Following the continued water crisis in Owerri, the Imo State capital, a former governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim has expressed fears over a looming outbreak of epidemics in Owerri that may result from the lack of water.
The former governor also warned that with no single drop of pipe-borne water in the state capital in the last 38 months, the people living in the state capital might face serious health crisis.
Interacting with newsmen in his Burma Retreat country home at Okohia, Isiala Mbano council area of Imo state, Ohakim stated that at the time he left office in 2011, Imo state had 1,900 functional water infrastructures across the state.
Said he, “We trained and engaged 300 technicians to manage these water projects, but for reasons I find difficult to understand, Governor Rochas Okorocha sacked all the technicians immediately he assumed office and today, 90 percent of these water projects have collapsed and for about three years now, the teps have remained dry in the state capital.”
According to Ohakim, his administration had a water roadmap that would have ensured pipe-borne water in every kitchen in the state capital by 2015.
He lamented the rampant misplacement of priority by the present administration saying, “Can you compare 10,000 graduate jobs to 10,000 empty halls?”
While there was an existing Ahiajoku conference Centre built by Ikedi Ohakim, the present administration had replicated another conference centre and Ohakim had this to say: “I am happy that Imo people are beginning to come to terms with all that I my administration stood for. We offered 10,000 graduate job and a lot of people scandalized it, but the beneficiaries when they were sacked by Okorocha came out to tell the state that indeed they were being paid full salaries before Okorocha sacked them. Today somebody is offering 25,000 jobs and you ask yourself, is the entire Imo workforce at present up to 25,000?”
Ohakim recalled that his administration left N26.8Billion in various accounts which he handed over to Okorocha and regretted that Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) had endorsed the reapplication of another N13. 2Billion left in a UBA account for specific projects. According him, this fund has been merely frittered away.
Ohakim condemned the undue criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan by a section of the country.
According to the former governor, “However we look at it, Jonathan is the symbol and image of this country and the idea of assuming that any crisis in the country is Jonathan’s problem is most unpatriotic and retrogressive.”
On his ambition for 2015, Ohakim noted that it is his desire to take another shot at Douglas House but stressed that it was subject to the approval of his party.
Ohakim, You could not build the last of the 3 Regional water schemes in Imo state which was proposed by your predecessors in office to serve nearly the 12 LGAs in Orlu senatorial zone. Pipe borne water does not exist in Orlu. Udenwa and Ararume got the federal govt to help finish Okigwe water scheme commissioned in 2008, though it does not supply water after. May 2007, Udenwa told OBJ in front of governor-elect, Ikedi Ohakim, to help Imo state govt build Orlu regional water scheme. Owerri zone has since been utilizing its own regional water scheme, until Gov. Okorocha surprisingly declared that water supply is a private affair in Imo state. Any candidate that firmly promises to built the water scheme for Orlu zone may bond well this time with Orlu people. For four years, Ohakim pretended that Owerri was the only place in Imo state, and did “Clean and Green” and planting flowers in Owerri, but denied infrastructure for Orlu and Okigwe. You have come again, Ohakim, with your beleif that Imo state begins and ends in Owerri. Wake up.
Ohakim, you refused to build the last of the three zonal surface water supply schemes in Imo state which was meant for Imo West zone. People there now suffer water borne disease, are you not bothered? You seem to still see Imo state as beginning and ending in Owerri, as you did when you were in office. When will Ohakim learn a lesson?