By Marcel Ekwezuo
I had earlier decided to keep mum concerning the kind gesture of Rt. Hon (Dr.) Acho Ihim’s manifold and exemplary benevolence to his beloved people of Okigwe state constituency. The thought did not come because I have nothing so fresh or unprecedented to say about it. Rather, like the proverbial little vulture, who once, asked his mother, because of the uncountable geese flesh on the mother’s body, ‘this your request to scratch your body, where should I start from, one, two, or where’? “Mama, the craw – craw for your body dey too much nah”, lamented the little vulture. I just hoped and rightly also that the Speaker’s goodness to the respected people of Okigwe state constituency will speak for itself. Thank God my assumption is now a reality!
I don’t want to recapitulate this young man’s altruism as it was manifest in the denial of his personal comfort to assemble the Africa region Commonwealth Parliamentarians to Owerri, the Imo state capital, neither will I dwell on his wisdom in seeking for and actually finding a solution to the widely acknowledged nation destroyer – hate speeches nor will I dwell on Ihim’s sterling performances against the hydra headed Herdsmen killer squad unleashed against us which hitherto have been ravaging us.
Yes, the immediate past President of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa region most recently gave out some food grains, clothing materials, etc to the needy among us.
He equally gave out motorbikes to virtually all the nooks and crannies of his immediate constituency. For instance none of the following INEC wards in Okigwe LGA received anything less than three motorcycles: Aku, Agbobu, Umuowaibu, Ihube, Umulolo, Amuro, Okigwe Urban I (Ubahu), Okigwe urban II (Okigwe autonomous community), Ogii, Ezinnachi, Umualumoke and Isiokwe.
One important feature of Rt. Hon (Dr.) Acho Ihim’s gifts was his decision to ensure that the gift items transcends across party borders. This is one area I have received uncountable commendation for the Speaker.
Some of the young men and women who competed for and won the numerous refrigerators, deep freezers or the motorcycles during the Ihim sponsored mother of all carnivals in Okigwe were not members of the ruling APC, the Speaker’s party.
Some of the widows who received the rice as gifts from his aides are not members of the APC either.
Yet, as would be expected, one did not just receive commendations for Mr. Speaker’s acts of magnanimity for there were pockets of malice orchestrated vituperations from professional critics who sought to know why people should be fed with fish rather than being taught on how to fish. Some too feigned to have been irked by the idea of giving motorcycles to people when according to them the commodity was being banned in the cities.
You will agree with me that these were the major arguments one can sieve from the criticisms against the Speaker’s step out recently that requires our attention.
For those of us conversant with Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs, there is no dispute as to whether food is the most important requirements for a person’s physical survival. Rt. Hon (Dr.) Acho Ihim through his sharing of food items to as many of his constituents as he can; have demonstrated his infinite belief in sanctity of human life. “You may lack other things, but surely not food.” This is his belief and practice.
Similarly, transportation world over is used for the movement of people, animals and other things. The modes include animal powered, air, human powered, land, water and others. Each society no doubts adopts whichever mode(s) that suits her people.
In Okigwe Local Government as in most Local Governments areas in the country, the topography and agrarian nature of the people favours land transport mode especially motorbikes. Other areas such as the state capital Owerri has been developed to a level that motorcycle riding therein will not only constitute nuisance but will surely be security risk. This is why in his pensive moments, thinking on what he can afford to better the lives of his beloved people of Okigwe, Chief Acho Ihim started by alleviating the transportation quagmire in various rural communities of Okigwe area thereby creating not less than 33 jobs for operators of the motorcycles which by extension tantamount to having taught the people on how to fish after he has fed them first by giving them some food and clothing.
No wonder, one is inundated by SMS, telephone calls and personal visits by lovers of good from the state, all proclaiming one thing – Acho Ihim is better for us – in Imo State.