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As Governor Okorocha visits Orlu LGA: a Memo to the T.C.Chairman & the Mayor of Orlu – By John Mgbe



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rochas okoro

Information has just been passed to me that  Governor Okorocha of Imo State will pay  a working visit to Orlu Local Government Area on Saturday,22nd March. In view of the fact that such visits will always be hijacked by professional praise singers, hero worshippers and all manner of politicians, I have decided to  present this memo to both the Transitional Council Chairman, MR.Eddy Olumba and the  Mayor of Orlu, DR. Obodo on critical areas of  need which must be included in the  shopping list  that will be handed over to  the Governor when he arrives Orlu. This move has become necessary because the members of the governor’s new found party, All Progressives Congress(APC), and other Otimkpus /loyalists will never allow outsiders to  speak truth to power  when the governor visits. As has always been the case, they will praise the governor and tell him that he” is the messiah we have been waiting for, the people of Orlu LGA are totally satisfied with your performance”. The women who are often used as  playthings in the parties will dance and sing choruses of  praise, the young maidens will  troop out in graceful  dance steps  of  choreography. The boys and  elderly will also entertain the  governor with  all manner of  theatricals  and,  of course. the Mmanwu and Okonko masquerades will  be all over the  venue ‘to  honour a  governor   who has  performed wonders  and in whom the people are well pleased”. At the end of it all, the  governor will return to the Government House with the false impression that  the people  are  great admirers who are waiting to  vote him in for a second term in 2015.They did it to  Chief Ikedi Ohakim when he visited  the Local Government Areas  , but they abandoned him when it was time to  vote for  him in 2011.Today, what happened  then is part of history. So, Governor Okorocha  should learn from the  mistakes of  Chief Ohakim because it was the revered scholar  and poet , George Santayana, who once said that “Those who do not learn from history will  continue  to  repeat their mistakes”. We love this governor and we took grave risks to  actualize his governorship agenda in 2011; so, we talk because Okorocha’s governorship is  a house we built  and we are not  in a hurry to  abandon it , in spite of the fact that the governor appears to be  mocking the  base heights through which he rose to power.

I am  addressing this memo to  both the T.C Chairman of Orlu Local Government  Council  and the Mayor of Orlu because  I do not understand the hierarchy/  organogram of this Okorocha’s Government. I do not know the  difference between the T.C Chairman and  the Mayor of Orlu since the  office of the Mayor is not  known to the Constitution. I do not know who between the two is superior to the other. Is the Mayor of Orlu  in charge of only Orlu Local Government Area or is he in charge of the entire Orlu  Zone. These are some critical areas we want the governor to clarify. Now,  some of the  demands I want  the  authorities in Orlu LGCs to  bring up include (1)ORLU LIBRARY COMPLEX: It is pertinent to  state that  Orlu Local Governt Area  does not  have  a befitting  Library  now. In fact, I can even make a convincing case that there is no library in Orlu LGA. This  is  shameful more so, since we  have a governor who is said to be the  God father of free education in Nigeria. Over 90% 0f the secondary  school  leavers and Jambites in Orlu LGA have  not touched a computer  for the first time. They cannot distinguish between a computer screen and a television screen. Yet, they are supposed to write the  computer –based  Jamb examinations which will  soon be  introduced by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation  Board(JAMB) as well the  public examination bodies  in the like of West African Examinations Council(WAEC).The  need for a  state- of -the art  library  in Orlu Municipality cannot be overstressed. The  computer literacy level in Orlu is at a zero level. Under the Military Government Of Colonel Zubairu, Orlu had  an  impressive  library platform  in which  seekers of knowledge  could  go in search of knowledge. The Orlu library was supplied with at least four  newspapers  daily  but since this government of free education came on board,  there is no  budget for  buying  newspapers  or  books  for the library, of course, as I said earlier , there is no functional library in Orlu LGA. Even before the  universities came, the library was  universally acknowledged as the ‘Poor man’s university”. The greatest gift to the youths  and the seekers of knowledge in Orlu is  an e-library complex  fitted with  a  modern  Information and Communications Technology(ICT) complex that will accommodate  about 50  computers which are connected with  high speed servers. It will have a training wing where the youths and adults can be trained to imbibe the computer  culture. Today,  a resident in Orlu must  travel to Owerri Municipality in order to  browse the  internet or  make use of  a library. This is less than satisfactory. We need an ICT/Laboratory/Library village in Orlu Local Government Area. Our Governor who is  a godfather of education can very easily  do this for us .The problem is not in the governor  bur rather in his  party  members in Orlu LGA who  do not tell him the  real problems of the  electorate. Some of them are shameless hypocrites, hero worshippers who will not waste a minute to defect to another party, in case of any eventuality.

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(2)ORLU CAMPUS of IMSU: The law establishing Imo State University says the university should be a multi-campus university. Where is the Orlu campus of the IMSU? The Imo State university campus at Ogboko in Ideato North should be named “ORLU CAMPUS, IMSU”. We do not understand how our IMSU has lost its name to a so-called “European University”. We reject this neo-colonialist imposition .We are proud of our local university and the products of that university (IMSU) have acquitted themselves creditably in the comity of graduates all over the world. In spite of its obvious imperfections and shortcomings, we are proud of IMSU and we plead with the governor to return this campus to IMSU and name it Orlu Campus, IMSU. Those who desire   European university degrees should seek for visas and travel to Europe or elsewhere to acquire such degrees. We prefer Nigerian degrees to those shine –shine degrees from elsewhere. Our Governor-Emeritus, DEE Sam Mbakwe(PH.D)  and   Governor/Senator  Evan Enwerem will turn in their graves  should they  hear that  the university they did so much to nurture has been hijacked  by Unidentified Flying Objects(UFOs). Please the Ogboko Campus of IMSU should be named:ORLU CAMPUS.IMSU” without further delay, more so, since Imo State spent over N5  billion  to develop that campus. By the way, will this so-called European University  also award free education  as is done in IMSU? Who are the promoters/proprietors of this phantom EUROPEAN University? Can somebody lift the veil to enable us see the names of those behind this scheme? All we are asking is that the Ogboko Campus of IMSU should be properly designated as Orlu Campus of IMSU and not European University.

(3)The last time residents in Orlu Local Government enjoyed portable running water from taps was over eight years ago. It all started in the second term of Chief Achike Udenwa’s Administration. In the regime of Colonel Zubairu, residents in Orlu LGA could fetch running water and even use the showers to bath in high rise buildings of three stories. If we could enjoy such luxury in a military regime, why are we suffering from lack of portable water in a civilian regime, more so, since a governor of Orlu extraction is in power? What happened to the Orlu Regional Water Scheme which had reached advanced stage in the previous administrations before Okorocha. The preponderance of converting every nook and corner to a bore-hole facility is dangerous to our seismic and geographical topography. We don’t need bore-holes; we call on our governor to commence talks with the relevant authorities to reopen discussions on the ORLU Regional Water Scheme.

(4)Imo State does not begin and end with Owerri. In that wise, the modern concrete school block built on Wethreal Road, City School, Owerri should be replicated in Orlu and Okigwe senatorial headquarters. In the same vein, the Imo College of Advanced Professional Studies (ICAPS) in Owerri should be replicated in the senatorial headquarters of Orlu and Okigwe zones. It is wrong to move every centre of learning to Owerri Municipality. Again, the Special Science Secondary School which is built in Owerri should also be replicated in Orlu and Okigwe zones.

(5)There is intense acrimony and crises in the traditional institution in Orlu LGA. The Governor should appoint Independent Counsel to investigate the immediate and remote causes of these EZESHIP crises in order to redress them. Alternatively, the White Paper on the Hon Justice Chikeka Panel on the autonomous communities should be released now and the recommendations must be faithfully implemented. In some communities where the throne is hereditary, some impostors have fraudulently gate crashed into the throne and our ancestors are not happy. It is not advisable to ask our traditional rulers to resolve these Ezeship disputes because most of our traditional rulers are corrupt and untrustworthy. They do not attach any importance on integrity and reputation. In one of the autonomous communities, a traditional ruler who died over a year ago cannot be buried because of community crises, or has he been buried? It’s a shame indeed.

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(6)HRH EZE Cletus Ilomuanya: It’s high time HRH EZE Cletus Ilomuanya was   reinstated as Chairman, Imo State Traditional Rulers Council. When he was sacked as Chairman, most people supported it. With a court judgment from the Court of Appeal asking for his reinstatement, it is no longer reasonable to continue to deny him access to the status which is due to him. He should be allowed to enjoy the fruit of his court victory now. In fact, we have since observed that if HRH EZE Ilomuanya politicized the throne, the present EZEs have bastardized it. There is  no cogent and  verifiable reason to continue to humiliate HRH Eze Ilomuanya. The governor has carried the hostility to a level of absurdity.Eze Ilomuanya who is also the Chairman; South East Traditional Rulers’ Council should be reinstated now, even though his five year tenure is running out. He is a worthy and eminent son of Orlu and he should not be treated like an outcast. The son (cub) of a lion is not used for sacrifice; more so, at a time when the governor hails from Orlu.HRH EZE Ilomuanya should be reinstated now. In the same vein, we have heard that the Imo State Government has paid compensation to the tune of over N700million to some groups in some parts of Imo State whose lands were taken over by Government for overriding public interest. How about those whose lands and buildings were demolished in Orlu and environs such as Chief Athan Ogoh and Chief Ichanga and several others?

Banana junction/ORLU UMUOWA ROAD:The road construction on this road is very sluggish and lousy. Please invite the Julius Berger or Arab Contractors or related companies to  move in and  get this  road  completed in a  short period. What is going on there now is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.We need a reputable construction company to intervene and clean up the rot there. Thanks my governor for taking my advice.

FEDERAL HIGHWAYS in Imo State: Records show that you have been embarking on the task of tarring federal roads in Imo State without seeking the  approval of President Jonathan for reimbursement. This is a very bad approach; it is an avoidable waste of our funds. President Jonathan will very easily grant approvals for refund of monies spent on such roads. The Owerri/ Amaifeke-Banana junction highway is an example of a federal highway which you are constructing without  any  arrangement  for refund from the federal government. This is a bad approach. Please approach the federal government for intervention because the road is now in a very bad shape. Kindly court the friendship of the President so that he will be in a position to  give us our due  and even more. President Jonathan is a good man and we have a lot to gain from his incumbency if we give him his due honour and respect.

As a result of time constraint, I am unable to be as elaborate as I would have liked to. I heard of the governor’s visit just three hours ago; I have just managed to scratch the surface; I hope to come back to this topic soon .May the Lord guide and protect the governor and others who will be present to give him a rousing welcome. Finally, I advise our governor to bear in mind that most of the politicians who are working for him do not believe in him. The only group that is loyal to the Governor is the Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS) in the 27 LGAs.These are the only people he can confide in. There are also a few other T.C Chairmen like MR E.Olumba and Mayor Obodo who are prepared to sink or swim with him. They are very few and far between.. The Governor should act with caution and foresight in the days ahead.

John Mgbe



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