There is no doubt that indigenes and residents of Imo State have passed through the “golgotha” of economic hardship for the years “the ship sailing but destined to nowhere” administration of Chief Ethelbert Anayo Okorocha commenced in 2011. This no doubt accounts for the apparent lack of public interest or “I don’t care attitude” to whatever he does or says as we all are looking forward to the end of his tenure in 2019. We are however alarmed by the latest “flight of fancy” of the Governor in whimsically and without lawful authority donating Fixed Assets of Imo State Government executed with yet undeclared billions of naira to agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria. In some instances published details of these illegal activities include the donation of four out of the 27 yet to be completed General or self styled Specialists Hospital buildings to the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Air force and Nigerian Navy.
In the same wise and in clear admission of failure of policy, the self same Governor who celebrated his ingenuity in establishing the 4th tier level of government called “the Community Government Council” (CGC) has unceremoniously donated its State headquarters building at Naze junction, along Aba Road Owerri to an agency of the Nigerian Air Force. If the CGC is effective in Imo State, will the Governor dispose of its headquarters as a gift?
While we are convinced that the reality and apparent inability to complete and equip the 27 proposed Hospital projects located mostly on Public highways “for all eyes to see” after 6 (six) years may have compelled this immediate “offloading”. It must be sadly realized that Imo funds wasted on those projects as appropriated by the Legislature over the years cannot be refunded as our Governor made unsolicited donation with them. The funding for these projects took our workers out of job, pensioners salaries and gratuities were denied; Civil Servants on the job training and seminars were canceled etc. There is
also the question of what revenue benefit or return on investments will accrue to the respective Local Government Areas whose funds were abinitio appropriated by the Okorocha Administration in the execution of the hospital projects to the level they are presently? What share do the children of Israel have in the house of David?
The major reason for this unwarranted action of donating Imo Fixed Assets to Federal Agencies is because Okorocha believes he can smartly use this scheme to answer the criticisms following his inability to attract Federal presence or projects to Imo State contrary to his exultant campaign claims that an APC administration at the Federal level and at the State level would guarantee our State direct Federal investments and projects. The reality is to the contrary because Okorocha has failed woefully in attracting anything from the “OKECHUKWU” Administration he had baptized the then Presidential Candidate, General Mohammed Buhari as.
We also recall that despite being the “Leader of APC Governors”, Okorocha could only secure a junior minister portfolio for a son of Imo who is a Professor of Education and Ex-Vice Chancellor while the substantive Ministry went to a non-academic professional. In the same wise, despite being leader of APC Governors and his self touted closeness to the corridors of APC Presidential Power, South East zone as a whole could only achieve ministerial positions for lowly graded ministries of Science and Technology; Labour (junior minister) Foreign Affairs; Trade and Investment – what a shame. The zones that got grade “A” ministries do not have as much noisy Governors.
Another evidence of the absence of political synergy between Okorocha and the APC Federal Government is clear from the fact that in the present budget of the federation, the entire South East zone got only a paltry allocation of less than 7% for Capital Projects while some states alone got over 10%. It is also woeful that even in the list of ambassadorial nominees sent by the Presidency to the Senate, the Imo indigene nominated but eventually rejected was nominated as a “Rivers State Indigene” yet Okorocha claims to be doing well.
As the leading opposition Political Party Platform, we are aware that Okorocha’s projection is to use these “illegal donations” to security agencies to engender a relationship that may come handy for him during the 2019 elections to impose his selfish electoral wish of planting his successor on the good people of Imo State. We are sure he will be surprised that Imo people are primed to invoke the spirits that compelled “the Arab spring” in Egypt a few years ago come 2019 so as to be free from the oppression of the Okorocha years of locusts, as Governor of Imo State. His other selfish motives include using the donation of Imo Fixed Assets and gift of vehicles to cozy up to Federal Security institutions and Northern Emirs as it were now that his Presidential ambition is trending as a man “the Presidency fits” within the “new Imo Government House at Spibat Estate”.
We are not amused at all by these cheap stunts of Governor Okorocha who had also in the past acquired private landed properties in the state to establish private post primary schools licensed by the Nigerian Police authorities under their public /private partnership (PPP) arrangement in Ideato South, Nkwerre and Owerri respectively while Imolites are led to believe that the Schools are established by the Nigerian Police Force as evidence of Federal Projects.
It is against this backdrop that we must educate the Governor and call him to order in this rascality of gifting the scarce assets of Imo State people as it pleases him. Indeed if he must, he should immediately donate his new personal “haven on earth residence” “Spibat Estate” to the Federal Government as the new presidential lodge so that President Mohammed “Okechukwu” can come and reside with us in Imo State since that estate is more expansive and modern than the Aso Rock villa.
The Governor should be told that the elected members of the Imo State House of Assembly are not “his boys and girls” but are the voice of Imo electorates and have the constitutional duty to debate and authorize the dealings in such manner with the Assets of Imo State Government. He should let them breathe the air of freemen and women of repute and integrity on behalf of Imo State and not the pitiful band of captured, cajoled and tail wagging pets of an autocrat they have become.
The Governor should stop deluding himself as braggadocio will never work as an art in governing a people for there is clearly no administrative synergy between his administration and the APC led Federal Government and we all know it. If not how come we have virtually lost the presence of MDG, FADAMA, UBEC and other multinational agencies investments because our State Government neglects to pay counterpart funding and other logistics necessary to attract these agencies.
In conclusion, we call on all agencies of the Federal Government to whom Imo Fixed Assets have been donated to immediately repudiate same as the gift was made without lawful authority and transparency. We demand that Imo State House of Assembly in exercise of her Constitutional oversight functions should immediately revoke these illegal donation that amount to robbing Imo State to pay Abuja.
Long live Imo State
Dated this 24th April, 2017.
Chief Enyinna Onuegbu KSC
State Publicity Secretary
Imo State PDP.