of the several examples of colossal looting of the Imo treasury. I have talked about the looting of the 13 percent oil derivation fund of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta and the looting of the 27 LGA funds in Imo State. Today I will tell you the amount looted in the 27 LGA's of Imo from May 2011 to December 2013.

This man is now more than power drunk and has become used to looting of Imo State monies and doesn’t want to vacate in 2015 and give way to the next occupier. He wants to be a permanent occupier of the number-one sit of Imo so that he would continue to undo Imo as he wishes by all means. The loquacious Sam Onwuemeodo is busy defending him. Occasionally “political journeyman” Ikenna Ogbonna will lend a helping hand in their attempts to pool wool over the eyes of Imolites. No amount of ostrich defence of Okorocha will work in 2015 as even secondary school pupils at the grass root areas of the State are not happy with his unpopular policies that directly influence the compounding absolute poverty ravaging Imo . More than three years have gone and Owelle has left us with unprecedented nostalgia of his unpalatable leadership in Imo.

Sam Onwuemeodo i ask you: is development in Imo State only about Owerri? Why is Owelle squandering our LGA monies? It is all over the news that this Governor is giving a monthly donation of 1 million naira Imo State money to every State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria . His Liaising Officer in Katsina and Zamfara States, Prince Bashir Uwakwue told newsmen. While the masses in Imo State groan under excruciating poverty, this Governor continues to embark on frivolous donations with Imo public money. Millions of naira Imo State money is going out to other States as dash while many Imolites don’t have access to pipe born water. Is this not wickedness?

Also this same Governor is currently spending millions of naira Imo State money on advertorials in several Nigerian Newspapers including in Yoruba and Hausa tabloids as well as in AIT and Channels Television projecting himself as a performing Governor. The monies he is spending on frivolities are the ones sent by FG to develop our local government areas .This is aside from the fabulous salaries, allowances and contracts that are being given to his wife and siblings yet he is saying that there is not enough money to provide jobs for Imo youths.

Have you ever heard of a one man state in Nigeria? A State where only one man has converted its funds into a family enterprise while governing the State with impunity and totalitarianism not minding or giving a hoot how the people felt? If you have not, I present to you Imo State, a State whose current Governor strongly believes, and he plays it out, at every opportunity, that Imo is under his pocket. A State where only the members of the capitalist thieving cabal have enough money to meet their obscene, opulent life styles. Whenever they are not busy looting the treasury via fake and over bloated contract deals, with their local and foreign business partners and companies, they will be busy using their privileged position to award to themselves, wives and siblings outrageously fat salaries, allowances and contracts including looting of council funds.

This same Governor recently acquired houses in Germany and Turkey with public money. His other house in the US that he acquired recently alone is estimated at $1.9million. This same Governor is spending millions of naira junketing the globe and entertaining his friends and political associates in Nigeria and abroad leaving Imo State youths without jobs. If Okorocha is not in Kaduna attending meetings with this and that , he is in USA meeting his fleshy needs, things that has little to do with Imo state administration. Besides the cost of these trips so far is over 800 million naira Imo tax payers money. Yet there is no money to pay the 10,000 sacked workers in Imo State. To this governor Imo youths don’t deserve employment. To him Imo youths should forget about jobs. To him our LGA’s should remain in comatose forever.

Okorocha is the worst thing that has happened to Imo State. Any person, who wants to know why i say boldly that Okorocha is the worst thing that has happened to Imo , should visit any of the local government areas in the State. Are local government councils in Imo performing their functions? The answer is no. Today local government areas in Imo numbering 27 in all have not been run by a democratically elected Chairmen and Councilors as provided for in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but the ugly cat and mouse game by Okorocha’s administration is that huge sums of money allocated to each Local Government Area running above 132 billion Naira by the Federal Government remains unaccounted for while no developmental project have been carried out in any community by the State and Local Government since 2011, the result is a comatose rural area begging to be attended to, but in all questions as it concerns non conducting of Local Government Elections in Imo State include, what has been done with these funds , what projects have been carried by the Joint Account committee, a body which Imo State Government claims warehouses and manages Local Government funds.

Local government areas are supposed to be the engines of national development. A quiet rural community grows into a bustling city, and the local leader makes this possible. Local governments, at least deal with grassroots politics (keeping law and order, basic sanitation, constructing and maintaining local roads, supplying water, administering local schools, providing skill training and employment for residents, et cetera). Why must we suffer this much at the hands of Okorocha.I am writing not by insinuation or to achieve any personal political ambition but just to enlighten Imolites and wake them from slumber. Where are our LGA monies?

Do we allow this man that has destroyed our LGA’s to continue in Imo beyond 2015? Do we allow this man that has deprived us the right to democratically elect our council leaders to rule us again? Do we vote again for this man that has destroyed the town union system in Imo State and destroyed our councils ? Mouthing of empty clichés such as “Owelle is working ”, ‘we are rescuing Imo’, ‘’we can rescue Nigeria’’ by this administration cannot take the place of allowing Imolites a bite at true democracy. It is time for Imolites to pull their heads out of the sand and see the damage done to us as we put hands together to show this man the way out in 2015.

What happened to our LGA funds from 2011 to 2013? Some of the LGA’s in Imo State received above 4 billion naira in 3 years while others received above 5 billion naira in 3 years. Where are the monies? Find below the total amount of money that came from FG to each of the 27 LGA’s in Imo State from May 2011 to December 2013 and tell me how you see your own LGA today as per development.

Aboh Mbaise LGA = 5,592,914,085.45
Ahiazu Mbaise LGA = 4,893,694,597.34
Ehime Mbano LGA = 4,725,559,182.63
Ezinihitte LGA = 4,997,483,173.94
Ideato North LGA= 5,093,265,185.62
Ideato South LGA = 5,012,503,586.88
Ihitte Uboma LGA = 4,626,105,741.15
Ikeduru LGA = 4,995,560,424.90
Isiala Mbano LGA= 5,577,420,777.89
Isu LGA = 5,011,558,318.56
Mbaitoli LGA= 5,900,278,353.78
Ngor /Okpala LGA= 5,182,836,304.63
Njaba LGA= 4,819,954,493.86
Nwangele LGA= 4,659,850,212.82
Nkwerre LGA= 4,085,707,232.35
Obowo LGA= 4,462,812,258.27
Oguta LGA= 5,014,875,269.83
Ohaji/Egbema LGA= 5,373,005,346.51
Okigwe LGA= 4,804,445,947.19
Onuimo LGA= 4,371,098,781.40
Orlu LGA = 4,759,790,822.05
Orsu LGA = 4,547,088,244.85
Oru East LGA= 4,706,100,105.04
Oru West LGA= 4,646,145,112.23
Owerri Municipal LGA= 4,622,099,470.68
Owerri North LGA= 5,103,710,965.71
Owerri West LGA= 4,782,559,065.16

(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)

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