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Ohakim; The Making Of A Phantom Governor, Part Two by Stephen Nwahiri


Ohakim: The Making of A Phantom Governor, Part Two.

By Stephen Nwahiri

As a follow up to my work on ‘Ohakim: The Making of a Phantom Governor’, I want to highlight some of the negative developments I witnessed in Imo State when I visited the last time. Not being a writer or journalist, I will crave my readers to pardon any deficiency that may be witnessed in my writing. I am doing it for a better society and for the sake of my state, Imo, which I believe is in for really hard times in the hands of a dupe-governor and his loyalists.

  • The Police State: Imo has been turned into one police state where men of the Nigerian police are unleashed on the citizens of the state, with a view to extort and unleash terror on them. You cannot travel to a distance of twenty kilometers without meeting up to twenty police checkpoints who stay on the road to extort motorists and other road users. Some of them don’t collect illegal tolls of less than forty Naira and they have made movement in Imo State such a torturing experience.
  • The reign of 419ers and Otokoto Henchmen: From the initial allegation (I don’t know how true it is) that Ohakim appointed one of the notorious otokoto ritualists, one Dominic Egbukwu alias Damaco, the initial head of his Clean and Green Initiative, the story making the rounds is that Ohakim has handed over the properties of these ritualists, which was seized following a popular uprising against ritualists in 1996, to these ritualists. Although there have been attempts to deny this by the government, one notes that most of these buildings which have been lying fallow since 1996 are being rehabilitated thus giving credence to the allegation. Again, such high-profile 419ers like one Cletus Ilomuanya is now a darling of the Ohakim Government and has been made the head of the state traditional rulers council in Imo State. He eats and dines with Ohakim and they are like Siamese twins for wherever you see Ohakim, Ilomuanya will certainly be there.
  • A certain Special Adviser on Special Duties from Ohakim’s Mbano area who has been an active fraudster based in South Africa is responsible for Ohakim’s money laundering escapades. His name is Chikwem Onuoha and does nothing but stashing money for Ohakim in overseas accounts, using his fraud connection. The EFCC should watch this fellow closer to unravel where Imo state money ends up in. I learnt that this fellow was arrested sometime ago in South Africa for money laundering but he was freed from the hands of the law by Ohakim’s bribing contact.
  • The few roads that have been built by Ohakim are heavily concentrated in his native Mbano area of the state. Outside Mbano, where the government has even tarred some bush tracks, with no known vehicular traffic, the roads in all parts of the state wear a forlorn and disused look.
  • The Ohakim government changes local government chairmen like he changes his underwear. Since he came on board, seventeen months ago, four sets of council chairmen and what he terms (endless) transition members have taken turns to milk the local governments as he sees this as a means of settling his cronies and those of his godfathers.
  • Local council allocations are seized and peanuts released to these transitional council members to, in the words of the Ohakim government, settle staff salaries. The balance ends up in Ohakim’s pocket. For this, local government staff embarked on strike recently but Ohakim government, which bribed their leaders with board appointments, sabotaged it and the looting of local council allocations continues.
  • The same breed of free-loaders that ruined the state under Achike Udenwa are ruining the state under Ohakim. Additions to the area fathers that now hold the state by the jugular is the Iwu dynasty, installed to accommodate the children, siblings and friends of the shameless INEC chairman who was responsible for Ohakim’s emergence.
  • Pensioners are not being paid their little allowances. The bulk of the state primary school teachers who retired from 1984 to 1990, whom the federal government directed to revert to the states for their monthly pensions and for whom allocations are given to the state have not been paid a dime since Ohakim came to power in 2007 and the monies for them end up in Ohakim’s pockets.
  • Mediocrity is another name for Ohakim’s government. Everyday is feast day in Ohakim’s government house. Sycophants and praise singers are being employed to hail Ohakim as “Ochinanwata” at any event he attends and commissioners and special advisers are hooked up to this crazy passion to earn the ears of Ohakim.
  • Apart from the fake ‘dualization’ of the Owerri-Okigwe, Owerri-Umuahia, Owerri-Orlu Roads, no new road project has taken place in Owerri or any other town in Imo State since May 29 2007.
  • While he has destroyed business houses of poor Imo people, no refuse has been lifted from the over-filled gutters in Owerri since Ohakim came on board in 2007. If in doubt, go and examine the gutters on Wetheral Road, right from Ohakim’s government to the length of Wetheral or Douglas, the two state where he practices his clean and green initiative. All the drainages constructed by Mbakwe in Owerri are blocked by refuse hence the perpetual flooding of Owerri, when it even drizzles.
  • Ohakim’s government is a one-day, one scandal government. If the government is not refuting rumours of arrest in London for money laundering, his wife is denying being arrested in one of the Far East countries for shopping scam. If he is not denying one staff for grain sale scandal, he disowns another for some shady deals.
  • Nigerian newspapers and electronic media are making a kill out of Imo State in a bid by Ohakim to retain the self-sponsored good media image he has spent such a huge amount of Imo State resources to buy from the media. It is so bad that while Imo further decays, Ohakim is buying generous media space to applaud him and is being conned by several fictitious awards for which he pays heavily from the common resources of Imo State.
  • Even when Ohakim and his government spend huge amounts to buy media attention, it had allowed the state owned Imo Broadcasting Corporation and Imo newspapers to die off.

As I have stated in my earlier article, I don’t hate Ohakim or his government. My writing is borne out of the great disappointment I experienced when I traveled to Imo State recently and discovered that nothing is actually happening. That Imo people are despaired and that what only grows in the state is the propaganda machinery of Ohakim and his men. Could Ohakim please tell Imo people what he did with over N90 billion allocations he has collected in seventeen months? Will he say he spent it on his phantom project, “Clean and Green”? Let us hear and his government tell Imo people what he has been achieving for the nearly two years now. If however, he thinks he can fool us with his present posture, he will certainly have another thing coming.

As I equally said, I do not believe that his main challenger, Ifeanyi Ararume will make a better alternative. Ararume has long been regarded as a 419er and notable fraudster and so many Imo people link him to ritual acts but above all, he has no idea to espouse. This leaves us with the Ohakim choice so he must arrest himself and start deploying the wealth of Imo State towards serving her people. When he gets if right, I will write to acknowledge this but before then, he will have to earn it and the earlier he starts working for it, the better for him.


Stephen Nwahiri.


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