In his characteristic bizarre manner of administration, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, last week, declared a two-week Christmas holiday for civil servants in the State. The governor also doled out N500 million Christmas bonanza to officers and men of all security agencies in the State in appreciation of their crime fighting effort. This holiday has caused some ripples among stakeholders in the State with some of them questioning the rationale for such whimsical action.
Already, the Imo State chapter of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call the governor to order. We are amazed by this rascality and brazen show of power. What the governor has done is not good for governance in the State. Shutting down the already fragile Imo economy for two weeks will cause more harm than good to the people. It does not make sense at all. This is not how governance is conducted. Okorocha should understand that governance is a serious business that should not in any way be trivialized. There are laid down rules and conventions of governing a State.
Whimsical actions as the governor has exhibited are outside the official norms of governance. It is high time he learnt the ropes of governance and stop embarrassing himself and the good people of the State with his frequent, immature and irrational actions. This is not the first time Okorocha is acting in this manner. Some time ago, he authorized all the Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS) in the 27 local governments in the state to proceed on compulsory leave to thwart attempts by elected council officials from taking control of the councils as ruled by the court. His fourth tier government and the grandiose plan to build three universities at the same time are some of the ill-digested policies.
Doling out N500 million to all security agencies in the State where crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping have consistently been on the rise is the height of Okorocha’s utter confusion and misplacement of priority. It is absurd that the governor did this in a period the State witnessed, as government admitted, 57 cases of kidnapping and unstated number of robbery incidents. We believe that the crime situation in Imo is more than what the government has admitted in view of our poor statistical culture. Therefore, Okorocha’s largesse on security agencies is not the best way to spend the tax payers’ money.
This huge amount of money should have been deployed in assisting the security agencies with equipment and other logistics that would increase their capacity to ameliorate the deplorable criminality in the State. That is exactly how other state governors assist the police and other security agencies in their domain and not the splashing of mouth-watering cash gifts. The Imo State legislature should wake up from its deep slumber and check some of Okorocha’s excesses.
It has, since the inception of this administration, acted as a rubber stamp. The beauty of democratic governance, especially the presidential system the country is practising, is that it allows room for checks and balances among the three arms of government—the executive, judiciary and the legislature. The expected checks from the legislative arm in this political dispensation are virtually absent. It is not good for democracy in the State.
The governor should not be allowed to get away with his anti-people policies. Okorocha should sit up and deliver to Imo citizens the expected democracy dividends, especially those he promised during electioneering campaigns. He should desist forthwith from all manner of laughable policies that add no value to governance in the State.