Re: Agony of a privatised state

17

BY MARCELLUS EKWEZUO

My attention has been drawn to Ethelbert Okere’s “Agony of A privatised State” published on page 19 of the Daily Sun of April 3, 2013 and in some other Imo State-based tabloids.

In the said write up, Dr. Okere literally went on a wild goose chase hinging his arguments primarily on his alleged Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha’s “disdain for due process”  and diversion of public funds through [what he referred to as]“nonexistent contracts without documentation.”

Ordinarily, one is not bothered by the rabble – rousing of a drowning hag or disturbed by the yelling of a lone captain whose ineptitude and negligence orchestrated his sinking with his ship. Okere’s publication, however, drew the ire of all well meaning Nigerians and Imolities in particular owing to the wide publicity his irrational article was given through the sponsorship of Imo people’s avowed enemies (who seem to have sworn not to see or say anything good about the ongoing rescue of the good people of Imo state).

It is unarguable that what Dr. Ethelbert Okere may be referring to as non-compliance with due process by the Rescue administration is a misconception and misconstruction of the speed with which Governor Okorocha follows “due process” and gets myriads of people-oriented projects in Imo State executed!

This baffles them!  Governor Rochas Okorocha follows due process in all its ramifications.

What he may rightly accuse Governor Okorocha of in this regard is that the Owelle does not follow what I may call “Criminal Due Process” which characterises the greater percentage of the PDP-led administrations nationwide! If Dr. Okere is telling the world that he and his sponsors are not happy that his boss, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, a one time, one tenure Governor of Imo state, was humiliated out of rulership eternally by people of Imo State; or if Dr. Okere is telling his readers that they felt ashamed and dwarfed by the towering strides of His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (OON) in this Eastern Heartland and pride of the Igbo race, that is quite understandable.

But that the rescue mission is involved in what he calls “…. unwholesome diversion of public funds through phantom award of contracts without any documentation or that ‘… Okorocha uses fake contractors to loot Imo funds’” is simply mendacious! Of course, most of the world’s greatest achievers are mostly not respected in their home town.

This may have made Dr. Ethelbert not to see “the Owelle Wonders” in Imo State. No wonder, the Honorable minister of information, Mr. Labaran Maku once stated, “there has been no change agent that has not been abused or misunderstood”. I think, Ethelbert Okere in “the Agony of A privatized State” is only doing that, which he knows how best to do, – churning out malicious propaganda!

All discerning Nigerians and Imolities in particular should discountenance his literary antics aimed at a subtle discrediting of the marvelous achievements of Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha. For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration has been severally accused of drought of information with respect to the myriads of world class projects which his administration has executed throughout the length and breadth of Imo State.

His education policy and projects, massive infrastructural development in virtually every nook and cranny of the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State and housing, to mention but a few, are indications that Governor Rochas Okorocha has no need for any ‘desperate attempt to cover up…’ as Ethelbert Okere would like his readers to believe.

Only recently, I was mesmerized by what I saw when I visited the Imo State Palm Plantation formerly called Ada Palm. The Owelle’s rescue administration has completely transformed the farm!

Now tell me, is it part of the contracts Ethelbert Okere is calling fake? Or can it be rightly stated that the transformation and replacement of the hitherto dilapidated and obsolete antiquities referred to as the Imo Government House by the Ohakim Government but which is now comparable with the Sydney Opera house that has since been classified as the 8th wonder of the world; (all courtesy of the Owelle administration), part of Ethelbert Okere’s “…phantom projects” in Imo State?

I think the answer s no! It may interest the reader to know that there is a total of 305 INEC-recognized wards in Imo State. As it is now, 305 school buildings are currently under construction by the Owelle Rochas Okorocha-led administration in Imo State.

This is a complete change from what obtains in the most recent past administration when schools were closed at random, strikes and lockouts a-near permanent feature, while non-payment of teachers’ salaries was a corporate identify.

Please, are all these classy and aesthetically pleasing buildings parts of Governor Okorocha’s “flair for transferring his own guilt on the others?” Ethelbert Okere and his sponsors have the answer! Dr. Harold Wilson Onumo of the Federal Medical Center, Owerri, like his partner Dr.Ethelbert Okere, seems to have a well coordinated campaign of calumny against their common “enemy,” the rescue administration in Imo State.

In a recent interview he granted to the Sun Newspaper published on the same Wednesday, April 3, 2013, edition page 26, like their master, the Imo State Peoples Democratic Party (whose venomous, vociferous but senile sentinel attack is childishly anchored on the threat to ‘invoke’ anti-graft agencies against the Rochas Okorocha-led administration) inferred that he hasn’t seen anything good with the Owelle-led administration. Dr. Onumo specifically singled out the health sector for castigation.

Haba! Though it is subject to verification, the hospitals left behind by the ousted PDP led administration in Imo State “… were (according to Dr. Onumo) using candlelight to attend to patients at night whenever the “I – pass – my – neighbour” generator that they use break down …,” But this is why the Owelle Rochas Okorocha is making concerted and concrete effort to rescue Imolites from the situation. Dr. Onumo was no doubt myopically concerned with pleasing his masters like his Ethelbert Okere counterpart.

Otherwise, why was it so difficult for Dr. Onumo, Dr. Okere and the PDP chairman in the State, Eze Duruihuoma (who also granted an interview against Okorocha in the same publication) to tell their readers that Governor Rochas Okorocha, shortly on assumption of office (less than 23 months ago) embarked on the construction of 27 new General Hospitals, that is one for each Local Government Area! Most of these constructions are at the verge of completion. Or is the construction of 27 world class General Hospitals around Imo State by Governor Okorocha part of Dr. Okere’s alleged “phantom projects”?

There is no gainsaying the fact that the reason Ethelbert Okere, Dr. Onumo and the PDP may viciously be hurling their innumerable darts at the Owelle-led administration is ostensibly partly because of their alleged yet to be proven N26.27billion which they claim to have forgotten to siphon into their personal bank accounts before they were disgraced out of office.

I think this allegation is part of the most wicked deception of the public by Dr. Okere, Dr. Onumo and Eze Duruihuoma (SAN). Why, because the rescue administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha has time and again explained to the public that the immediate past administration left no money in government coffers.

Rather, Chief Ikedi Ohakim’s administration hung over fifteen billion naira (N15bn) debt on the neck of the succeeding Rescue administration being various sums they borrowed from diverse banks to prosecute their election in their fruitless second team bid. And even if such amount was “forgotten” as they are alleging, are Ethelbert Okere, Dr. Onumo and Eze Duruiheoma of the Imo State PDP oblivious of the construction of 15 kms of road in each of the 27 LGAs of the State?

This alone sums up to 405kms of roads which their administration could not construct for Imolites. It is also necessary to remind the trio that in addition to the 15kms of road in each of the LGAs, the Owelle administration has constructed the new government house roads.

Is it not surprising that Ethelbert Okere will refuse to refer to the dual road built across Otanmiri River with bridge, the 6.4km road from Douglas road to Naze Junction fully dualized with a roundabout – as well as 6km road and Dee Sam Mbakwe link road with bridge across Nworie River.

What of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC broadcasting studio transformed by Governor Okorocha as well as the Imo government printing press? It is not necessary boring the reader with enumerating the innumerable people-oriented projects executed within the short space provided here. They are all concrete projects that can be verified.

It is just disheartening when a few disgruntled bands of enemies of progress are misinforming and misleading the people! Ethelbert Okere and his group are now weeping so bitterly like the cheetah struggling fruitlessly to “save Nigerians and the Imolites in particular.

While their predicaments are quite appreciated, it is necessary to be cautious and wary of their overnight repentance lest their self – imposed volunteer efforts to help us out of a “seemingly helpless situation” turns out to be the kind of assistance the monkeys offered to save the fish, by bringing them out of water and putting them on dry land, but ended up making them to die because the fish could not breathe outside water.

This is the kind of assistance Dr. Ethelbert Okere, Dr. Onumo and Chief Eze Duruiheoma are proposing to give the people of Imo.

But, it must be stated that if additional help is necessary for Imo people who are currently in some kind of Eldorado, it is obvious that it should not emanate from a group of people whose stock in trade is misinformation and misleading of the masses.

Marcellus Ekwezuo writes from Okigwe, Imo State

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17 Comments

  1. Peter Ike Offurum. on

    Imo is being rescued.In as much as we appreciate the efforts the whistle-blowers in offering the deserved constructive criticisms,we should realize that the sole abjective is correction in the plight of real proceedural pattern of firm establishment of the state in infrastractural developement and welfare of the citizenry,not the criticism of carlumny for profanity and public ridicule.We are on the verg of being rescued from degredation,deprivation and total neglet of the citizenry by the previous administrations. Today,the difference is obvious.The right diagnosis is made through extenssive laboratory investigations and recovery is in the process. Protracted illments require slow pace on the road of recovery and this is seen to being realized as we expect the opposing force to join in this road to better the lot of Imolites.not the weird application of knowldge with pen,on papers of our news media.Let us build our state together for the benefit of us all. You are all invited,Come one,Come all.

  2. The Owelle i know will never allow the rantings of PDP and some misguided and uninformed elements to distract him from perfoming. majority of Imolites and residents are happy with Okorocha’s administration. In democracy, freedom of speech is no crime. The rantings of PDP and their’s paid agents is one of the beauty of democracy. They are free to say what they like since majority of Imolites know the truth…PDP is not happy they lost DOUGLAS HOUSE and come 2015 they will surely loose again.

  3. Marcellus Ekwezue , so it took you two good weeks to reply your accusers ? Were you waiting to be remurated before putting up this little mint of yours? Don,t you know that in every rumour there must be an atom of truth?
    Now listen carefully , why should your owelle , though I distaste such accolade paid a 100% upfront disbursement (1.5 billion naira) to a dirty Lebanese contractor involving less than 10 km road in the state even before moving to site , how do you foresee such payment ? Was it still under due process as was attested or alleged by your person?
    To be honest with you , Okorocha started very well in the state in his first year in office and we taught he would continue on same tempo but do you know why? Sycophants and hypocrisies from Orlu Zone particularly Ogboko people cajoled and put him in a state of mediocrity which he has found himself till the moment of dropping this very comment. It is of great concern to me when I personally dictated and discover that his intransigences among party loyals will rob him second term , I simply gave way, better advise him to delete arrogance and pomposity . Do you know that such attitude derails a politician ?

    • I agree with you to some extent, Owerri.

      Since Gov. Okorocha seems to allow himself to be cajoled or bullied to rescind his decision to locate just one out of the five public-funded tertiary institutions in Imo state from Owerri, his critics have doubled, and his admirers have severely dwindled.

      If the governor is not intent to uphold equity and justice in Imo state regarding location of tertiary institutions in the state, let him ask the state’s legislature to take a decision on that.

  4. owelle is a good man at least better than his predecessors,but if he should dump apga for apc sorry will be his name come 2015,I rest my case.

  5. @ Owerri , we knew you hate Mr Okorocha so much because he is not from Owerri Zone but the truth is that , the man is performing , BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

  6. for ur information apga is not igbos party he have his right to dump or pick any party he want and believe in, do u think apga can win any election in igbo land with all this happening, ananbra should think before they destroy igbo land with their greed life style

  7. Let any achiever join any party, I will vote for him. Time have gone when they deceive us with parties.
    Now if you work, we will follow you, if you mess up your time then you will vote your self in.

  8. Governors in Nigeria should deepen democracy by not criminalizing their critics. In all fairness President Jonathan must be congratulated for being quite responsive to criticisms. Until we have States that Governors take their critics seriously things may not get better.

  9. Owelle Rochas all de way.U’re unstopable buldozer.Ride on my man.More grease 2 ur elbows a great achiever.

  10. Rochas has exposed himself as a treasury looter and dubious leader.
    The truth is obvious, he has run out of lies and ideas. He is whimsical and doesn’t make logical sense.
    For someone to pay over 100% (out side established payment channels) on a job that is <20% complete is fraudulent.
    A Governor who rules by executive fiat is no different from military and is likely to be corrupt.
    For jobs to be awarded without a public tender, it is likely there are vested interests.
    Awarding a free education up to university level with out cash backing and clueless as to funding is further proof of being whimsical.
    He smartly identified with okada riders and the down trodden initially, but they are now beginning to see through him.
    He has no character and integrity. Posterity would not spare him. Rochas has turned Imo into animal farm!

  11. @ Evans , i didn’t hate Okorocha as a person but i hate his style of governance in the state. To be frank with you , Okigwe and Orlu Zones are not developed but these areas mentioned could attract speedy development if some measures of industries could be located up there . And let me made it known to you again that the so called development my Owerri enjoyed today as claimed by all of you people from other zones are simply made possible by the Late Chief Sam Mbakwe of Blessed Memory. What others are doing while in office were mere renovations. Whom among them initiated people’s oriented projects? Is filling stations and Hotel accommodations regarded as investments in that enclave? Don,t you know that even Owerri people were surviving at the mercy of God? Did you consider and asked yourself a simple question that what about if a single filling station in Owerri got ablaze don,t you know that my own brothers and sisters will be simontanously wiped away from the surface of the earth? Have you ever consider the distance between each filling stations at Owerri municipal council alone? I was a little boy then to witness the existence of MCC construction co , Dumeze construction co and Niger Cat construction CO brought all the way from then Western Germany by our governor called Dee Sam Mbakwe that beautified the Owerri city you were talking about till date? Bringing a hungry Lebanese man in the state of IMO to handle less than 10 km road in the state amounts what?
    Are you talking about quality education rendered to our state then by Mbakwe in less than one year in office? All schools in the then old IMO state benefited school lockers , science laboratories all distributed to secondary schools from W/Germany under Mbakwe regime , true or false? All schools in IMO then was allocated foreign teachers mainly from Britain and India was this statement a ruse ? Did anybody then made to be a praise singer to Mbakwe as at his days? Did we named him Owelle? The slogan then was that Mbakwe “makes things happen” true or false?
    Pls , I don,t want to go further , doing such will aggravate my mind.
    And let me remind you, any of my Owerri person that will negate even development in that three zones of the state will equally receive my bashing.
    How can one eulogise an administrator who can not establish industries to better the lot of his people could be seen by gullible citizens in the state as an action governor? What made him action governor, with constructive and ideological driven mind , pls answer/reply me?

    • You want to bash people against even development in Imo state. First give the banshing to those your Owerri people who find untenable excuses to insist that all the three government universities in Imo state must remain in Owerri zone.

  12. @Ichie Onyibe , the worst and deceitful accolade ever seen on social media is this very one coming out from yours . How can you addressed Okorocha as bulldozer , is that not confirming it all to Nigerians what we were advocating concerning Okorocha Rochas ? He is a bulldozer but he failed to bulldozed his way against the other wicked maximum ruler we had in the state ( Ikiri Ohakim ) ? Have you forgotten so soon that the run-off election that produced him to be the governor of Imo state today was conducted by INEC from same Owerri Zone? Have you forgotten how the same Owerri people jettisoned Ohakim monetary largess and rather voted according to their conscience that gave Okorocha a land slide victory over his predecessor Ohakim ? Really , all what is playing out now had convinced me that Nigeria politics is a dirty game , but it is more better to put it that it is those that practices it that is dirty and not the game itself.
    If every Nigeria zones should adopt the attitudinal nature of Owerri people and Ondos , this nation will be a better place to live. This position so to say , was under the palms of Owerri people but was whole heartedly given out to same zone that closely came out of it but our kind gesture to this as at today was rewarded with total ungratefulness and insult to a well articulated people of modern day Nigeria.
    2015, we shall find out!

  13. Okorocha is a beautiful bride, every political party will like to have him as her governorship candidate. Besides, he is a political heavy weight and a gladiator.
    PDP can’t stop him in 2015, unless he (Okorocha) doesn’t want to contest. Okorocha is more better and acceptable to Imolites than 1000 PDP governors.

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