By Bob Njamanze
While urging displaced traders who today litter Douglas Road to move gradually back to their respective market sites to enable free flow of traffic, this bottleneck in Owerri is due to the closure of Douglas Road for over two years, the destruction of various well constructed gutters and the digging up of road junctions making the entire city a construction site with no hope of completion.
The outgoing government of Chief Rochas Okorocha must be careful of any action or actions that could precipitate revolt and a demonstration of the people’s anger. The people are showing so much readiness to rent their feelings and rejection of the overbearing actions of impunity and lack of respect for laws and order. The coming of Ihedioha is certainly welcome as it is more of relief from bondage
Although Ihedioha comes out cleanest in the perception of the people and the people would like to consign Okorocha to memory lane and welcome a friendly replacement, anything that will give the semblance of attempt to further perpetuate such actions like trying to entrench interest on lands forcefully taking from the people regardless of court orders and injunctions, will definitely precipitate crisis of unimaginable proportion.
Ihedioha must be careful how he handles such issues which include the mass destruction of property, total disregard for traditional and culture of the people, removing the traditional village heads and replacing same with people without pedigree and in some cases with no traceable genealogy or root, desecration of the revered institution of Ozuruiabo of Owerri by purported Eze Imo and the destruction of all cultural and traditional institutions like the Mbari centre I call on all of us to notice this as the time for all well meaning people of Imo State to rally round Ihedioha not because he is of PDP, or from Owerri zone but because the survival of the people of this state is paramount, and supersedes any selfish and personal consideration. Ihedioha has never been governor, so definitely he has to learn the ropes. The outgoing governor has put so many land-mines on his way to success so he must not allow himself to be carried away by praise singers and sycophants. He can never please everyone. Already he is putting two feet forward in an attempt to jump over the initial huddle. We must not let him trip or fail.
The Transition Committee and the Inauguration Committee are obviously over bloated. You do not have to be in any of these to enjoy the courtesy and recognition of the administration. Everyone has something to contribute We must let go, that complex of complaints.
Imo people have a way they mask their inability to talk to authority but blame others for not talking. Let us relieve the feeling of inferiority
We have been fooled enough! “First fool no be fool na second fool be proper foolish”.
Let me here recall a Press Release by the press secretary to the outgoing Governor Sam Onwuemeodo on the destruction of Ekeukwu Owerri market and the death of Somtochukwu, the 10 yea- old boy who was gruesomely murdered :
“Governor Rochas Okorocha says Douglas road & any project to be built at Ekeukwu site are to be named after the 10-year old boy (Somtochukwu)
-and that he has liberated owerri people from a wicked clique”.
“Not minding how and where the ten-year old boy. Master Somtochukwu Ibeanusi died on the day the Ekeukwu Owerri Market was demolished for relocation to a better place, the Governor of the State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has said that the boy would be honoured by the State Government adding that, Douglas Road and any project that would be built at Ekeukwu Owerri Site will be named after him.
Governor Okorocha who spoke when traditional rulers and leaders of Owerri paid him solidarity visit at the Government House, Owerri, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, said too that he has been able to liberate the people of Owerri from a wicked clique made up of one or two families who had held Owerri people in bondage.
His words “Government has decided to honour Somtochukwu although the boy’s death was confusing because an action can’t be taking place on Douglas road, and the person died at Mbaise road. No matter what happened, whatever be the case, since that.boy died within that period of liberation, that boy must be honoured. And for the fact that the whole of Owerri leaders are mourning him, wore black even to Catholic and Anglican Churches. And if Owerri leaders can mourn a boy from Nnewi, Anambra State that shows that there is something great about that boy”.
He added, “so for every activity in that Ekeukwu and Douglas road, the boy will be honoured, because he died on the day of the event. That boy is more important that any Eke or Afor, Ekeukwu or Ekenta. So both the Douglas road and project to be sited there will be named after the boy, Somtochukwu. The project will be named Somtochukwu and the road, Somtochukwu road in line with the way all of us are mourning the boy. I will not go back to deity again by naming it Ekeukwu road. Imo State has gone past that level”.
He continued ‘They are fighting me because I have liberated you people. What do I benefit by building Township school, rebuilding Emmanuel College, Government Technical College, building Owerri Girls, inland roads, ICC, trade and investment centre, two flyovers, two tunnels, heroes square, road. What I have done for Owerri people? My crime is that I have liberated you people from bondage”.
The governor said WI have a stake in Owerri, no governor has invested the way I have invested in Owerri and no Owerri son or daughter has invested more than me In Owerri, both the living and the dead, I stand to be challenged.
The worst of it is that when Eze Njemanze died, I offered.to build a house for him but the same clique refused. When I came into office 2011. I had meeting with elders of Owerri of which Bob Njemanze was present, they advised me to remove Ekeukwu, that it was bringing crime to the City. I refused but only to remove it 5-years interval. Just watch the development this will bring to Owerri people”.
He also stated “Ekeukwu has nothing to do with the identity of Owerri people. Owerri cannot develop Owerri, It will take people from outside Owerri to develop Owerri. You must open your doors for people to come in and develop it. It is not true that I am not preserving your identity; I preserved your identity by building Township School and other monumental structures in Owerri. Ekeukwu means deity that does not want progress, that deity must go, but if it is Ekeukwu that brings progress fine”.
He further stated “Believe me, if there is any man who loves Owerri people, it is Rochas Okorocha. If there is another person who loves Owerri more than me, he should come and let’s check the facts available for public consumption.”
He remarked “I have not seen such accommodating set of people like Owerri people. They are nice people. There is nothing wrong with Owerri but there is a clique in Owerri, a small clique that kept Owerri people in bondage for more than decades. That is the problem of Owerri. What I have come to do in Owerri is to set the captive free”.
He said “Those people resist anything good coming to Owerri people unless it is coming to their family. This is the truth and Owerri people are confused about the true situation. If not for me, you cannot have these traditional rulers now sitting in Owerri. This clique doesn’t want Owerri to expand. The four autonomous communities in Owerri wouldn’t have existed because they fought it. The majority leader in the house of Assembly wouldn’t have been a leader because he would have been mandated to carry cows to their homes and pledge to their deities before they can accept him.”
The governor stressed “I have rescued Owerri from bondage and Owerri is now free. You will see your children now prospering and growing but before now it was only one family in Owerri that grows one family and one family alone. They produce the judges, lawyers, doctors and everything but you can’t see any other growth in Qwerri. This group of people inside Owerri resists every good thing coming to Owerri. They resort to the courts to stop development coming to Owerri”.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers and the leaders, majority leader in the state House of Assembly, Hon. HRH Eze Rowland Uboebulam, Woman leader, Mrs. Tina Herbert and youth leader, Mr. Chibuzor Onyegbula, told the governor that they appreciate what he has been doing to make Owerri a mega City., adding that people trying to politicize the relocation of Ekeukwu Owerri market are not indigenes of Owerri”.
I was specifically mentioned to lend credence to the heinous action of destroying the Ekeukwu market. The envious were quick in believing the lies. All of that was for the purpose of breaking our ranks. I saw through it and I refused to be offended by the comments of a few disgruntled, obviously misguided elements amongs us. The truth is now out in the public domain. The refurbishing of schools being grouped and counted individually to make a million number as pair of Okorochas razzmatazz, This must never happen again in our State.
A situation where a dictator creates an anthem of an eldorado lust to deceive us, in a land of seven Sundays in a week, a land where all Animals are equal yet some are more equal than others. Never again, Ihedioha please Imo belongs to all Imolites.
You don’t have to come from Ogboko, Orlu, Mbaise Owerri, Mbano. Okigwe to enjoy the dividends of democracy. All you need is to be an Imolite.
I hereby call on ‘all the puppets and surrogates’ who have gathered themselves in one basket like crabs in a basin and have jointly gone to the tribunal to upturn the God-guided emergence of Ihedioha as governor of the State. They should to desist from their evil plane as Imo is not indebted to any group of fraudsters, May I sincerely and honestly urge Senators Hope Uzooinma and Godwin Araraume to kindly set personal ambitions aside. For whatever reasons let us forget any legal tussles.
Particularly for Chief Hope Uzodinma a protracted case will never do his image any good.
Imo people are most grateful to you for liberating them and creating room for the resolution of a lot of issues, going to court will be the worst thing to the acclaim and praises Imo people have been heaping on you.
For senator Ararume you have fought a gallant fight for the Okigwe zone in
the contest for whose turn it should be now is the time to give all your needed support. Anything outside of this portends a most selfish and personal interest. All we need now actually is to get together to help Hon. Jones Onyereri to claim his senatorial ticket of Imo West (Orlu). That is the centre of the fight against impunity. There may be need to re-enact Ohakim’s Clean and Green program and re-establish ENTRACO this time with a human face where you pay the price of misconduct with no one to blame but self.
The traffic situation for now is chaotic and you can only instill discipline by checking the road users and street traders. A delay to this might be misunderstood when you finally apply the order. DO NOT claim to knowing more than any one so, let us get together with our various pieces of advice and suggestions not necessarily as members of any transition team but as well-meaning Imo people.
Such Media posts like “Ihedioha in London” must be avoided. Ihedioha has been almost all over the world, so there is no big deal about visiting any part of the world for one as accomplished as Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. Scavengers, leaches, sycophants and praise singers must give this administration a break!
I wish Imo people and Ihedioha administration the best