Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Article: Governor Okorocha And Oguta Council Funds

Governor Okorocha

By Kenneth Uwadi
I remember Fela Kuti. I so much love Fela's Afrobeat which he originated and perfected from African highlife, rhythm, percussion and jazz. They made him connect with contemporary events in Nigeria that it became understandable why working class elements clamored for his music laced with penetrating political messages. I remember his lyrics in Confusion-Break-Bone (CBB), one of the mid-1980s hit series that also included the Beast-of-No-Nation (BONN). Fela sang "If something good I go sing about am. But nothing good self to sing about’’
Julian Assange also said ‘’a great number of those working for liberal causes are not only shy but borderline collusive. They want change to happen nicely, and it won't. They want decency to come about without anybody suffering or being embarrassed, and it won't. And most of all they want to give many of the enemies of open government the benefit of the doubt, and I don't. It's not just a difference of approach, it's a complete schism in our respective philosophy. You can't go about disclosure in the hope that it won't spoil anybody's dinner.”
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi once said that the reason that political office holders steal funds is because citizens have never confronted or stoned them (including himself) for the act. At a tribute event for Nelson Mandela in Lagos last year, Mr. Amaechi said Nigerians have not shown enough aggression or resistance against stealing by political office holders."Even the musicians, you're singing about us, the stealing leaders. If you see a thief and you allow him to be stealing, he will steal more. You have stoned nobody that's why we are stealing. Who have you stoned? We came out and you will be dancing and clapping for us ?." Amaechi said.
I have summoned up courage and I have been showing my frustrations on the miss governance taking place in Imo State. I have been stoning the political thieving vampires in Imo with my weekly articles. I am fully aware that the Imo State Government of Owelle Rochas Okorocha in Nigeria is seriously looking for me, to arrest me, frame me up and remand me in prison custody for my whistle blowing activities. They have recruited 21 youths in the state and are paying them N50,000 naira a month to attack me on social media. They have also collected my full security details and planted spies in my community to monitor my movement just because I say stop this stealing of Imo monies.
Wastage and corruption at the expense of the welfare of the working people seem to be more virulent in Imo state than the other south-eastern states of Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia. The state of things in Imo’s 27 LGA’s is a direct reflection of Okorocha’s commitment to enslaving the people, a situation reminiscent of biblical Israelites in bondage in Egypt. Nothing is fundamentally working out in our LGA’s ; no light, no water, no security, no social infrastructure, in fact no life. One man has squandered 132 billion naira that came to our LGA’s from May 2011 till Deceember  2013. This one man is Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Due to the deep social inequality and extreme wealth polarisation, non-existent public infrastructures, record levels of unemployment and shameless corruption that characterise Imo State today, it does not require the gift of clairvoyance to know that there is a wellspring of feelings and desire for "revolutionary" change of leadership in Imo State. Truly, Humpty Dumpty must fall down in Imo State in 2015.
Even some members of the ruling elite in Imo have voiced this same opinion expressing this fear. So huge is the level of economic and political failure of the ruling political party in Imo at the grassroot areas of the state that, if given a clear cut social political alternative, the overwhelming majority of Imolites will unhesitatingly put an immediate end of the Okorocha’s  government.
I must confess that the looting of council funds in Imo State by Governor Rochas Okorocha is totally unjustifiable and unacceptable. No wonder Popular Musician Charly Boy told the world that Okorocha does not have the moral right to speak at his father’s burial. Charly Boy is from Oguta an oil producing LGA in Imo State that Okorocha squandered 16billion naira being 13 percent oil derivation funds for 3 years. Okorocha displayed eye service in the National dailies with the Oputa burial just to buoy his ego and selfish political interests. The irony of this madness in that Okorocha who should cover his face in shame for looting 132 billion naira funds of the 27 Imo LGA’s in 3 years including 16 billion naira 13 percent oil derivation funds of Imo oil areas of which Oguta is one, is the one who came out to deliver an oration for the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. Trust Charly Boy, he snatched the microphone from him.
Indeed Okorocha lacks the moral right to speak at Oputa’s burial. Justice Oputa was a man of justice, equity and rule of law. He was not corrupt. How can a man who for three years of his government refused to allow democracy to exist in the 27 local government councils of Imo state pay tribute to the late judge?
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for elected council men . Other neighboring states have elected men and women in their councils. The governor has deprived the grassroots in Imo, democracy and is squandering funds belonging to them . The result of lack of elected council men in our LGA’s is comatose LGA’s begging to be attended to. Lack of basic amenities has made these LGA’s a ghost environment. Yet Okorocha came out to deliver an oration for the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. Who is fooling who?
From May 2011 to December 2011 Oguta LGA received from FG as allocation the sum of 1,255,503,784.06 . Where is the money? From January 2012 to December 2012 Oguta LGA received from FG as allocation the sum of 1,785,726,614.69. Where is the money? From January 2013 to December 2013 Oguta LGA received from FG as allocation the sum of 1,973,644,871.08 making a total of 5,014,875,269.83 (from 2011 to 2013) Where are all the monies? Imagine what Oguta LGA will look like by now if all these monies were used for the development of Oguta.
We are angry over the lack of financial discipline in government . We are angry with over invoicing in government running into millions of naira, lack of audit inspection of government establishment, huge payments for contract jobs not executed, double debiting, Lack of receipts to cover payments, contract inflation especially on road contracts in Imo State. We are angry with the irritating pain of driving on potholes riddles roads in Imo State month after month and year after year and angry with the no power supply to Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta for 3 years now, the unbearable experience of lack of potable water in many parts of the State as well as the pocketing of the entire allocation of the various councils in Imo State. Even Oguta State Constituency in Imo State has not produced its representative to the Imo State House of Assembly since after the 2011 general election .
Oguta people is this fair? Yet this man wants us to re elect him again in 2015. This weekend we will talk about Owerri West LGA funds Find below the breakdown of money for Oguta LGA’s from May 2011 to December 2013 that was squandered by Governor Okorocha and his LGA caretaker chairman.
May 2011 N91,700,168.94
June 2011 N125,686,939.49
July 2011 N230,723,931.31
Aug 2011 N130,460,408.52
Sept 2011 N132,353,741.89
Oct 2011 N155,997,859.48
Nov 2011 N236,444,105.50
Dec 2011 N152,136,628.93
Jan 2012 N155,997,859.48
Feb 2012 N236,444,105.50
March 2012 N152,136,628.93
April 2012 N134,312,549.86
May 2012 N133,381,662.50
June 2012 N133,561,489.76
July 2012 N127,210,834.90
Aug 2012 N164,308,818.97
Sept 2012 N127,460,649.39
Oct 2012 N125,694,143.13
Nov 2012 N166,370,613.44
Dec 2012 N220,580,939.03
Jan 2013 N165,274,650.05
Feb 2013 N135,221,644.93
March 2013 N168,638,757.13
April 2013 N169,355,608.53
May 2013 N179,897,919.51
June 2013 N185,653,855.35
July 2013 N141,797,554.96
Aug 2013 N166,358,315.35
Sept 2013 N141,543,950.90
Oct 2013 N127,460,649.39
Nov 2013 N155,997,859.48
Dec 2013 N236,444,105.50
(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)