Archive for January, 2010


January 8, 2010



I learnt the stakeholders’ forum was meant to be an occasion for the governor and his cabinet to give account of their stewardship in the last one year. I was watching to see the achievements of the New Face of Imo with a friend who wanted to see whether my home state has been transformed more than what we have seen in the Center of Excellence. But the whole thing started on a rather chaotic note. My friend lost interest when the occasion started with the presentation by a man from South Africa who was telling us what they expect to do to the state of agriculture when the occasion was to showcase or reel out what has been done. An interpreter was needed to help understand all he was trying to say.

Another presentation was to come from South Africa – the only ‘willing’ investors in Imo state on waste management. In the absence of the presenter, a commissioner came and took us through all they also wanted to do and not what they have done. My friend said when they are through with implementation they should call our attention because we have seen many good projects that never materialized at the end of the day. The presentation on live transmission was often interrupted by the correspondent who took interviews from the organizers of the forum while we were meant to hear what was being presented. I guess he knew nothing was being presented and decided to show us people who organized the august event outside the hall.

The Chief Judge of the state came and told us what they have achieved during the last one year. He recounted the number of courts they were able to build, the ones they rehabilitated and some that are still under construction. Justice Onumajuru thanked the governor for his strides in that arm of government and expressed appreciation for the cordial relationship between the executive and the judiciary .He also noted that judicial workers were currently on strike, though the governor corrected later that the strike was a national one and not just in Imo state.

The Honourable Speaker of the state house of Assembly was the next to speak to the forum. He said it is on record that the House has remained stable and has received cooperation from the executive. One of the major achievements of the legislators in the state was facilitating the crossover of the governor to the ruling party P.D.P. They also fought for amnesty and got included as part of the Post Amnesty programme. The House also aided the inclusion of the Bureau for Niger Delta affairs into the scheme of governance. The lawmakers made sure the appropriation bill was passed before the end of December. The law on kidnapping was one of the major things they achieved in the last fiscal year. The speaker noted that they are aware of the Royal Oak refinery project. He used the opportunity to canvass for re-election on behalf of the whole House. My friend said he was surprised these were what the House was able to waste their while on for a whole year.

The compere after telling us about the influence of our governor and how they were received in Minna and Ile-Ife the previous week, called the ‘Ochinanwata’ to address the forum. Chief Dr. Ikedi Ohakim after observing all protocols narrated how he has been able to attract professionals to the state from different parts of the world to bring about transformation. The New Face of Imo does not owe contractors in the state. He said the 2010 budget is budget of job creation. The governor ran through the list of completed and on-going projects across the state. He made mention of projects like the new government house, Oguta wonder lake and others that he will embark on. IRROMA will be reorganized and a new aroma added to it to make it more effective. The ‘Ochinanwata’ narrated how the hospitality business is booming and real estate appreciating because of the ambience created by his administration. His crossing over to P.D.P was to nip ‘god-fatherism’ in the bud.

The governor asked people to visit the billboard outside the venue to see things for themselves. The compere added that pictures do not lie. But my friend said in the age of computer that pictures can lie; people can make all manner of fake picture presentation. I will suggest that we do not resort to any kind of propaganda when it comes to things like this. I was not privileged to view and see the achievements of our dear governor as displayed outside the venue of the forum, but I will tour round soon to ascertain some of those achievements. Let these be visible like the ones in Lagos which cannot be denied. Let the government in Imo state not favour selected few communities. The last time I visited many were saying the governor has blacklisted communities where his rivals come from who were perceived to have voted against him. Let the New Face give new face to those communities. I have not seen anything new in my community or the ones around it, may be we are amongst the blacklisted.

With genuine commitment and not newspaper propaganda Imo can be amongst the best in the country. Let us shun the ‘divide and rule’ attitude that stifles real development and do fair distribution of projects amongst the communities. Let us believe that as the name of Sam Mbakwe still rings bell in Imo State the New Face will dwarf the achievements of Mbakwe and ring much more; Imo has never seen any governor that can replicate what Onunaka Mbakwe did in his days. The expectation is that the Ohakim administration will bring Imo out of the squalor of maladministration of the yesteryears. It can if there is genuine political will.