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In my own thinking

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The Imo State House of Assembly is like that proverbial man who is chasing rats when his house is on fire. They are also like the proverbial elder who is home when the goat gets entangled in its tethers. The Imo house of assembly is supposedly the people's representative elected to make laws and act as a check on executive excesses. They are the voice and eyes of the people.

The Imo State House of Assembly is like that proverbial man who is chasing rats when his house is on fire. They are also like the proverbial elder who is home when the goat gets entangled in its tethers. The Imo house of assembly is supposedly the people's representative elected to make laws and act as a check on executive excesses. They are the voice and eyes of the people.

But are they living up to their billings? Your guess is as good as mine. In my own thinking, the house has not performed at all. No matter how the truth is suppressed they know very well in their conscience that they have not lived up to their oath of office. Othman Dan Fodio once said that 'Conscience is an open wound. Only Truth can heal it'.
Last week, The Big Truth newspaper, an Owerri based tabloid, carried a news report that the IMHA is probing 600 traditional rulers over the governments 'IkuolaNkwu' palm plantation project. There is the reported failure of the autonomous communities to execute the project. According to the House Committee chairman on agriculture, UcheAgbabigi, the house is on a fact finding mission to know what the autonomous communities did or did not do with the funds they collected for the project. There is no doubt the house is bringing in accountability to bear in the state. That is what we expect. But my question is this. Is this effort sustainable or merely a witch hunt exercise to get at some people who may have stepped on some powerful toes?
Much as we appreciate this effort to protect our common wealth no matter how small it may amount to but we expected the house to go for big ticket deals in the state. There are so many things the citizens of this state expected them to have dealt with first or at best prevented from happening which the citizens view as openings from siphoning our funds. Let us highlight just a few. Where, when and how much did the state assembly approve for the Imo Air airline, if they did, and what is the position of that venture as at moment. Imo people need to know. Where was this house, perhaps under lock and key, when the Imo Newspapers Proprietors Association (INPA) queried the spending on the Paris Club Loan refunds and was greeted with threats from the governor? Was it not within their purview to so act on behalf of Imo people?
Assuming they were in deep slumber or were drugged or charmed to forget themselves and suddenly such issue was thrown up what have they done since then to ascertain the prudence in the spending? That aside, did they think it was in the interest of Imo people that they approved the spending of about N520m to mould the statue of the highly discredited South African President, Jacob Zuma, that is if they did. If they didn't what effort have they made to express their displeasure and that of their constituents to the governor since then or they are comfortable with the situation as their silence seem to express. They sat there while Okorocha put Owerri on the boil with the destruction of Owerri market. Not even the noise of that disturbance and the after math including the suffering of the traders could wake them up to call the governor to order, even in his defiance of court order. Instead, they scrambled for the spaces in the new market for their selfish ends.
There are other more important issues needing the attention of the State Assembly than chasing traditional rulers. The Ikuola Nkwu project was designed to fail in the first place. When I was a Community leader in my home they brought some of these palm seedlings for planting but following scarcity of land nobody was willing to spare his land for it. The only available space found for it was a small portion in the primary school which is the only government project in the place. Am sure for this same reason it would fail in other places suffering from lack of land. While the governor is in massive acquisition of land space for selfish ends he did not find it expedient to acquire space anywhere to do a palm plantation. He did not want to pay compensation.
Adapalm, Risonpalm exists today because Chief (Dr) M. I. Okpara displayed better initiative. Today the noise is 'ikuolankwu'. I cannot stop laughing. When RotimiAmaechi did the Ogoni banana plantation he acquired large acreage of land, compensated for the land, hired Brazilians to manage it and it is providing employment and income to the state. He did not need to share the seedlings and start asking later, ''ikuola banana''. Can the governor in all sincerity show us his score card in agricultural development beyond rhetoric? When we look at Anambra and Ebonyi, two Igbo states, we can easily point at certain developments to commend their government. Imo state is as endowed as they are. 

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