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I had concluded a script, proof-reading, doing minus and plus, giving finishing touches to a scintillating topic on: “The National Assembly: Saving Grace of the Nation's Democracy”, when my son and one of his friends in SS2 class returned from school, approached and confronted me with this question:

I had concluded a script, proof-reading, doing minus and plus, giving finishing touches to a scintillating topic on: “The National Assembly: Saving Grace of the Nation's Democracy”, when my son and one of his friends in SS2 class returned from school, approached and confronted me with this question:

“Who owns Imo State- Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha or President Muhammadu Buhari? At first, I did not take them seriously. My visage attracted straight faces of seriousness on their side. To satisfy their curiosity and to prove to them that I have in possession the anti-dote to their question by titling it “Is there any Difference between Governor Okorocha and Ndi-Imo?
Since there is no smoke without fire, I demanded to know if this question was motivated by impulse to which they answered in the negative. According to the students, for some time now, there has been galore or avalanche of complaints, grievances, disillusionment, discontentment among Imolites. Among these segments are teachers who wear on their faces grudges, disappointments and they have been discharging duties of teaching students grudgingly, with misplaced aggression on them. Many complain of lack of basic comforts of life, incapacitated to go to hospital to heal themselves and their children of infirmity. This is stating the obvious.
To make the discussion interactive and participatory, I put forward the question back to the students to say in their own thinking who owns Imo State?
This is because the students are also victims to the on-going travesty in Imo State. The growing spate of anger, hunger, hopelessness, bleak future, dog-eat-dog affair under the nose of the Rescue Mission government is without tangible or feasible solutions in sight. The students answered that President Muhammadu Buhari, the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation owns Nigeria and Imo State. I conceded to the response because anybody the President wants eliminated, he does so with precision and without qualms. That the President Buhari possesses the power of life and death and that if he wants the ongoing killings – the latest in Plateau, Kaduna states to stop, no individual can thwart it. Again if the President is challenged to unmask and demystify the perpetrators of the genocide in Benue state in the new year, his words are his command.
In the same vein, Governor Rochas Anayo says and does all. According to the students, governor Okorocha owns Imo State. Adducing strong arguments to that effect, the students insist that the way Okorocha is going about Imo State and the people suggests that only he is all-knowing and all-conquering.
His posturing, operation and control shows that nobody other than himself owns Imo State.
Having assessed the arguments presented by these potential statesmen as students, I came to the conclusion that students are becoming active, conscious to their environment, government and their future. I commended them for the courageous, brilliant, persuasive and pungent convictions.
President Buhari does not own Nigeria, nor does Okorocha own Imo State. God and only God owns Nigeria, Imo State and others in the federation. Who created the universe with abundant natural resources on, under the earth and in the sea? Not Buhari or Okorocha but God.
Except being President, governor, Buhari and Okorocha are like ordinary Nigerians, perishable and disposable. They are so because they are not Alpha and Omega, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. Buhari and Okorocha are not owners of Nigeria and Imo State. They are merely custodians or caretakers before God. Having been blessed with comforts and longevity, to foist on Nigerians and Imolites the worst economic condition in the history of Nigeria is like playing God. To brag, subjugate, strangulate or dehumanize Ndi-Imo in the discharge of his duties is an abuse of privilege.
Although God is a spirit but in his affairs with the living, he does not work in isolation, the real owners of Nigeria 36 states including Imo state are the people, Nigerians own Nigeria, Imo people own Imo State.
The question: Is There any Difference between Okorocha and Ndi-Imo? This is apt when the anguish of Ndi-Imo is subjected to introspection. As a matter of fact, there is no difference between Okorocha, NdI-Imo, the students inclusive.
The people of Imo State are more stakeholders than Okorocha because millions of Imo people collectively surrendered their mandates to governor Okorocha in trust. This is one of the indices of democracy worldwide.
Unfortunately rather than governor Okorocha serving the people, the reverse is rather the case. Governor Okorocha did not make himself the governor in 2011. That the governor, people argue, claims that it was his personal effort and ingenuity that gave him re-election, not the people is standing logic on its head. Without first term incumbency there wouldn't have been opportunity for second term.
With Okorocha's mindset, Okorocha has been rewarding Ndi-Imo ungraciously.
All his 2015 campaign promises exist only on slogans, pipe dreams and day dreams.
No states grow without strong institutions.
The so-called promise of industry! Industry! Industry! Factory! Factory! Factory! Job! Job! Job! is a mere vocalization without actualization. Today, apart from glorified structures positioned along major roads deceptive and diversionary to first time visitors and as long as these structures abinitio do not generate revenues to boost monthly federation account allocation to Imo State, governor Okorocha is bequeathing the next administration in 2019 with jumbo liabilities.
Democracy is robust, vibrant based on the principles of Rule of Law, due process and the civil service rules among others. Governances is not showmanship business. When governor Okorocha rose to power in 2011, he claimed that he was in hurry to develop Imo State and therefore averse to these laid down procedures. He could have observed this and respected the age-long practices still on the speed lane to deliver or achieve if not subterranean and hidden interests. The civil service is in comatose condition with its engines and operators gasping for breath. The Legislature and Judiciary are at cross-roads, cross-purpose with the Executive which the governor uses to hijack the two other arms of government. The bench and the bar in Imo state are engaged in a war unnecessary and an embarrassment to the people of Imo State who seek justice in the courts. Members of the bench are owed sixteen months salaries and many of them cannot afford to fend for themselves materially and medically.
While governor Okorocha celebrates judicial lacuna in the state, the action of the governor exposes the Executive as reckless, mindless and ruthless.
Imo state is now used as a guinea-pig. The so-called popular policy of designating Thursdays and Fridays for civil servants to go to farm while the Monday-Wednesday serves as working days for civil servants was recently abrogated by the same governor who imposed it on grounds that the recession was over is now unacceptable because the people of Imo State opposed it vehemently as unreasonable.
The worst thing that befalls a government is when its credibility is on the line, when the people it  is ruling takes its positive as its negative vice versa and when its broadcasts are taken with the pinch of salt. That governor Okorocha who dissolved an elected government at the local government level in 2011 and seven years down the line unable to put up an elected executive at the 27 councils is a disservice to Ndi-Imo. Using all forms of contraption, subterfuges to buy time, rip off and divert the humungous allocations is a misfire that will backfire. We are told that the government budgeted 27 billion naira for the 27 councils for rural roads rehabilitation. About three months after, we are yet to notice the presence of earth moving machines in the councils, not to talk of N500,000 release to each traditional ruler and CGC government to grade roads under their jurisdiction.
The health sector is a sham and a shame. All the state owned hospitals are in shambles, a departure from standards, vibrancy Okorocha inherited from Chief Ikedi Ohakim. Doctors, para-medical personnel and support workers are frustrated, incapacitated or others migrating to foreign countries for greener pastures. Patients are the real victims of cross fire between Nigerians Medical Association, NMA, Owerri and the governor. The mortuary centres are brimming with corpses and perhaps Imo state government  will embark on mortuary business in the three senatorial zones. The much advertized 27 general hospitals spread across the councils according to available information are not working. Why are they in the first place established when they are not in use? They are only used as conduit pipes to divert funds. Their existence is recycled on the radio just to score political points.
The business community is not finding it rosy in Imo State. Traders in the two major markets in the state capital have been counting their losses since the demolition exercise last year. At the same time governor Okorocha's urban renewal has destroyed many landlords, whose landlordship began as far back as the creation of Imo State in 1976. Slowly and surely the Indigenous people of the State Capital have been dealt with, with their lands dispossessed of them without any compensation.
As governor Okorocha tenure remains about 14 months, he is demonstrating macho, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He is scheming, deploying all arsenals to impose his son-inlaw, Uche Nwosu, who holds a chieftaincy title in Bauchi Emirate Council in Bauchi State. Governor Okorocha's ambition is not patriotically benevolent but an imposition so as to remote control his surrogate from anywhere outside the Douglas House.
The caretaker, custodian status of Okorocha terminates with the end of his tenure. He came into office in 2011 at the instance of Ndi-Imo.
The people of Imo State resisted, turned down sweeteners –financial and material to elect Okorocha in 2011 and 2015. The same way, power belongs to the people. Never, even in the face of security bully in the August 2017 demolition of Eke-Ukwu Owerri, will Imo State be stampeded into voting Okorocha's surrogate.
Already Imolites have parted way with Imo APC. Governor Okorocha's camp is disintegrating at astronomical velocity Okorocha and his successor cannot withstand the ground swell of opposition parties closing ranks to stop APC in Imo State.
Next edition, things being equal will carry strategies for both APGA and PDP to come out from their party primaries with optimism so as to go into the 2019 elections with one unit of purpose – to vanquish Okorocha and liberate Imo State from his strangle hold.
Sydney O. Madukwem, guest writer, Dile Emeohe, Mbaoma Emii Owerri North LG. 07069123994.      

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