Imo State: A gradual descent into tyranny?

WHEN Imo people voted Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha,into office in 2011, preferring him to Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who had become high handed, they never knew that Imo would never be the same again.

 
A visit to Imo today, after driving through other states of the South East drives home the truth, that Imo is becoming a shadow of herself. Poor infrastructural facilities, poverty, immorality, divisiveness, and fear have taken over the place.

 
In six years and running, Imo has changed so badly under the new mixture of politics with traditional ruler ship, religion and unclear economic policies.
Chief Okorocha came into office on the platform of APGA, with his eyes set on changing the structure and look of Imo, and while he kept Imo peoples’ eyes on the Bible he was carrying on one hand, he quickly dumped APGA, picked up his Quran on the other hand, and headed to APC for his second term in 2015, leaving confusion and misery in his trail.

 
He surely has his eyes on becoming President, but should Imo be completely destroyed to achieve it ? Must the people be impoverished to enable him to reach that goal?

 
Emperor worship is a pagan custom of ancient times in which a ruler claimed for himself the qualities of a god and was so treated by those he ruled. Emperor-hungry leaders often use poverty and tyranny as twin instruments to crush the spirit of the people.

 
Imo State appears to be speeding into tyranny, as government pays little attention to court processes and orders, sparing no opportunity to inflict hardship on the people. His political enemies will tell you that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of Okorocha !

 
Igbo Town Unions flowed out of The Igbo Union from pre-independence era. They made Igbo Society strong and cohesive with the Igbo Spirit, which kept Ndigbo together including Imo State, before and after the the civil war, but Okorocha changed all that through his Community Government Council, CGC.

 
The CGC conceived by Chief Okorocha and passed into law by the Imo State House of Assembly has the traditional rulers as Head and supported by the Secretary as President-General, Woman leader, Youth Leader, Community Liasson Officer and some career civil servants seconded and charged with spearheading development in the 637 communities. The CGC thereby, dragged our traditional rulers into direct politics which enabled His Excellency to begin the decimation of Imo Communities.

 

 

Autonomous Communities were created on political patronage, building strife, enmity and hatred among erstwhile peaceful kingdoms. Now such new non-viable communities are threatened with mergers with other communities should they toe a different line of political opinion.

 
Early in his administration,some Igwes with differing political views and convictions were summarily deposed as a warning to other erring rulers. Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, who was the traditional ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community in Orlu Local Government Area, and Eze Cosmos Ony­eneke, the traditional ruler of Lagwa Autonomous Community in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area, were deposed.

 

About 50 traditional rulers who objected to his style of governance, went to Court, and in a typical tyrannical manner, he directed 40 of them in 2015, to withdraw the matter from court, and tender apologies to him because “ they must have taken his patience, tolerance and respect for the people as weakness.”
In spite of the economic recession and moves by other Igbo Governors to alleviate the pains on their people, Imo State is planning a N3000, levy per indigene, to be collected by the CGC, to increase IGR.

 

Soon, the Igwes will be dragged to Police Stations for stealing government money, or for tampering with it, all calculated to water down, and reduce the status of Igwes in Imo State.

 
The pollution of Christianity in Imo and promotion of Islam, appears to be an agenda. Recently, Chief Sylvester O. Dimunah, the vice chairman of the Council of Village Heads in Imo State, has been converted to Islam. The traditional ruler, whose new name is Musa Dimunah, said that the truthful nature of the religion, is the reason why he made the switch…… “I’m impressed by the good nature of Muslims’ love for everybody and hatred for none apart from the way they revere Allah and all the Prophets without discrimination,” he said.

 

 

Really? Chief Dimunah is unaware of the Shiite and Sunni attacks against each other even as Muslims. The Church in Imo State is to blame for allowing such risky ill-advised conversions. Another booty to this Islamize-Imo pursuit is the conversion of three brothers of same parents from Chonokeze in Ezinihite Mbaise LGA to Islam this week. Masters Chinonso now Hassan, Chika now Musa, and Chibuzor now Abdulrahman, travelled to Islamic school in Kaduna state to have basic Islamic education.” Just imagine!!

 
Why is he at war with Imolites? First builds hospitals in all the LGAs, just to win second term, now the buildings are not completed, mostly over grown by weed, and occupied by reptiles. His plans for the health sector is in shambles, with the many ambulances he commissioned in 2013, disappearing from the scenes. Health workers are owed salary arrears, and forced to go back to work, after signing away part of their income to government.

 
Second, he fails to pay civil servants, forces them to wear black and white uniforms to work without clothing allowances, and to punish them, he reduces work days to three days of the week, asking them to go and farm for the remaining two days !

 
Third, Imo Roads are the worse in the South East. Roads to Private Universities are special targets, Lisbon University in Ifakala, Hezekiah University in Umudi have no access roads.

 
Fourth,to punish Owerri , he breaks their houses indiscriminately, without compensation, removes six inches thick gutters and is replacing them with two inches thick gutter channels, that can hardly withstand any flood, while allowing a mountain of refuse at Douglas Road, when it pleases him. Time to save Imo, God save Imo State.

 

By Clement Udegbe

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