Exclusive letter from former Imo State Governor, Dr Ikedi Godson Ohakim to his successor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha dated March 29,2017,titled :STILL ON THE TREND OF EVENTS IN OUR STATE
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha
Governor of Imo State
Owerri, Imo State.
STILL ON THE TREND OF EVENTS IN OUR STATE
It is with a deep sense of responsibility that I write Your Excellency once again on some
issues that I would like you to look into as a matter of urgency. You will recall that in my
previous letter to you, I noted that it would be impossible for me to look the other way
while things get awry in a state I was once privileged to preside over as governor. No
matter what anybody might say, or in spite of your personal mind sets, I remain one of the
biggest stakeholders in Imo state, with a huge following of supporters and other
stakeholders who believed, and still believe, in me and who have remained steadfast in
their appreciation of the ideas and people oriented programmes I came up with as
governor for the development of our dear state.
I am quite certain that you will misconstrue these interventions as being made in bad faith
or in a bid to play politics. I saw the reactions you caused your handlers to make in
respect of my last letter, wherein they used several pages of newspaper advertorials to
tabulate the “achievements” of your administration and mine; in which exercise you
scored yourself 100 per cent. Apart from the fact that the exercise was quite absurd – as
pointed out by many well meaning citizens of the state – you are away that it cost the Imo
tax payer so much money to put up such an expensive advertorial in response to a mere
letter of advice.
While I am inclined to think that you will again direct those handlers of yours to resort to
the same tactics of publishing an advertorial to state that I “achieved nothing” as
governor, let me assure you, once again, that the instant letter is not aimed at getting even
Having established this much, let me now go to the main purpose of writing you this
1. THE ISSUE OF HRM EZE (DR) CLETUS ILOMUANYA, CON.
Your Excellency, I was appalled on coming across a recent newspaper report in which
you were quoted as saying that you will “banish” His Royal Majesty, Eze Cletus I.
Ilomuanya CON, the Obi of Obinugwu, chairman, Imo state council of traditional
rulers and chairman, Southeast council of traditional rulers.
Your Excellency, that statement credited to you touched me so much to the extent that
I saw myself asking: Have things turned this bad for Nigeria? Pardon my skepticism,
Your Excellency, but you will agree with me that such an utterance is quite
unbecoming of a servant of the people in a free and democratic society, more so in a
state like Imo whose people are known to be civil in actions and utterances and,
generally, not given to the type of brashness, I dare say, you have had tendencies to exhibit.
exuberance but you do not have the same liberty to fragrantly disobey the rule of law,
including judgments of courts of competent jurisdiction. In the instant case, that of
your purported dethronement of HRM, Eze Ilomuanya and his removal as chairman
of the Imo state council of traditional rulers, you may have succeeded so far in your
unprecedented reign of impunity and brigandage only because other stakeholders in
the state, and indeed the entire Igbo land, have all this time been hoping that you will
soon come to your senses and retrace your steps. Your recent utterances, however,
show that you are not appreciative of the patience of the good people of Imo state and,
indeed, other well meaning Igbo in other states on this particular matter. Your
Excellency, this perception is not good enough for you.
Worse, your actions and utterances on the matter constitute a huge embarrassment to
the entire Igbo race. For, apart from that they amount to a desecration of the cultural
norms of Ndi Igbo, your recalcitrance portrays you as part of a subterfuge to reduce
the traditional institution in Igbo land to a second class status, compared with those of
the other nationalities that make up Nigeria where you go often to mount on horses to
take chieftaincy titles and advertise same in the national media.
To say the least, I am pained that it is from my own very state that the Igbo traditional
institution is taking such a lethal blow, because I was at the fore front of elevating it to
the height where it was accorded national respect and assigned with the same status as
similar institutions in other parts of the country. Beyond Eze Ilomuanya, it is also not
a hidden fact that the traditional institution in Nigeria as a whole is aware of your
penchant to reduce traditional rulers in Imo state to mere errand boys. The story is
well known in the country that you once commanded traditional rulers to mount a
parade of honour for you while you took a salute, all that on live television. As you
must have been told, that was an abomination.
Your Excellency, the purpose of this letter is to ask you to not only stop the aggression
against HRM Eze C.I. Ilomuanya but to, forthwith, comply with all court rulings on
the matter between you, your administration on one hand, and the revered traditional
ruler on the other. But since your posturing and utterances suggest that you seem to
have forgotten what the issues are, let me briefly refresh your memory:
1) Few days after being sworn in as governor, precisely on June 6, 2011, during your maiden
broadcast as governor of Imo state, you, like in a military takeover, announced the
removal of HRM Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, CON as chairman of the Imo state council of
traditional rulers while banishing all democratic institutions in the state such as the
democratically elected local government councils, the 46 Development Centres and
all tenured boards, etc.
2) HRM Eze Ilomuanya went to court to challenge that absurdity by you at the Imo
State High Court but on February 24, 2012, Hon. Justice B. O Njemanze, the state
Chief Judge as he then was, ruled that there was no evidence to prove that you,
Governor Rochas Okorocha, dissolved the council. It was a very innocuous and
ambiguous ruling and as such, Eze Ilomuanya had no option but to head to the Court
3) On Friday July 5, 2013, the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, while displaying an
uncommon judicial courage, gave a ruling restraining you and agents of your
administration from truncating the tenure of Eze Ilomuanya as member and chairman
of the Imo state council of traditional rulers, until the lawful expiration of the said
4) Again, on May 26 2014, in case No. HOW/525/2003, a High Court of Imo State in
unmistaken terms declared that Eze Ilomuanya is the rightful chairman of the Imo
state council of traditional rulers and awarded a N20,000.00 cost against, HRH Eze
Samuel Ohiri whom you had surreptitiously appointed the chairman in place of Eze
Ilomuanya. Till date, that ruling has not been appealed by you and is still subsisting.
5) You could remember that not satisfied with the ruling of the Court of Appeal, you,
yourself, challenged it at the Supreme Court.
6) But curiously on July 6, 2014 and while your appeal at the Supreme Court was
still pending, you resorted to self help by announcing on radio, as usual, the purported
dethronement of Eze Ilomuanya as the traditional ruler of Obinugwu, not minding the
ruling of the Imo State High Court as aforementioned.
7) On February 2, 2015, however, the Supreme Court threw out your appeal.
8) Following your refusal to obey the Appeal Court order, the federal government of
Nigeria, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of
Justice, via a letter dated August 26, 2016, directed you to re-instate HRM Eze C.I.
Ilomuanya as the chairman of the Imo state council of traditional rulers in accordance
with the orders of the Court of Appeal.
9) Yet, on March 15, 2017, newspaper reports quoted you, Your Excellency, Chief
Ethelbert Anayo Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo state, as saying that you will
not only disobey the ruling of the Court of Appeal, and the directive of the federal
government but will indeed “banish” Eze Ilomuanya from Imo state.
This is the height of your disdain for the collective integrity of not only the good
people of Imo state but also the entire Igbo race. It is the height of democratic
impudence. That statement credited to you is an insult to the entire country and its
judiciary and corroborates the belief in several quarters that you see Imo state as a
territory you have conquered and whose people you can push around at will.
I understand that your argument for not obeying the court ruling is that the tenure the
court referred to has actually ended and that the court did not rule that Eze Ilomuanya
should be returned as the traditional ruler of Obinugwu. But you are wrong. When the
court ruled that he should be reinstated as chairman of the Imo state council of traditional rulers, it implied that he is still a traditional ruler because one has to be a
traditional ruler, in the first place, before being a member of the council let alone its
chairman. I would advise you to desist from further semantics, do what the court has
said and save the entire Igbo land the embarrassment you have brought to it.
Owing to the gravity of this matter, let me inform you that I will make copies of this
letter available to key leaders in the country for their judicious notice of what is going
on in Imo state and which, if not nipped in the bud, may portend cataclysm for our
2. YOUR CONTINUED INSULTS ON MY PERSON
As I noted at the beginning of this letter, your response to my previous letter to you
was to ask your handlers to publish an expensive newspaper advertorial in several
newspapers and in which you tabulated your ‘achievements’ side-by-side with my
. I was amused at your resort to that because it merely showed a
lack of capacity and sincerity to address the issues I raised. But several months later,
are you not being haunted by those issues?
For example, a couple of days ago, a federal high court in Owerri issued a warrant of
arrest for six top officials of your administration, including two serving
commissioners, for flaunting its orders to appear before it on a matter concerning the
destruction of the property of a citizen of the state by agents of your administration.
You can see that the culture of impunity and disobedience of court orders which you
introduced in the state has started spreading. Like I emphasized in my letter, your penchant for disobeying court rulings and orders has turned the state into a lawless enclave. Your officials have become the proverbial young goat which watches the mother while it chews cord.
About the same period during which the federal high court issued the warrant on your
commissioners (in what looks like a vindication of my earlier letter of advice) the
Council Of Registered Engineers of Nigeria, COREN, issued a statement raising an
alarm over the safety status of the two flyovers your administration is completing in
the Owerri capital city, after years of abandonment and hesitation to continue with
those laudable projects started by my administration. In fact, COREN has threatened
to drag you, Rochas Okorocha, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) over an alleged fraudulent handling of the flyover projects.
Your Excellency, recall that I dwelt on this particular issue of ensuring that the
flyovers meet safety standards in my previous letter. Either before or after that letter, I
have never expected you to take me as a friend because as I noted and as others have
observed, you seem to still habour so much animosity over the 2011 governorship
election even though you were declared winner when you did not win.
Apart from the time you caused your erstwhile deputy, Jude Agbaso, to publicly
disparage me and discredit my administration and which caused some members of my
expanded exco to issue a response, I have restrained myself from criticizing you
publicly. But you have refused to be appreciative of that. You seize every opportunity
to disparage me and to tell the world that I “achieved nothing”. As I noted earlier, you
have the option of continuing to wallow in youthful exuberance over an election that
took place six years ago; or decide to be more mature and do things that would bring
peace and love to our state.
Evidently, you seem to have chosen the former. On March 16, 2017, for example,
some newspaper reports carried your remarks on me and my administration wherein, as usual, you made a comparison between yours and mine. You were quoted as
saying: “show me what Ohakim did in four years in Imo; many of his projects
were never completed. The whole of his projects are not up to one of my road
Your Excellency, I think you should be operating beyond this level. Your choice of
words is too ordinary to come from a governor. Your constant allusion to my
administration, six years after I left office and after you have governed the state for
six years, is an inadvertent admission that your understanding of governance does not
go beyond the erection of buildings. For you, governance is only about real estate
(edifice mentality). It is also an admission that you are worried that I did something
superior to what you are doing today. Yes, buildings are good but governance is not
all about buildings. When you came in, you started erecting buildings everywhere.
But it is on record that more than 90 per cent of those building are substandard, are
not under use and are of no economic value to the people Imo state whatsoever.
From those who know, good governance is more than 70 per cent about intangibles:
things you cannot physically see or touch. They include things like obeying rule of
law, something you are very much averse to as is evident in your fragrant
disobedience to court rulings. Intangibles include not going in the night to destroy the
shops of self employed youths at the Orji mechanics village, without providing them
an alternative venue. It means not awarding contracts to companies whose engineers
are not known to the governing body that regulates the practice of engineering in the
3. MY RECORDS ARE THERE
It is better to refresh your memory so that next time a microphone enters your hand,
you will be properly guided. Without sounding immodest, my administration refused
to follow the easy option like you are doing by tip-toeing around the problems of the
state, dropping sub-standard buildings without economic value here and there
especially along highways, placate some leaders, convert Imo assets into personal
estate, banish all governance institutions including the local government system,
capture huge revenue by sacking over 60,000 workers including 10,000 graduate
public servants and deploying the state resources purely for personal aggrandizement.
As a development economist and environmentalist, what mattered to me was the lives
of Imo people. We remained focused on our vision branded the New Face Of Imo, the
philosophy of which was to govern without zonism but with the fear of God and
putting smiles on the faces of Imo people. Our concern was to restore sense of
belonging and pride in the state and gradually and strategically create an economy. Of
course, we did not turn Imo into a project jungle but what was evident is that we paid
due attention to due process and the Social Contract between the people and the
government. We got rid of embarrassing filth; we confronted the criminals, whether
they were armed robbers, kidnappers or ghost workers.
We confronted unemployment. We confronted urban decay and took out dilapidated
infrastructure no matter who put them there. We stopped our youths from being
vulnerable to deaths through accidents on commercial motorcycles, by methodically
and painlessly taking motor-cycle riders off the roads. We created the first Enterprise
Centre at Nekede, Owerri with an annual turnover today in excess of N10.8billion and
relocated Ogbosisi and other artisans with happiness. We invested in the health of our
people by building 46 primary health centres complete with generators, ambulances,
staff and Doctors, including consultants; and maintained the 18 general hospitals
which you later sold.
Not minding obvious discomfort, we tried to put up with the old governor’s lodge, the
old Exco chambers and all the old infrastructure in Government House, including the
first lady’s dilapidated office. Unlike you, we refused to build a “befitting” first lady’s
office, presidential lodge or governor’s guest houses so as to be able to pay salaries of
workers, as well as meet obligations to contractors as at when due, even though crude
oil was selling for an average of $38/barrel. We used over 2000 local contractors for
rural development so that money can circulate among the citizens.
We paid off the emoluments of former government functionaries who served before
our administration, amounting to N6billion; as well as pensions and gratuities of our
old parents, amounting to N4billion - all within our first year in office. We achieved
our vision of making Imo state conducive, healthy and attractive to investors. For
example, within two years, property prices in Owerri, our state capital, increased by
In order to avoid subjecting Imo people to serious hardship, we did not “banish”.
Rather, we left all the 46 development centers created by my predecessor and paid off
all outstanding entitlements of former government appointees. We embarked on high
quality, well-designed and properly supervised infrastructural development.
Consultants produced drawings and impact assessment reports, specifications and
bills of quantities. Contracts, including those of roads, were properly drawn before
they were ever awarded in line with due process and best practices in government.
We obeyed all court rulings and orders and respected rules of engagement in the
contract system without exposing the state to commercial risks or public odium. Little
wonder we had no judgement debts and no contract failed in my administration. No
contractor ran away with government money like in the J-bross saga. The 201km of
world class roads we built are still solid today. They include the road leading to your
home town, Ogboko; the 32km Ngor Okpala-Etche road; the 31km Dikenafai-
Isiekenesi-Umuago-Umuobom-Osina road with four bridges; and the Yar’Adua road
in Owerri capital city, etc. The 232km of roads which were under construction before
we left office are still very solid. Of the 1,325 functional public water schemes we
handed over to you, is it not callous that less than 10% are functioning today; maybe
because they are not located on the federal highways or they will not promote your
“edifice mentality” syndrome.
Because the people mattered to us, we deliberately and, in spite of paucity of
resources, created over 500,000 jobs including 350 in IROMA, 300 for public water
maintenance, 600 from the Finishing School programme, 10,000 graduates employed
into the public service, 6,000 ENTRACO workers including women sweepers as well
as 80,000 private sector jobs (30% in the hospitality industry). We provided interest-
free loans to 2,700 traders, direct financial intervention grants to 70,000 youths under
the Imo Youth Empowerment programme (IYEP), N2billion Imo farmers’ loan
scheme under the Imo Rural Development Scheme. Over 2000 local small scale
contractors were used for projects and infrastructure maintenance scheme in the 305
wards. They in turn employed over 60,000-strong local workforce.
Our administration in only four years attracted federal government projects in excess
of N200billion. We established by law the Imo Roads Maintenance Agency (IROMA)
with assets worth over N12.5Billion. IROMA attracted international acclaim
including the World Bank support foreign loan of USD60 million which you collected
and misappropriated after we left office.
We started the Imo Wonder Lake Resort and Conference Centre in Oguta which you
abandoned; even though we left N13.2billion in an interest-yielding account at UBA PLC for the project; and even after you renamed it the Blue Lake Of Treasure.
We established the Imo Polytechnic, got the Yar’Adua federal government to take
over Alvan Ikoku College of Education, established the Imo State Investment
Promotion Agency (ISIPA), attracted the Court of Appeal by building the court
premises and Judges’ quarters, the Nigerian Stock Exchange trading floor, Owerri as
well as founding the Imo Municipal Transport Company Limited, which employed
over 150 workers. Above all, we never sold any government assets.
We consulted extensively and never relocated any government institution to my
village, home town or zone. Communities and town unions were encouraged and
given loans, inputs and training to help in their farming and feed themselves so as to
be less vulnerable to price shocks. Unfortunately, you proscribed all town unions in
the state. We invested on realistic revenue-centered projects that would have kick
started our planed economic/developmental revolution.
Our flagship programme, the clean and green initiative, which you abandoned, was a
visionary concrete programme that tackled health challenges and several years of
squalor and filth and decreased the incidence of malaria by 68%. That environmental
revolution, which was only No. 1 in our 14 number products of vision and focus, was
responsible for our state capital, Owerri, winning the “cleanest state capital” award
for three years and I, Ikedi Ohakim, becoming the National Branding Icon because of
that world-class programme.
Of the 88 Bills at the state House of Assembly during our administration, between
2007 and 2011, more than 50% were my Bills (47 executive bills) for good
governance and due process. I also sponsored 20 motions out of the 141. This is a
record for which I was invited to make a presentation at the Kennedy School of
Government, Havard University, U.S.A in 2010.
We rebranded sports and Imo state came first at the National Sports Festival in
Kaduna in 2008 and also won gold at the African Hockey championship in 2009. Our
darling team, the Heartland Football club, which is now relegated to second division
under your nose, played the African championship finals under my leadership with TP
Mazembe in 2009 in Lubumbashi; tying 2-2 on aggregate even though TP was
awarded the gold and Heartland the silver on away goal rules.
Your political propaganda apart, our achievements in the area of security (protection
of lives and property) can be appreciated from the Nigeria Police security statistics
report (2007-2010), as captured by This Day newspaper of Monday December 17,
2012. Our state, Imo, posted one of the best security performances in Nigeria during
4. PHANTOM ACHIVEMENTS/N982 BILLION REVENUE
I marvel each time you are reported as saying that your achievements surpass those of
all the 13 previous governors put together. Exactly what do you mean? Are you aware
that the combined current balance of all revenues that have accrued to your
administration in only six years is in excess of N982 billion?
This is made up of statutory allocations to the state government and the 27 local
governments; major loans including a foreign loan of USD60 million under RAMP;
domestic commercial loans; indebtedness to personnel (both serving and retired);
pensions and other emoluments; indebtedness to local contractors; federal government refunds; bail-out funds; N5.7 billion allegedly recovered from
contractors; N3.2 billion from the sale of Adaplam; funds from the sale of Nsu Tiles
equipment; funds from the concession of 18 General Hospitals; funds saved from the
federal government takeover of the Alvan Ikoku College of Education (AICE) and, of
course, the N26.6 billion which I handed over to you.
Yet, the humongous over trading and mismanagement of funds going on in the state
under your watch has resulted only in the construction of buildings and poorly
articulated roads all of which together are too infinitesimal compared with what you
If my administration had the privilege of receiving only 25% of what you have
received so far, Imo state today would have ranked second or third in quantum leap in
economic development. There wouldn’t have been port holes on our roads and there
would have been clean water in every kitchen as against what obtains now in
Okorocha’s Imo. Our economy would have been outstanding and money would have
been circulating. Our policies would have created over 800,000 jobs and our youths
would have realized their dream of self actualization.
5. THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITION OF IMO STATE TODAY
Chief Ethelbert Rochas Anayo Okorocha, our people are dying in their hundreds. A
scientific study by one Dr Damian Okoli in 2016 has confirmed that some of your
anti-people policies have direct negative consequences on the growing hardship and
misery index among the people of Imo state. The study went ahead to confirm that
over 50,000 people who were gainfully employed in both the public and private
sectors before May 29, 2011 are today out of job. The socio-economic implications of
this are too grave to contemplate.
The only industry thriving in the state today is the burial industry. Imo state under
your watch does not even have a single medical consultant in its employment with its
attendant implications. The state now has a total of 58 mortuaries, from 20 in 2011.
As it is now, the people are enthusiastically looking at what a post Okorocha Imo will
be like. There are fears that the post Okorocha era will be bedeviled with intricate
social and economic problems, as people will struggle to grapple with issues arising
from the collapse of institutions of governance. For example, there will be several
disputes over land given the way your administration went about with what looks like
a land grabbing policy.
There will be the issue of your habitual disrespect for contractual obligations which
has led to more than 250 court cases and over N5billion judgment debts. There will be
issues of reviving town unions and tackling community restiveness in several areas
given your style of administration. The collapse of your 4th tier government and its
debt obligations and the revival of the local government system will also pose a
challenge to the post Okorocha era.
PIECES OF ADVICE/CONCLUSION
I would like to offer Your Excellency the following pieces of advice:
(i) HRM Eze C.I. Ilomuanya
Obey Court rulings on HRM Eze (Dr.) C.I Ilomuanya and tender a public apology to
him. There is a precedence which you can draw impetus from. The immediate past governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, sometime ago apologized to the
late Chief Sam Ogbemudia after wrongfully retrieving a car earlier bought for the
latter by Oshiomole’s predecessor, Prof. Osunbor. In fact, Oshiomole bought
Ogbemudia another brand new car.
(ii) Local Government System
Recall that you equally “banished” the elected local government chairmen and
councilors as soon as you took office. They went to court and in case No.
CA/OW/215/11, the Appeal Court in a unanimous judgment delivered on July 5,
2012, reaffirmed that the governor “has no competence or powers, either by
himself or through any person acting on his behalf to dissolve elected local
government councils”. The court also ruled that “the governor has no powers or
competence to set up or constitute transition committees to replace the
democratically elected chairmen”. It consequently ordered that they be immediately
reinstated to office.
You bluntly disobeyed. Rather, you went to the Supreme Court on appeal and that has
kept the fate and lives of these leaders, their children and dependents in abeyance. I
appeal to you to reinstate them or pay them their entitlements for the sake of our
economy and their children.
Recall also that only two days after you were declared governor-elect, you created an
office never known by our constitution and which you tagged, “Office Of The
Executive Governor-Elect” and issued a stop order to all the banks in Nigeria from
dealing with or honouring the cheques of the Imo state government. The Hon.
Attorney-General of the federation wrote to advice you on such illegality and warned
you to withdraw the letters. But you bluntly disobeyed. You must forthwith put a stop to
your penchant for disobeying court rulings and orders.
(iii) N10,000 Jobs for Public Servants
In 2010, my administration created 10,000 jobs for university graduates through a
competitive process that ensured that only the best came in. You “banished” the jobs
and threw those young people back to the labour market. Their salary outlay of about
N450million per month was withdrawn from circulation in the Imo economy and
became additional revenue for you.
Today, over 70 % of these young people are still roaming the streets. They went to the
industrial court and got judgment against you. Again, you refused to obey. They set
up a powerful pressure group led by one Dr Ugonna Emereonye. My heart nearly
dropped into my stomach when Dr Emereonye was assassinated in front of his
father’s house in Akata, Oru East L.G.A. There is tension everywhere. Diffuse this
time bomb by reinstating these young people or pay them their emoluments.
(vi) Alarm By COREN
Take seriously the advice of COREN. Most of the projects you are dishing out and
throwing to the people have become death traps. Recall that a new building you were
erecting at the Imo State University suddenly collapsed. Your new Princess hotel in
Okigwe has been abandoned because it collapsed. Some of your pre-fabricated school
blocks have collapsed. The much advertised tunnel along Concord Avenue is now a
Now that you have received another bailout windfall, please, for the sake of our state, begin to make amends. First, remove all the four substandard culverts you built across
Nworie and Otmiri rivers and replace them with properly designed bridges. The
culverts have constricted the two rivers and there are fears that this precious gifts of
nature may go into extinction within the next few years. Remove the round-about at
the IMSU junction along Okigwe road, Owerri because it has constituted a death trap.
I have it on good authority that it is wrong to locate a round-about along a road with
that type of gradient.
Like I did advice in my previous letter, the Imo Road Maintenance Agency (IROMA)
was a parastatal created by law for the maintenance of public infrastructure especially
roads. Since our 16,000km road-network cannot all be asphalted by one
administration, the 164-member Imo advisory committee, which was constituted in
preparation for my inauguration in 2007, and which was headed by our revered father,
the late Hon. Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, JSC, recommended IROMA among other
IROMA was subsequently set up by my administration and it acquired equipment and
other assets. Each of the 27 L.G.As had a brand new grader, excavator, tipper, earth
roller, a Hilux van, 100 motor cycles, general low bed truck and other working tools.
IROMA employed over 300 workers spread across the 27 L.G.As and they included
engineers, supervisors, drivers, artisans, mechanics and laborers. Part of their
assignment included routine maintenance of both rural and semi-rural roads as well as
servicing and routine maintenance of urban roads. By the time we left office, IROMA
had assets valued at N12.5billion. Imo people want IROMA back to help in
maintaining roads including the ones you hurriedly built which in several cases do not
last more than three months.
(vi) Stop Ridiculing The Judiciary
I have just read the address of the Imo state chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association
(NBA) which was delivered in your presence at a function organized by the Imo state
judiciary a couple of weeks ago. I advise you to request for a copy and read it when
alone. Tongues are wagging; people are uncomfortable with the way you are
“banishing” the judiciary and disobeying the orders of the court. Till this moment,
judicial officers, including judges, are being owed salary and allowances for upwards
of four months. There are over 250 court cases against you and your administration by
the same citizens you swore on oath to look after. Please stop ridiculing the judiciary.
(vii) Be Careful; Follow The Governance Rule
You are the only governor in the history of Nigeria who has attracted 32 newspaper
editorials in six years, with 16 in your first 16 months in office – all negative. Your
comical behaviour and executive brigandage have made Imo the butt of cruel jokes.
Nearly six years in office, Imo people cannot discern where you are taking them to, or
your policy direction.
The good people of Imo state have never lived in this type of fear. Can a governor
who threatens his citizens with banishment be trusted to guarantee the security of the
state? Imo state is our collective heritage. It does not belong to your family or mine.
Therefore, you lack the authority to warn any citizen that you will banish him or her.
When a leader degenerates to the level of constantly threatening his citizens with
banishment as well as constantly denigrating his predecessors and contemporaries, no matter the amount of money spent on propaganda and public relations in a bid to look
good, it will be impossible to convince the yam that the goat is his best friend. Follow
the rules. Governance, like boxing, has a set of code of conduct or moral code.
Punching below the belt is not allowed. After a knock down, the attacking boxer must
immediately return to a neutral corner. Stop punching opponents after the fight. You
are now the governor.
My dear governor, the questions on the lips of Imolites are: Is Okorocha bigger than
Nigeria? Why has Okorocha continued to rubbish the Judiciary and its
pronouncements? Why has Okorocha continued to ride roughshod over Imo people
with reckless abandon? Why is he converting Imo assets into his own personal estate?
Why has he promised local government elections six times and failed six times? Why
does he dish out projects from his pocket? For example, waking up one day and
erecting a town hall at the centre of the Oguta golf course free way, thus rendering the
golf course useless. Why is Okorocha standing our democracy on its head? Who will
bell the cat?
I wish you the best as always.
HE (Dr.) Ikedi Ohakim