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De Moment of Truth

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An invasion of locusts is seen all over the world as a plague and therefore a natural disaster. When locusts invade a farm, they eat up green vegetation until the farm becomes desolate before they leave. Two attributes of locusts include their capacity for voracious eating or gluttony and the ability to swarm to another location of green pastures after devastating a farm land.

An invasion of locusts is seen all over the world as a plague and therefore a natural disaster. When locusts invade a farm, they eat up green vegetation until the farm becomes desolate before they leave. Two attributes of locusts include their capacity for voracious eating or gluttony and the ability to swarm to another location of green pastures after devastating a farm land.


Locusts invasions are viewed as plagues because they leave farms in ruins, thereby causing famines with the daring consequences of starvation. A typical example of how a people can be punished with famine and starvation by locusts invasions was demonstrated by God during the exodus of Israelites from the ancient Egypt. The Bible narrates that when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, God plagued the country with a locusts invasion. "And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them
there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall such. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt".(Exodus 10: 14-15).
From the Egyptian experience, it is obviously clear that locusts are enemies of humans, being as it were "very grievous" and “eat every herb and all the fruit". At the end of the locusts invasion in Egypt, the Bible says "there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field". Ex.10:15.
Now, talking about  "Imo state under locusts invasion" which is the subject of this discussion, nothing illustrates this more than the manner the state is run by the APC government under Governor Rochas Okorocha. That the APC government in Imo state is akin to a locusts invasion became more pronounced with brazen impunity immediately Rochas commenced his second term after the 2015 general elections. The signs were everywhere that his second term would be used to  "eat every herb and all the fruits" as he began to spin Imolites to a dizzying frenzy. The man who warmed up to Imolites with the "Rescue Mission" mantra has in a sudden twist of fate rather turned Imo state into his hostage to the extent that the state now needs someone to rescue it from the grips of the governor.
The first shocker is the declaration of paucity of funds. As a result of this, the governor informed bewildered Imolites that he would run the state without an executive committee because it is expensive to do so. Owing to poor finances, the managements of ministries and parastatals will be concessioned to private businesses and the government started to accumulate backlog of unpaid salaries of civil servants in the state. In a meeting with media practitioners recently in Government house, Owerri, the governor told Imolites that he had accessed the federal government bail out fund and that he had paid the salaries of civil servants in the state up to September. Though some of us doubted his claims of getting the bail out funds since there is no state executive to authorize it and that doubt made it difficult to comprehend how he was able to settle outstanding salaries. His resort to dribbling and spinning was later exposed when the cheques issued to workers were dishonored by banks. That action drew the wrath of workers who then declared war against the governor through strikes.
That the governor of Imo state is holding the people to ransom is stating the obvious. The visible display of anger particularly by civil servants bears evidence of looming crises and that we are merely dwelling in a period of uneasy calm. With the sacking of the state legislature by the Governor and reassigning them to executive functions, Imo state has doubtlessly slipped into a  dictatorship. Doesn't that amount to suspension of the constitution of Nigeria in Imo? Isn't that an
 invitation to Emergency Rule ? Is this the "Rule of law in our time" which is enshrined in IMO ANTHEM that civil servants sing every day like in the animal farm setting?
The unfortunate aspect of this ugly development, which I attribute to election rigging, is that none of the APC legislators in the House of Assembly merits being addressed as a law maker. They are in the House of Assembly not on their merit but by Rochas prompting and as such none of them has the temerity to dream of performing the functions of his office. Every APC legislator in Imo House of Assembly is a zombie, having endorsed an undated letter of resignation to the governor!
The locusts regime in Imo state has brought so much hardship, hunger and anger that the people have become habitual protesters. No week passes without witnessing one protest or the other against the predators in power. If the protest isn't by pensioners, it is by civil servants, market people, OURMUMUDONDO, etc. The latest is a group known as Imo Peoples Action for Democracy, IPAD, which is led by the fiery, fire spitting lawyer, politician and activist, Hon Uche Onyeagucha. The outspoken politician was one of the backbones of the APC government but had to extricate himself from being associated with bad governance which culminated in his defection  to APGA.
IPAD had mobilized protesters last Monday to ground Imo but the smart Rochas who was obviously rattled by what could have been the greatest humiliation in his life, countered by mobilizing the dreaded Ohaji-Egbema militants. The Police authorities realized that the protest had the potential for violence and therefore decided to cancel the permit for the protest to hold. With what appeared as a pyrrhic victory, the cankerworm and caterpillar in Douglas house, Rochas smiled and boasted that no one can oppose him. But that is the true behaviour of locusts because in practice, locusts are difficult to deal with. All those protests were staged to register the peoples anger against the invasion of locusts.
Locusts, as we know, do not leave any vegetation in sight. Their appetite for food is insatiable. This explains why Rochas continues to issue dud cheques to pensioners and turns around to claim that they have been paid. To confirm that he is truly a locust who has come to eat up Imo state, Rochas has exhibited an uncommon acquisitiveness never known in the history of Imo. He puts his hands in every pie, hiding under the powers of a governor to appreciate lands, markets and businesses.
Which was the reason for asking whether Rochas is a governor or contractor in one of my previous writings. As we speak now, Rochas is said to have committed Imo state to a debt totalling N200bn, has leased Imo ventures up to 2029. The situation is so bad that the CBN has banned banks from giving further credits to the state. This is inspite of having received more than N1.2 trillion in allocations and loans.
With all these problems confronting Imolites arising from a locusts invasion, who will rescue Imo from Rochas? The answer lies in the belly of time, 2019.

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