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As the Discourse Column of 29th March, 2019 continues trending and making waves as to whether governor Okorocha is a saboteur or a conman, calls and text messages came in deluge of commendations and coming at a time the mighty are falling is not accidental or coincidental.

As the Discourse Column of 29th March, 2019 continues trending and making waves as to whether governor Okorocha is a saboteur or a conman, calls and text messages came in deluge of commendations and coming at a time the mighty are falling is not accidental or coincidental.

At the same time, last week governor Okorocha was given a second, position in rating philanthropists in Nigeria. The first position went to a business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. The choice of Dangote is apt because he stands out a billionaire out of share hated work, commitment and spread. But before challenging the choice of governor Okorocha as second in the rating of philanthropists, a temporary deviation is necessary and apt. Here is the Discourse column of 28 September- 1 October, 2015 titled: Letter to Governor Okorocha on his 53rd Birthday Anniversary, this either adds up or detracts Okorocha's latest elevation. Read.
“Dear Governor Okorocha, I join millions of your subjects in congratulating you on your 53rd Birthday Anniversary. At 53, at the prime of life, you deserve our felicitation for presiding over Imo state first term and now in your second term. To those who know what it takes to be Governor to a state like Imo that parades men and women of intellectual capacity, versed in politics and economic ingenuity, it is not easy to be their governor. As a matter of fact, the challenges that go with the exalted position are enormous. Even when you are in control of vast resources- federation allocations to state, local governments and internally generated IGR revenue to assuage the pangs associated with such office, it is also not easy.  I am an ordinary citizen, an Imolite. I am not a member of your party. I am not a closed associate of yours. I am not a member of your insider's circle too. Put succinctly, I am not a contractor, neither am I soliciting for a political appointment. Beyond these, I am an Imolite, a stakeholder, deeply committed and concerned about the success of your administration. As usual, I am concerned about your success because your overall success is the success of every Imolite and your failure of course portends grave danger. I share one thing in common with you - the same age bracket with you. Little wonder, I devoted my platform since 2011 in fine-tuning your chances of being accepted by a broad-spectrum of Imolites in the face of vice-grip attack to dissuade Imolites from accepting your candidacy. Through incisive write-ups, one- on- one discussion, I submerged criticisms against your candidacy. With others we fashioned a platform that sold you through in All Progressives Grand APGA as the governor in 2011.  On your emergence and we felt to see you face to face, a wall was erected by Professor Anthony Anwuka and efforts to see you fell abortive, Even when we were referred to your Information Commissioner, Barr. Obinna Duruji, there was nothing positive as to how to have access to the Governor. I had reason to want to reason with you. I had wanted to sustain your rising profile as the expected Igbo leader to continue from where Chief Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu stopped. A sacrifice of doing one term and using it to spread your populist programs throughout Imo state and across the south-east zone was the magic wand to win popularity beyond the Igbo nation. Perhaps after building a formidable structure, strong hold, you can now make foray in national politics. At this juncture you don't have any opposition. Either you are wrongly advised, self-opinionated or sheer bravado, you took a political decision that is likely to undermine your political future as a young politician. Today, unfortunately, I am among your fans proven wrong and your critics are vindicated for you have played into their hands for manifesting despotism in a democracy that has lasted for over sixteen years. If what you are now doing is in the military, Imolites wouldn't have considered it an aberration and that they would have accepted it with equanimity. And this happening in a state as sophisticated, enlightened as Imo is reprehensible and insulting. Reason always adduced for sidelining the rule of law and due process at the time you emerged in 2011 was accepted to compensate for what you inherited and the urgency to mend and accomplish. Unfortunately, it back fired. Democracy is democracy in the true sense. It does not cut corners. It has no shortcuts. It goes with the rule of law, due process and independence of the three arms of government. It abhors impunity and totalitarianism. That you alone decided to hijack the other arms of government in a democratic dispensation, in a state sophisticated, with myriads of egg-heads, young and vibrant politicians insult  the sensibilities of Imolites.  Those who supposed to be the conscience of the people- opinion leaders, spokes-persons have either sold out, bought over, cowed to submission. Others are watching with circumspection, pregnant with meanings. It is not a wrong assertion to emphasize that Imo state is in a voyage predictable - heading for extinction. Dear governor, I wish to remind you that Imo state is a civil service state. Imo state is noted for academic excellence. To destroy Imo state is as straight as an arrow. To kill Imo state at source, just withhold salaries of workers from the monthly federation account, the workers and the workforce are strangulated. Its multiple effects are that traders, students, artisans and other dependants are also affected. This indeed is the woe as a result of injudicious management of allocations. The prevailing economic bad turn of Imo state is not necessarily the dwindling oil revenue. It is more of wrong priority. There were projects embarked upon for ego trip. They were not properly conceptualized. Of course they became abandoned. The populist programs that endeared you to the majority of uninformed Imolites at the inception of your administration in 2011 have proved dummies to the people. If they were not, why did they not last? In your first term, you made desperate effort/attempt to convince Imo state doctors to buy into concessioning of the General Hospital Umugwom Owerri to a kano - based business man but the doctors with unassailable defense resisted such evil intention as inordinate. Today you are brandishing again concessioning with wider spectrum. It is no longer in the heath sector alone. A long list of 28 parastatals are been dangled with concession sword.   The Imo Newspapers publisher of the Statesman at the inception of your tenure in 2011 was rumored to be sold by the governor. It was swiftly refuted by the government. As sinister as it is, its machinery was cannibalized with assurance that a new modern, model printing press was in the offing to reposition the organization. This was not to be as the premises suddenly was taken over by the (ICAPS) and other organizations to the chagrin of Imolites. We recall that the same premises played a host to visitors invited from all parts of Nigeria for your Birthday Anniversary in 2011; that the concessioning of these state monuments at your 53rd Birthday Anniversary is not altruistic, Reasons that these institutions are not viable or are a cesspool of corruption is not true but rather defeatist. You have the best of instrument to get at the root of any corrupt practices. While governments come and go, these institutions are monuments, legacies and pride of Imo state. If they were unviable they would not have survived Udenwa, Ohakim's administrations. Accepted or not, institutions like Imo Newspapers, Imo Broadcasting Service, IBS render essential services which are unquantifiable in cash. They are not necessarily for profit maximization after all they are given budgetary allocations from the federation account for their maintenance monthly. Imo state belongs to all of us. There were times the state was ruled by different individuals and parties. Imolites know the contribution of past governors of Imo state. Either such governors are remembered of their positive or negative contributions. How then does my governor sculpture his name in the marble of Imo state? Yes my action governor deserves my commendation and condemnation as long as it is done altruistically, constructively and patriotically. But in doing so too, my governor needs to be assessed as a human being, not infallible, invincible, and inviolable. While Imolites are available to offer solutions, our governor should condescend to accept and implement pieces of advice offered. Concession is subjugation, modern day slavery and at a time the governor wants Imolites to believe that he wants to industrialize the state, the best thing to happen is to reorganize these monuments and reposition them to be at least self-sustaining, independent and from time to time intervene with life-line. Some argue that your present approach to governance is incompatible with your first term. According to them, you spent enormously to navigate through second term, coupled with the fact that the battle was not a straight fight; that it went extra mile into supplementary election, depleted your resources. Consequently, Imolites are suffering a misplaced aggression. Little wonder, my governor is intolerant of any action to deprive him and his government any resources no matter how small they are; Task forces are everywhere raiding and rampaging, molesting and assaulting the very citizens “My people my people” with no body, no institution to their rescue. Is it not ingratitude and sadism to do so now? Why didn't you the people-friendly governor adopt this before the gubernatorial election when the 28 parastatals worked relentlessly to return you to power? At what point did you see them as drain-pipe, no longer viable to remain as state institutions? How do you want us to believe concession can take place without collateral damage? It is only a simpleton that allows himself to be bamboozled by your shenanigan.  My dear governor, you are underestimating the capabilities of Imolites and the traumatized Imo workers and pensioners aged and sick. The option is yours. Reverse this unpopular decision, a recipe for disaster and death. Although you may not accept this sound admonition, as a governor irrevocably committed to your whims even when unpopular, my humble suggestion to you is that since you are unbending to concessioning as a panacea, please leave parastatals, agencies and corporations inherited including the long existing hospitals from past administrations.” ended
Four years thereabout after this publication and addressing the woes and throes governor Okorocha Rescue Mission pushed Ndi-Imo into, that some people including the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha, Chief Sam Onwuemedo are celebrating the award to Okorocha the second position among ten philanthropists was stage-managed, face - saving measure and attempt to give Okorocha safe landing. Charity, they say, begins at home. But in the case of Okorocha, he prefers using the common resources of Ndi-Imo to satiate, curry favour and score cheap political point and panache. Outsiders' achiever, governor Okorocha's philanthropy is a trophy to former South African President Jacob Zuma, former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Ghanaian President, Nana Akufor Addo. The resources in million of naira were wasted instead of deployed to set up industries. If Okorocha is appreciative of past eminent Imo sons and daughters deserving honour and immortalization, first civilian governor of Imo State late Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe, Alvan Ikoku, Evan Enwerem among others should have dotted the landscape of Imo State.
By SYDNEY O. Madukwem, Guest Writer, Dile Emeohe Mbaoma Emii, Owerri North L/G, 07069123994.                      

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