? By Okechukwu Njoku
Between 1998 and 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State
was a darling to many but today, the center can no longer hold.
Having held power for so long, power got into their head and the
members in the state could not manage it. They got into a lot of
ungodly deals. They offended many people including their members.
Selfishness, greed, indiscipline, insincerity, injustice, lack of
internal democracy etc. became the order of the day. They therefore,
disconnected from the people and started dribbling themselves even to
public contempt. You know, when a master dribbler dribbles every
opponent in the field of play, if he does not see any person more to
dribble, he may be tempted to start dribbling its teammates and may
end up dribbling himself also to score an own goal. People started
crying but no one was ready to listen. At a time, the Imo public
started seeing the party in the state in bad light. It started being
associated with things like election rigging and slogans like PDP!!
Share the money! Etc. One cannot eat his cake and have it. Imo PDP
took Imo people for a ride and the people punished the party by voting
it out. Today, the people have taken back their power and have given
it to whom they so wish.
Ironically, PDP is not as unpopular as it is in states like Enugu,
Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross Rivers and Delta etc. I think it is because
of the orientation of the members of the party in Imo. Unfortunately,
instead of the party to address the myriads of problems that destroyed
the fortune of the party in the state, they resorted to blackmailing
the performing and people-oriented government led by Owelle Rochas
Okorocha. Before now, these disgruntled politicians had also tried to
incite the Benjamin Uwajumogu-led legislature against the Governor but
all to no avail.
Recently, leaders of the party from Imo State met with President
Goodluck Jonathan at Presidential Villa, Abuja were among other
things, the activities of the present government in Imo State were
reported to Mr. President. Reports have it that the delegates which
were led by the ousted and thoroughly disgraced ex-governor of the
state Chief Ikedi Okakim were quoted to be over seventy (70) in
It was also reported that during the meeting, these Imo sons and
daughters appealed to Mr. President to come and ?rescue? them from the
hands of the present administration in Imo State. They among other
things told Mr. President that the present government in Imo had
instituted a state police, refused the former local government
chairmen and councilors from controlling the local government councils
and also alleged that the state government has not been carrying the
party along in its activities.
I am not against this visit because there is nothing wrong for party
members to visit their national party leader especially when such a
leader is a president. However, I would not have been groused if these
emissaries had limited what they told Mr. President to how to
reposition their party and attract federal government projects to
their state. Also, I would not have been bothered if the occasion was
to remind Mr. President to fulfill his campaign promises to Imo State
when he last came on presidential election campaign in the state. For
me, such a rare opportunity would have been used to remind Mr.
President of his campaign promises to give more Imo sons and daughters
federal appointments, build many roads, dredge Nworie River, construct
a naval base at Oguta, build agricultural silo at Okigwe, establish 3
additional electricity power stations in the state, construct
Okpala-Amala-Rumukrushi Road, his agreement to partner with the state
in the royal Oil Oark Refinery, the various Millennium Development
Goals projects and the 2 Billion naira agricultural loan for farmers.
What of the security challenge in the state which is supposed to be a
collective effort of both the state and federal government
responsibility. I also had expected the team to express their grouse
on the resent disgraceful removal of an Imo daughter as the
Comptroller-General of Immigration who was allegedly accused of
favouring Imo indigenes during the last recruitment exercise in the
country?s Immigration Service.
Before I go on, let us look at the two grave allegations these
?August? delegates made against the present government in Imo State
which were establishment of state police and the alleged crisis in the
leadership of local government councils in the state. Every Imo person
is aware that the Imo Security Network is a security vigilante group
which was inherited from Ohakim?s regime. Majority of the personnel
were employed by Ohakim?s government. What the present government in
the state did was to refine the outfit from its former crude and
brutish style of operation to a more friendly and civilized mode of
operation, moreover, they are working hand-in-clove with other federal
government security agencies to give the state effective security. On
the local government issue, it could be remembered that Ohakim?s
Bon-Nwakanma-Led Panel recommended for parliamentary system of
government and two-year tenure for elected local government officials.
The state legislature then rejected the parliamentary system but
Ohakim lobbied and the legislature and it passed the two-year tenure
for him and he quickly signed it into law. This law was gazzetted and
used in electing the embattled former local government council
officials in August 2010 in what political pundits described as the
most undemocratic election in recent times. Incidentally, the tenure
of these officials ended in August 2012. At the expiration of their
tenure, these L.G. officials refused to vacate office till date.
The above is the true position of the allegations these delegates
levied in Abuja and they did not have the conscience to tell Mr.
President the truth. This shows the kind of politicians Imo parades
in PDP. Liars, blackmailers, pretenders, desperadoes etc. who are only
more interested in their own selfish benefits and the money that would
be shard in such a visit. The irony is that the delegation paraded
some names that an unsuspecting person would think are responsible men
and women of honour but in reality, the reverse is the case. These are
worn-out politicians who were all beaten pants down in their various
booths during the 2011 Governorship election in the state because of
their inability to lead the people well.
There is nothing Jonathan can do to performing ACN Governors like
Fashola who were dully elected by their people. Imo case is not
different. Therefore, that macabre dance of these frustrated stalwart
at Aso Rock was uncalled for. For me, it is an acceptance of weakness
on the side of the delegates. I know that the trick was to drag Mr.
President into the political war which I know the president is too
busy for such. It was the same thing that happened in 2011 when
Jonathan?s attention was drawn to the fact that Rochas inserted
Jonathan?s picture to his campaign poster. We heard that Mr. President
then just smiled and that was all.
Few days before this macabre dance, Mr. President sent a delegation to
find out how the state was fairing. The so called PDP leaders all hid
themselves and did not accompany this Federal Government delegation
led by the information Minister Labaran Maku on tour of facilities in
the state. The Minister and those in his company were all overwhelmed
at the level of development the state has witnessed under Governor
Rochas Okorocha and they did not hid their praises. Therefore, Mr.
President already has first-hand information of Owelle?s government
before the arrival of these emissaries of rift to Aso Rock.
Nigeria runs federal system of government. Imo people voted both
Jonathan and the present government in Imo State. Jonathan cannot
remove Governor Rochas Okorochas and put back Ohakim. Power now
belongs to the people. With the rapid development going on now in the
state, PDP in the state is already feeling jittery because they
thought the present government in the state would fail. Going to Abuja
to gossip cannot solve the problem. And moreover, Mr. President has a
lot of problems already facing him in the country and would rather
prefer those who will fight him and not those he will fight.
Once power is lost, it is hard to regain.
Therefore, these tainted and self-appointed and disgruntled emissaries
of evil should first beg for forgiveness of sins from God and come
back to Imo people they impoverished for over 12 years and render an
unreserved apology for God gives power and now, sovereignty resides
with the people and no longer in Aso Rock.
FROM OKOHIA ISIALA MBANO L.G.A.