The street with the police station on it has one street light burning. The police station itself was dark and still. The City’s cheap road crunched loudly under my feet, as I hurried to catch up with Mr Onyenna (not his real name). The clock in my head said it was past two in the afternoon. I got to Onyenna’s house in Owerri. He briefly glanced around the four walls and the one window of his sitting room, saw me and asked the man at the gate to let me in. It was an ordinary looking low rise building set in a mixed used neighborhood that contained historical homes in various state of either decay or restoration. His Sitting room was painted yellow below a narrow cream waist-high band and light green above. It had a brow metal cabinet stacked with file folders and oversized brown envelopes. Unknown to me, Onyenna invited me over to try to see how he can talk me into joining one of the Uche Nwosu’s governorship support groups. My answer was a flat No. I did not give the offer a second thought. I have always made it known that I write what I write as service to humanity. My concern is the well-being of the people. I think, speak, write and act as the unknown servant. My intentions are pure. I never write to promote evil. I act for the general interest. Remember the words of the master Jesus: “I come into this world to show the way to sinners and not to the just, since it is the sinners and not the just who need guidance’’
The qualities I expect of a leader include honesty and integrity, goodwill, altruism, foresight and a love of peace and justice. Uche Nwosu does not have those qualities. He sponsors thugs and takes great delight in seeing the people cry. Also, Nwosu is the son In-law of the governor of Imo State and his governorship is a third term agenda of Governor Okorocha. The mistake of electing Owelle in 2011 has been a huge price that Imo has paid. His seven years in office appear to have been a curse rather than a blessing. Giving him a third term through his son in-law means the people of Imo will have to endure another four horror years of wickedness, non-performance, wastefulness and merry-go-round. For the Imo working masses, Okorocha’s regime is nothing short of absolute disaster and everyone is praying for this madness to come to an end. When the people fail to look deep beneath the veil of make-believe; when they allow momentary emotion and media hysteria to becloud their sense of judgment; when they see the truth and embrace well packaged falsehood; they usually pay a price. I actually was not willing to be part of something that will cause Ndi Imo further pain. The truth must always remain the truth. Okorocha should finish his second tenure and go and rest. No third tenure for him through his in-laws.
The fact that the Governor of Imo state even had the temerity to moot the idea of continuing to remain in power through his Son in-law is an insult on Imolites and any one supporting him deserves to be pelted with rotten tomatoes, eggs and sachet water .The vast majority of Imo working masses and the youths live in abject poverty. Imolites’s are in crisis of poverty in the midst of plenty. Vicious attacks on living conditions, wages and social services have reduced the mass majority to a state of misery. According to statistics, about 70% of Ndi-Imo exists on less than one dollar per day. The capitalist anti poor, anti peoples Governor of Imo State continues to loot the collective wealth of the people without remorse. Apart from direct pilfering of the public treasury, the flip side of this corruption is that he sold public corporations and utilities in Imo to himself as well as the doling out of public resources to his cronies. What cannot be disputed is the fact that his high profile corruption has compounded the problems of the working peoples who while earning poverty wages are rendered jobless or under-employed.
You can see why we desperately need someone else outside the family of the governor to take over governance in 2019. We want to try new ideas. We want good ideas, someone who will implement pro-masses policies as against the existing pro-rich, pro-imperialist cum thieving policies in the state. We all know that it is seven years of Okorocha’s government and our LGA’s are in comatose, begging to be attended to. Lack of basic amenities has made these LGA’s a ghost environment. We see him using Imo LGA monies to fund his private concerns and award inflated contracts to his companies and cronies. The state of things in Imo are direct reflection of Okorocha’s commitment to enslaving the people, a situation reminiscent of biblical Israelites in bondage in Egypt. Nothing is working out in Imo and in our LGA’s; no light, all government establishment are starved of funds, government buildings are dilapidated, markets are falling down, no security, no social infrastructure, majority of borehole water system are bad, LGA workers are starving, pensioners are dying due to none payment of their pensions .So huge is the level of economic and political failure of Okorocha in Imo that if you visit our LGA’s you will shout Jesus twenty times. He has even made Imo state a subject of mockery worldwide. Yet he wants a third tenure through his son in-law .God forbid!
Those turning emergency philanthropist to deceive Imolites should note that once a fool is no fool but twice a fool is foolish. Our mumu don do. It was the same style adopted by Rochas before the 2011 elections. His snow-white teeth and fake empowerment were put to use in the 2011 governorship election which he did not win anyway, but was imposed on us. The powers that be forgot to interrogate his background and acclaimed business successes. The powers that be got carried away with his charming smiles and with his fake empowerments. We will not try another fake philanthropist, never again, not to talk of when the fake philanthropist is the governor’s son in-law. This fake philanthropist was unemployed in 2010 and wrote but failed the 10,000 jobs exam known as the Ohakim jobs. Today, he is a multi millionaire. How did he make his money? That’s a question for next week. Governance in Imo cannot continue to be like Baba Salah nkwobi and pepper Soup joint. ‘Mbanu!
-Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu Egbema, Imo State