Published On: Sun, Nov 6th, 2016

Understanding The Frustrations Of Imo’s Politically Displace – By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones

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In Imo,

Things are getting better,

the enemies of the State who always thrived in conditions of chaos and underdevelopment are not happy.

They are afraid that they will have nothing to talk about again,

Their fear is that they may be consigned to the dustbin of the bad before,

hence, their resort to epistles of frustration.

They say they are concerned, but the concerned citizens are really happy with the state of things and the picture of the future which the present creates.

There are the others, who are already politically displaced, and fear that they may be consigned, hence, they impersonate as concerned, but we know they may be consigned.

For a start, Imo is a State with a population of not less than four million people, more than 80% of which are literate, with more than 50% politically enlightened enough to take a stance on issues and know what is right for them. There are actually more than 1.5 million registered voters in Imo State and it will amount to an unpardonable insult for a group of just four people without any known democratic mandate to come forward with the claim that they are speaking for the entire Imo State and indirectly calling for the federal government to invade Imo and possibly take over the reins of power from the individuals whom the majority of Imo people gave their mandate to take care of affairs in the country and take decisions affecting the State.

That this group of four known PDP leaders in Imo State could hurriedly rush to Abuja to disturb the presidency with their tale of lies and blackmail against the government and people of Imo State is another evidence among a range of others that there are people who hate Imo people so much that they do not care if the entire population of Imo citizenry is exterminated as long as they are not allowed to continue calling the shots and ripping the State coffers apart. There are clear cut channels through which a people or even any citizen may decide to vent his or her grievances against a legitimately constituted government. For this group of four PDP leaders not to have shown any history of having tried any of such channels before rushing to Abuja to blackmail Imo people as terrorists and its government as draconian, exposes them for who they are; enemies of the State.

This group of four PDP leaders, insulted Imo people when they implied that we are a barbaric and ill-trained people who would resort to violence in order to ventilate our grievances, instead of appropriating the constitutionally recommended channels is an affront to not just the government of Imo State, but to the entirety of Imo citizenry. It is not out of place to suspect that these people and their sponsors may have contracted a group of touts or even terrorists to disturb the peace of the State, for there is no other way to wrap one’s head around the alarm over a possible mass insurrection in a State as peaceful as Imo State.

I can take a whole page to talk about why Imo cannot be one of the security flashpoints, and why there is nothing on the ground to suggest any form of mass insurrection as alleged by this group of political maneuverers whose sponsors and spurs may easily be pointed out, but I will like to remind us that Imo is the first oil producing State to succeed in bringing Niger-Delta militants to the roundtable for a peace-talk on how to end the insurgency in the oil region, thereby setting the pace in the disarmament of oil militia in the Niger-Delta. Imo is one of the States with the lowest unemployment statistics in the Federation, so, where will the youths who are expected to lead the insurrection come from? Imo has one of the most enviable records in low-crime rate, Imo is more prompt and regular than most other States of the Federation in the payment of State civil servants and Imo boasts of some of the most industrious citizens in the country, hence, there will be very few people so jobless as to be available to foment trouble or get involved in any form of mass insurrection, especially against a government that has in so many ways positively redefined the art of governance and carried the people along more than any other government before it.

While I expect officials of the government to come out with a more detailed response to that piece of blackmail, let me as a free citizen who is as at this moment not a member of any political Party make my opinion known on these watery allegations by this group. Indeed, I am a more concerned Imo citizen than any one of them.

  1. DESTRUCTION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER OF IMO STATE:

(a). The Imo State House of Assembly is one of the most productive State legislatures in the country at present, having passed about 150                    bills and over 100  motions under Okorocha as head of government. The fact that the legislature has not or does not believe in being confrontational with the executive does not make it a ‘rubber stamp’ legislature like the authors of that letter would want us to believe. Not quite long, too, the Imo State House of Assembly has had to summon some officials of the executive arm of government to explain some things that were not clear to them, while they had also recommended the sack of at least one official. This is not how an ‘impotent’ legislature behaves.

There is no denying the fact that for a smooth running of government, the three arms of government must have good working relationship, as there cannot be any good development in a situation of rancor. I am also aware that what this group chose to call a ROLLING BUDGET is Imo State’s version of what the Federal Government under the PDP introduced and which is still called the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, by which the government sets out its expenditure priorities for the next three years, building into consideration the underlying assumptions and risks involved in that plan. That the same group who claim that the ‘House had ceded its powers of oversight to the Governor’ could in the same letter concede that the same House which it claimed to be ineffective approved the government’s rolling expenditure plan exposes the group as badly packaged, insincere and blackmailing. It is obvious that this group of PDP leaders would have relished a situation where the executive and the legislative arms of government are in a frosty relationship, whereby the wheels of governance would be ground to a halt, so that the enemies of the State and the anarchists would have their way. Thankfully, this is not the situation.

(b). Introduction of a fourth tier government in Imo State:

This group further shoots itself on the foot as it markets a noble idea of governance which the present government introduced in order to get the people more involved in the decision making and action taking of government. The Community Government Council and the State Development Council are some of the finest and most refined democratic strategies ever pursued by any State government in the country and which is recommended to all States of the Federation and even other countries of the world. This idea targets to ingrain democracy in the hearts and consciousness of the people. With this, the ordinary people in various communities of the State see themselves as drivers of governance and not just as the governed that have little to contribute to governance of their State.

Contrary to their claim that the CGC “has destroyed the time-hallowed Town Union System in the State,” the CGC is a more refined, more effective and more acceptable Town-Union system whereby the communities through a democratic process choose those to represent and speak for them at the community level and help the State government monitor the implementation of its policies and programs in their various autonomous communities.

The Community Government system has the same structure as the town union, just that there are few infusions by the government to ensure more effectiveness and more power to it. For instance, every political ward in the State has a Government Liaison Officer who is a member of the Community Government Council and usually a top ranking member of either the State Executive Council or a top political leader in the State. For instance, the executive governor of the State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha is a member of his community’s CGC and is also the State Development Council representative of his political ward in Ogboko. This idea demystifies political offices and compels political office holders to be accessible to their constituents while ensuring that those at the highest echelon of government are at home with the smallest happenings in the smallest communities in the State.

There is hardly any government in the past who has accorded more respect to our traditional rulers in the State than the present government. That the governor insists on discipline and non-partisanship among traditional rulers does not make him a destroyer of our traditional institutions. As a person, I had earlier frowned at some of the happenings within the traditional system in the State and even criticized the governor for his handling of some disputes within the communities, but that was actually before I got the amount of information I now have at my disposal and I will wish for more of those criticizing the present government to try to open their heart to new and real information and they will understand that certainly, there are good, Godly and noble reasons for all the actions we try to pick holes with. A traditional ruler is supposed to be a father to all, and a man who epitomizes discipline and clear conscience, when a traditional ruler deviates from these standards, there should be every reason to sanction such a traditional ruler. This does not only help the institution of government in the State, but also helps in galvanizing the respect which the present traditional institution in the State requires.

  1. THE STATE OF THE JUDICIARY IN IMO STATE

(a) This administration has being more friendly to the judiciary than any other administration before it. While there are some industrial disputes between the State government and the Judiciary workers in the State, it is a height of insincerity for anyone to paint a picture that this is peculiar to Imo State. A good number of States across the Federation are having the same problems and it is not debatable that most of the things the judiciary is asking for can only be resolved through the amendment of the Federal Constitution. The governor cannot unilaterally approve financial autonomy for the judiciary. It is important to note that Imo State judiciary workers earn one of the fattest pays among other judiciary workers in the country and the governor’s proposal to see that this pay package is brought to par with reality is appreciated by a good number of Imo citizens.

(b) There are few States in the Federation with a more virile civil service than Imo State. While it is accepted that there are pockets of discontent here and there, it is a given that there cannot be a completely satisfied man, just like there cannot be a completely perfect system. Those who were part of the earlier rot in governance anywhere should not insult the people they aggressively raped by coming out to talk like they truly care about them. The government as I am made to believe is consistent in finding a way of making the Imo State civil service more productive and more creative. We should join hands with the government to ensure that civil servants earn their pay and that the institution of civil service is not relegated to a cemetery for talents and a dumping ground for the indolent. The orientation in most places is that civil service is where you take up a job you do not know how to do, nor do you intend to learn how to do such work, but you will always insist not just on being paid, but on pay rise and other allowances, which most times are not in tandem with the level of output from the sector.

An attempt to blackmail the governor with one of the most sincere statements any Nigerian leader can make is futile, as long as conscientious Imolites and indeed Nigerians are concerned. Nigerians are agreed that while DUE PROCESS is a noble intended phrase, it has been corrupted by the Nigerian elite, including civil servants and politicians to become the most gaping conduit pipe for the bleeding of our national resources. Retirement of funds and movement of files have become the new words for retirement of our national resources into private pockets and movement of our commonwealth by highly placed cliques or cabals to offshore territories and private mansions. On the spurious allegation that the governor bypasses the civil service in making his appointments, the group would have been more explicit by letting us know if they were talking about political appointments or civil service appointments. Political appointments is the governor’s prerogative and he can decide whom to appoint and whom not to appoint, as long as that individual meets the Constitutional requirements specified for such position. Appointments into the civil service cannot be made without recourse to the Civil Service Commission and I am aware that the governor has just recently lifted the embargo on civil service recruitments in the State.

I am aware that Chief Uche Nwosu has put his lawyers on notice over the spurious allegation that he was among the youths that participated in the test for the 10,000 jobs scheme organized by the previous administration. It will be good to see how this group of desperate flesh-seekers who do not believe that a young man today can be a political leader tomorrow will prove this spurious allegation, which they had unfortunately made a good number of us, including Yours Sincerely believe and even propagate. This is especially as one of those who appended their signatures to that piece of undercooked blackmail was the head of the Imo Job Center, an adhoc committee or parastatal of government that oversaw the process of that test and the controversial recruitment that followed.

Bringing the Chief of Staff to the Imo State Government into this, and under that subhead betrays the group and their sponsors as anti-youth development and oligarchical. They are not quarrelling with the qualifications of Chief Uche Nwosu for the office he presently occupies or the influence he wields in government, but obviously with his rapid rise to prominence, instead of their expectation that talented and loyal youths like him should remain outsiders in power, doers of dirty jobs, and table cleaners in the corridors of power, instead of being drivers of their destiny and that of their generation. They would rather prefer that, Uche Nwosu who has devoted most of his life to leadership development and public service endeavors is made a Personal Assistant to a Personal Assistant of another Personal Assistant as settlement for his devoted years of loyalty and service to both Governor Rochas Okorocha and the country in general. They would not have brought Chief Nwosu into their epistle of angst, if the governor had followed the usual practice of settling one political leader or the other with such positions as he has given Nwosu and some other young men and women of Imo State.

This is a betrayal of their thoughts on Imo people, especially the youths, and it will not be out of place to call on Imo youths to reject such people and those they are associated with, as they will not only make sure the youths are reverted to their earlier positions of being table cleaners in corridors of power, but also further relegated to political thuggery and doers of all the dirty jobs if there is any political mishap and they find themselves back in power.

Responsible leaders and indeed, really concerned citizens of Nigeria are and should be promoters of meritocracy over advanced mediocrity. Those who know how to do the job, those who have shown that they can do the job, those who are disciplined, those with the requisite trainings and backgrounds should be given the job in place of those who have seen more years or more offices. After all, we are taught, that the most travelled is wiser than the well-aged.

At no time in the history of the Okorocha administration has civil servants in the State being owed 9-14 months arrears of salaries. It can be conceded that the present administration recently ran into financial difficulties which made it difficult for it to promptly pay salaries as they used to. Eventually, the government brought a lot of options to the table, including the option to concession some moribund parastatals in order to allow room for more productivity. The government correctly argued then, that it could not continue to use almost all the resources that come into the State to cater for the welfare of less than five percent of the citizenry while critical infrastructures in the State remain in bad shape, affecting businesses, adversely, etc.

The NLC failed to understand and refused to be patriotic as they blackmailed the government as wanting to retrench majority of their comrades, even though majority of these comrades of theirs were and are still doing virtually nothing for the State as at now. The truth, which everybody knows, but few are ready to say is that the civil service in Imo State, and Nigeria in general, has refused to live up to its bidding and it will amount to a disservice if people who find themselves in positions of authority do not take steps to ensure that we get good value for our money as citizens and government.  Any group of politicians who refuse to accept that the civil service needs aggressive transformation is a group of those who have decided to be in enmity with the people. They must be dismissed as a withy set of politicians who want to play on the gullibility of the people to cease power first and go ahead to do whatever, the godfathers push them to do, whenever they have taken power.

The Back to Farm policy of the government is still a proposal which can only become effective when the House of Assembly has approved same and the Civil Service Commission does the necessary paperwork to bring it to effect. This policy as controversial as it is, deserves applause from the people, as it will not only ensure that civil servants have time for other endeavors, thereby improving their finances,  but also provide the much needed alternative to oil as our economic mainstay. When this policy was newly proposed by the government, I had cause to criticize it, but I have taken more time to take a more critical look at what the proposal really entails and I can conveniently say that the gains are enormous and must be encouraged by all men and women of good conscience.

  1. IMPOSING UNTOLD HARDSHIP ON THE PEOPLE

There is no administration in the history of my State within the period of  my consciousness as a citizen that created more empowerment opportunities for more number of the people than the Okorocha administration. For the youths, the government has created both temporary and permanent jobs, while opening opportunities for the growth of entrepreneurship. The Imo Youth Engineering Corps (IYEC), is one of the first steps taken by this administration to not only empower the youths but also create opportunities for advancement for them. Through this scheme, the administration engaged hundreds of young engineers of Imo State origin for a kind of on the job practical training and exposures in their various fields of endeavors. Within the period of their engagement, these youths were exposed to better ways to hone their skills in engineering and a good number of them used that platform to connect to bigger firms where they are today doing well in their professions, while a number of them have become self-employed; doing jobs both for the State government, private firms and individuals.

There are other short-term measures marshalled out by the administration to create both temporary and regular employment for the youths of the State. This includes the introduction of the Youths Must Work Program, through which the government temporarily employed about 25,000 youths of Imo State, who were placed on monthly stipend of 25,000 Naira and seconded in either the State Civil serice or other places that the administration felt they were needed in. This idea offered these youths the opportunity to develop themselves and the money which they were paid(this amount is higher than what some States pay their level 8 civil servants) helped them to take care of some of their most basic needs, while some wise ones used that money judiciously by either saving it up and using same to start off a small business venture, there are others who used that money to augment in improving their academic qualifications (Some of these youths used this opportunity to acquire second degrees). There are the others who used the money they got from this scheme to fund their aggressive search for jobs in better organizations. A good number of them succeeded.

Other poverty alleviation schemes, which the governor embarked on within the period of this administration includes; the Imo State Traffic Management Agency (IMSTHMA), through which over 5,000 youths were employed, the Imo Security Network (ISN) and Imo Community Watch (ICW), which employed thousands of young men and even women as community based security operatives, assisting the conventional security setups in intelligence gathering and crime busting. The Imo Civil Guard Corps, the Imo Peace Marshals or Peace Corps, the Imo ENTRACO Marshals, the Imo Internally Generated Revenue Task Force committee, the CGC officials and teachers employed by the CGC, the direct labour method employed in the maintenance of roads and construction of other government projects in the State has ensured that thousands of young artisans become millionaires within the lifespan of this administration. Imo State State Universal Education Management Board has employed hundreds of teachers and are in the verge of employing another 3,500 teachers into our Primary and Secondary Schools, the Imo State Unoversity, Owerri has employed over 300 academic and non-academic staff, while the Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo has employed more than the same number from 2011-till date.  Above all this, the government removed one of the heaviest burdens from parents and guardians through the introduction of free education across all levels of education in the State, a policy which previous PDP administrations in the State publicly declared as impossible. What better way could there have been in lifting the burden of hardship on the citizenry?

Imo State has witnessed more rapid economic growth within the last five years than the previous 35 years of its existence. There are hundreds of new millionaires who owe their success to the friendly economic policies of the present administration, while there are thousands of young men and women who are now engaged by several new industries in the State. Before Okorocha came in as governor, there was just one private radio station in the State, today we have about  five of them with more still in the offing, hundreds of new hotels and hospitality firms have sprung up, providing jobs for Imo citizens. Thousands more new businesses and startups have graced the entire Imo landscape with brighter opportunities opened for the citizenry.

It is unfortunate and unacceptable for genuine pensioners to be owed their pensions for some months now. But I am aware that the 24 months claim is bogus and untrue. (Officials of the State continue to insist that they are only owing about six months) However, I must say here that the State government should expedite efforts in ensuring that all eligible pensioners are paid their pensions and gratuities as that will be a good way to ensure that those in service serve with their minds, being assured that when they retire, they will be paid their entitlements without delay.

 

  1. RULE OF LAW

The present administration in Imo State introduced an anthem for the State, and part of the lyrics in the anthem reads thus: “Rule of Law, Rule of Law, Rule of Law in our Time, Rule of Law, Rule of Law, this is our prayer…” A government that promotes an anthem this sincere cannot be rightfully accused of denigrating constitutionalism and rule of law. A good number of the summons and judgements which these lie peddlers accuse the Okorocha administration of flouting were never duly served to the government or the officials affected by the court rulings, as most of the litigations were politically motivated and meant for publicity stunts, hence, the promoters rush to the newspapers to publish such judicial information and most times, forget to officially serve those affected by the judgement.

I am particularly miffed at the claim of the 10,000 jobs scheme. I am touched by this continued politicization, because I have been involved in it, and know a lot about it. I can categorically state it here that the court did not give any judgement in favor of the 10,000 jobs beneficiaries.

An administration that has built a brand new and state-of-the-art Appeal Court complex, attracted an industrial court to the State, regularly reaches out to judiciary workers and officials for understanding, has never defaulted in the appointment of a Chief Judge for the State, has never had any standoff with the Judicial Service Commission, etc. cannot be said to be an administration at loggerheads with the judiciary. If anything, the governor understands that the judiciary is an arm of government, separate from and independent of the executive arm of government and he tries as much as possible to accord that arm its due respect. This is not far from the reason the entire judiciary found Imo State worthy to host the National Industrial Court, a structure which has been built, painted and put into use within the lifespan of this administration. An administration that is unfriendly to the judiciary could not have been found worthy to host such an institution.

I was a voice in the opposition against this government, and not a few people are aware of the many critical articles I had written against this government in the past, but not for once was I harassed by the government or its officials, neither was I at any time a victim of police brutalization or something close to it. I am a witness to how opposition elements were treated by previous administrations led by the PDP, which harbors the individuals who put their signatures on that malicious letter and I can say without fear of being contradicted that no administration has being more tolerant of opposition views than the present administration. That the people who put their signatures to this letter are still walking around free in Imo State, some blaring their sirens across Imo State is a clear evidence that the administration is not interested in hounding opposition figures. We know what would have being their fate if they tried this during the life of past administrations. We know those who only sneaked into Imo State and pitched their base in Abuja, Lagos or overseas for fear of being kidnapped or even assassinated. We are aware that there has not being any politically linked assassination, in which the State government can be convincingly fingered within the life of this administration. The Okorocha administration believes in shutting up criticisms with actions by correcting itself on areas it is sure there have been errors and also keeping it foot on the ground to ensure that the right policies are sustained, no matter whose x is gored. Majority of ordinary Imolites are aware of what their past looked like and what their presence is, and in the 2015 elections, they overwhelmingly voted to continue with this presence rather than returning to the ugly past, led by the PDP.

  1. ABUSE OF OFFICE AND PUBLIC TRUST

I do not know what has happened to our conscience and why we can choose to tell barefaced lies against our fellow human beings in public, not because they took what belongs to us, but because we want to take away what the majority of the people and God have given them. The writers of that poisoned-pen-letter must be thinking that the President to whom they addressed that letter is a fool for them to believe that their claims will be taken seriously.

The plots of land on which the governor’s Rochas Foundation College of Africa is sited has being bought years before the Owelle Rochas Okorocha became governor, and at no time did he tell those who freely sold their lands to him that he wanted the lands for State government project. It will be good to hear the writers of this letter mention the locations of lands that the governor forcefully took in the name of Imo State government and what private and grandiose mansions have been erected on those lands. The fact is that none of them can point to anything. They trade in spreading lies to the populace and believing that it is the surest way to get back to power, but I am sure that Imo citizens are wiser. It will also be good  to read another letter this faceless group(I choose to call them faceless, because they have taken up deceitful identity. Till they own up to who they truly are: PDP LEADERS, POLITICALLY DISPLACED INDIVIDUALS, ETC, they remain faceless)

I expect that those who put their signatures to that obnoxious piece of blackmail understand the import of the words they choose to deploy in passing their message. Using the adjective; ‘most’ means that majority of those so far appointed by the governor are his relatives. I haven’t heard a more troubling lie this year.

Are the signers of this letter trying to tell us that at least 51% of Okorocha’s appointees are either his blood relations or longtime business associates? This is worse than the lie told by Ananias and his wife Sapphire, which got the Holy spirit so infuriated that they were suddenly struck dead. May God forgive those who have taken to the condemnable lives of Ananias and Sapphire.

At a time, I was one of those who unknowingly promoted the popularly believed lies against the Roche Group, believing then, that it was owned or has links with the governor, but a google search revealed that the firm has being in existence long before Governor Okorocha began to do business, having come into existence more than thirty years. Hence, the insinuation will not sell either to the President of the Federal Republic, who has come a long way in life to decipher lies from truth nor to the Imo populace who are the obvious targets of this piece of smelly blackmail. Imo people are too enlightened to be hoodwinked with such cheap lies and innuendoes. It will make more sense, if the writers or signers of this letter come up with more verifiable information whenever they want to criticize the government of the day.

  1. I am not aware that Imo State accounts have been frozen or was at any time frozen. If truly it has or was, where does the government get the money with which it runs the businesses of governance which has been going on smoothly? Assuming without conceding that the story about a private jet, which its rent runs on daily basis is true, from where does the government get the money to pay for the jet, since the account has been frozen? Going by the fact that the authors of this letter had owned up to the many developmental projects going on in the State, with their only quarrel being that the contracts was not used in settling political friends, where then does the government get the money to fund these projects and pay its workers, since the State government account has been frozen?
  2. As at the time this demolition exercise started, I was one of those who vehemently criticized the action of the government regarding it as an affront on the people of the State. However, thinking deeper, I recalled the age-long saying that there cannot be development without destruction. For development to take place, certain things will need to be bulldozed away, the same way you will need to clean out old and unnecessary structures when you want to modernize. However, it is important to understand that the government of the day has not demolished a single residential building as is being alleged by the purveyors of lies and blackmail. What the administration has done so far is to embark on massive beautification exercise across the State capital and fences and shanties that obstruct such work are demolished to pave way for the utilitarian aim to be actualized. I am also aware that this beautification and modernization exercise, especially within the State capital is an idea so dear to the immediate past PDP administration in the State. Why some PDP leaders, some of whom were part and parcel of the planning of this exercise at the time their Party was in power have chosen to condemn this well-intended action baffles me.

I earnestly wish that the media crew of this present administration can come up with photographs of the state of the Nworie River as at 2011. The truth is that the PDP administration at the Federal level embarked on an audacious project to dredge Nworie and Otamiri rivers for beautification sake and also as a means of both providing alternate means of transportation for inhabitants of Owerri and its outskirt towns and also as a boost to the tourism sector. We are all aware of how that project got stunted along the line and the few rickety equipment brought to the rivers wasted away there, while grasses started growing on the river, thereby setting in the gradual eutrophication of the rivers. If the rivers had been successfully dredged with the mouth-watering billions of Naira which the Federal administration of the day budgeted for it through the Niger Delta Development Commission, the present administration would have had no need to embark on another project on that same river. I can guess that the present administration recognizes the need to ease the intra-city transportation challenges facing residents of Owerri, hence, its decision to build a dual carriage tunnel to ease the pains and frustrations of both motorists and passengers.

Some of the points raised in the letter make it look like, governor Okorocha is the first governor to have ruled Imo State since the last 17 years. Does it mean that no other administration has been in place here or that administration failed to do anything? The fact that the writers of this letter agree that there are several projects going on across the State should make them understand that every administration has its priorities. All the people who signed this letter had come of age and were politically relevant at the time, previous PDP administrations ruled the State, if they had being concerned as they want us believe they now are, there would have been ring roads in Owerri, as important as they want to make us believe it is. They indict the previous administrations which they served by painting a picture of a State Capital without any infrastructure, hence, expecting Okorocha to do all the roads and provide all the infrastructures which they failed to provide when they held sway.

Every leader or leadership group recognizes the need for the introduction of new ideas into governance, and while no government worth its name will think that everybody will jump at any such new idea, every head of government with the right political will, will not fail to go ahead with such idea if it is in the best interest of the generality of the people whom he leads. Even those who signed that letter agree in their innermost hearts that relocating the Owerri Main Market from its present location to a new location will be one of the best things that will happen to the beautification cum modernization drive of the State Capital. Majority of Imolites and visitors to the State capital appreciate the eyesore which the present state of that market represents not just to the people doing business there, but for the original owners of the community where the market is located.

When people who not so lettered in the study of law and our Consitution make spurious and unguarded utterances, but when a group of four intellectuals, among whom are three lawyers and a professor makes claims that will be very difficult to prove, then, you understand why there is need to divorce emotions from reality. The reality is that the lawyers who put their signatures to this piece of dirty lies know that if taken up, they will find it difficult proving some of these allegations, but their emotions hate the person of the present head of the government and they hate the fact that things are no longer going the way they used to go in the past, hence, their throwing caution to the winds in their essay to the public.

The questions we should ask the quartet of Barristers Maxwell Onyeukwu, Ikechukwu Ikeji, Sylvester Amadi-Obi and Professor Obioma Iheduru are:

What will be there benefit or the benefit of the ordinary and truly concerned Imo citizen, if the President, forgets himself and acts based on their prayers that he should use the instrumentality of Federal power to intervene in Imo State, which means declaring a State of Emergency?

Are these PDP members not aware of the laid down Constitutional rules on how to change a government they are no longer comfortable with?

Have they written to the Imo State House of Assembly over these matters, and assuming they believe that the House members, including about five of them who are members of the PDP have been bought by the executive, do they not know of the Constitutional solution, which is initiating a recall process for the legislators for failing to live up to expectations and represent their people adequately?

Do they have strong evidences to back up some of their strong claims, including those of breach of financial regulations and other issues that affect the family and education of some highly placed officials of this government? If they do, why don’t they bring these evidences to the open since they have made the allegations in the open, instead of heading to court to argue their matter?

If it were in previous administrations headed by members of their Party, would they have remained in Imo State after publishing these tales full of lies?

What has the writers of this letter, individually or collectively, done to alleviate their claimed hardship on the people?

Could any of those who penned their signatures on that letter come out openly and depend on popular vote to win even a councillorship seat in their various wards?

Could the writers and signers of this letter, tell us in good conscience that they truly love the progress of Imo State, or are they merely scorning ordinary Imolites by condemning genuine efforts being made by the present administration to make life better for them?

GOD HAS BLESSED IMO STATE!

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