Date Published: 10/14/09
EWAYI: NEVER AGAIN IN IMO By Maximus Uba
Between the year 2007 when he was selected as Governor by Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo and today, Mr. Umaru Musa Yar’adua presiden Federal Republic of Nigeria and his wife now regarded as the new face of power in Aso Rock has visited Imo State more than six times for one supurious reason or the other but definitely not for the interest of Imo people. The first visit by the Katsina born teacher which was at the instance of the Military administrator posted to Imo by Obansanjo, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim was to commission the Okigwe Regional Water Scheme, a project built by Mr. Sam Mbakwe in the 80’s and converted into a Federal Project by Sen. I. G. Araraume but has been in a state of disrepair since 2006. But as I write despite over 1 billion claimed to have been used to rehabilitate the project by Mr. Ikedi Ohakim for which he invited Yar’adua cannot be traced as there is no water available in and around Umunna where the project was sited. The second project which he laid the foundation stone during the same visit was the New Imo Government House located at the New Nekede Area of State again as I write, the place has been overtaken by weeds while on paper in the Accountant General Office, records show that over 100 million of tax payers money has been spent already courtesy of Mr. Ikedi Ohakim and his co-travellers in Douglas House. The second visit of Yar’adua to Imo State which took place in 2008 according to the programme released by Imo State Government was to commission the Digital Transmitter studious of the Imo Broadcasting Service again was reputed to have cost over 2 billion naira but observers have continued to query the project of such financial magnitude whereas neither Ohakim himself nor his cabinet members listen to Imo Broadcasting Services because the broadcast station aside from being one that has poor listenership and purid programmes is all about creating a superhuman being in Ohakim, all about lies on fathom and non existing projects ,lies that cannot be verified, lies which even lunatics know is but barefaced, infact the acceptability of the radio by the people of Imo has gotten so bad that several homes including relations of Ohakim prefer to listen to Radio Nigeria and others located outside the state than this station that is moribound . The third visit of the President which came in the mid part of 2009 was to receive Mr. Ohakim back to PDP along with other political jobbers who have continued to plague the fortunes of the state since 2007. On her own, Mrs. Turai, the new power base of Nigeria is doing her second visit to Imo State to show solidarity to the Ohakims as a friend. Her first visit to Imo State described by a commentator as flying visit with no intent took place in 2008 perhaps was done to give the Court of Appeal Judges handling the case between Mr. Ohakim and Senator I. G. Araraume the wink though Ohakim was stamped into office by the despot, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo and has no results to show for his victory, he still has the blessing of Aso Rock and therefore should not be toyed with and true to type the judgement of the Court of Appeal as read over by one Saka Ibeyeye did not reflect the facts of the case, but to give a breather to a fellow who has been a source of pain in Imo State since 2007 just to continue his mindless looting of a land locked state. There is no gain saying that till date, that tactless/mindless judgement has kept Imo at a standstill many thanks to sin doctors in Aso Rock .As if they left something in Imo State, not a few were taken aback when last week, information began flying around Owerri that Mrs. Turai again is set to visit Imo State to launch EWAYI whatever that means said to be a pet project initiated and promoted by Mrs. Ohakim. Ordinarily there is nothing wrong in the wife of a President lending hand to a Governor’s wife to launch a project especially because it is now a norm in Nigeria since the Ibrahim Babangida era, but there is everything wrong if a project is meant to deceive a people while also unwittingly enriching the owners as the case with most pet projects of governors wives . For instance and already knocks have continued to trail the project as one that has little to do with women and children and one in which the first family want to use to line their pockets with tax payers money. Questions freely asked include, what happened to the pet project initiated by Mrs. Udenwa, wife of the Former Governor of Imo state which ran for eight years, and if as they claim that their government is an off shoot of Udenwa regime, why then initiate another financially guzzling pet project. Secondly how come there are no projects attached to EWAYI or is the project all about bringing Mrs. Turai to Imo State to show the people that the Ohakims are connected to the Presidency. Thirdly observers remembers vivdly that the Imo First Lady have not in her lifetime offered one single scholarship to any indigent student whether in OKOHIA OR ANARA her birth place, has not paid hospital bill to poor women living around their Okohia palatial home and is hardly seen around home except during Xmas, one now wonders the new craze to be labelled a philanthropist as Mrs. Ohakim is presently posturing. Still another knock on the EWAYI pet project is that there is nothing to it in real sense except that the Ohakim was to use the visit of Mrs. Turai to send signals to the Judges handling the case between them and Mr. Martin Agbaso of the APGA that the case is already over as their closeness to the seat of power is not doubt, and that this hurriedly made up friendship is going to be deployed to ensure that Agbaso’s case as tight as it is can not fly. Still yet another knock on EWAYI is that Mrs. Ohakim is unsure of what the case between her husband and Mr. Agbaso will look like and had to launch it now to shore in some funds into her personal account especially because her in-law who sits as Chief of Staff, Mr. Emma Ohakim has continually shortchanged her office in terms of funding, ineffect therefore, the EWAYI loot will guarantee a more stable fund should the court kiss the husband job goodbye in the coming months. What is more, the visit though targets the people is organized to see how much of state funds as well as contractors contribution to the project can be channeled out of the country to South Africa where the Ohakims are putting up a Five Star Hotel.
Interestingly the above is the least worry of Imo people, their worry is that in over two years that Ohakim has been sitting as Governor of Imo State, he has done nothing absolutely nothing to improve Imo State despite huge allocations he has been collecting since 2007. Yes the roads are in their worst state, public water supply has become fairly tale, insecurity has become such that only the very poor is safe, unemployment has reached a crescendo, the only sign of Governance in Imo being blaring of siren by Governor’s children, their maids, their inlaws and motely crowd of hangers on who feed fat on the allocation of Imo State. But Mr. Ohakim and his family appear not to be done as recently he was reported recently to have mobilized his aides to comb the same villages his government abandoned since 2007 to force hapless old people and the same Okada riders he drove out of Owerri without income to pay taxes to finance his wild orgies and oversized greed which has seen Imo State in complete state of disrepaair . There is no doubt today Imo people are distraust with all these programmes churned out by the Ohakims whether they are Clean and Green, New Face of Imo, Ohakimism or EWAYI and we ask ,what are all these contraptions called projects set to achieve in Imo State. We need not at this juncture say that the patience of the people is running out in the face of barefaced looting using fatom projects as conduit pipes but we ask again, what is EWAYI and in whose interest is the project meant to serve. For now all we saying is.. EWAYI never again in Imo.
Maximus Uba lives in Mbaise, Imo State.