By Collins Opurozor
Today has gone down the annals of discerning minds the world over as the day that witnessed the accentuation of the ever climaxing madness orchestrated by Mr. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in the name of governance. It’s been sorrow, sorrow and sorrow again for Imo people under the hypnosis and diabolically torturous grip of the governor, properly so-called. Each dawn wakes with a sorrow which the next dawn steals away.
Today, something happened in Owerri: Mr. Okorocha rented many trucks and sent to Ebonyi State to bring as many rural farmers as possible for an empowerment he had just no plans to carry out. He also summoned all the members of the sundry security outfits he created to flood the venue. The confluence of these individuals created a sort of crowd, and Mr. Okorocha, immensely worried about his battered public image which his nefarious, inhuman and infernal policies had earned him, unleashed his poorly paid and badly raised media aides to tag the event a 3-million-man rally in solidarity with the patently failed and miserably loquacious governor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha.
It has become nauseating to recount the ordeals, the plagues, the Rochas-induced traumas that Imo people bear day after day, year after year. To chronicle Imo’s woes in the hands of this taskmaster, medieval feudal lord has become distressing beyond words.
The chief – not the exhaustive – questions that have marked and marred this government are summarised thus:
1. Sack of beneficiaries of the Ten Thousand Jobs Scheme of the past administration without recourse to any extant laws.
2. Illegal Suspension/Retirement of Permanent Secretaries and Public Servants.
3. Massive demolition of homes and business complexes in Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Anara, Amaraku etc without due process or compensation.
4. Illegal revocation of C-of-Os of lands allotted duly to owners.
5. Illegal trespass into Area K land belonging to Amawom Owerri people.
6. Illegal acquisition of land belonging to Umuguma community in Owerri North for personal use.
7. Illegal dissolution of Town Unions in all the Autonomous Communities in Imo State as against the provision of the Nigerian Constitution, the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the State Law on Town Unionism.
8. Use of Imo resources and Ogboko’s land to build a private university, thereby forcing the community to relocate.
9. Long Lease of ADAPALM to Roche Group, Imo Transport Company (I.T.C.), Concorde Hotel, Childrens Park (opposite Concorde Hotel Owerri), State General Hospitals to himself and cronies without due process.
10. Sale of Imo Road Maintenance Agency (IROMA) graders, bulldozers, pay-loaders etc. and appropriating same.
11. Auction of printing machinery belonging to Imo Newspapers acquired during the Sam Mbakwe Administration.
12. Illegal borrowing of billions of Naira from both local and foreign financial institutions. Imo owes N158bn today!
13. Reduction of admission quota for Imo Indigenes in Imo State University and Imo State Polytechnics (IMSU) to 30%, so as to make more money from students from other states.
14. Illegal sack of Education Secretaries in Imo State.
15. Misappropriation of Funds meant for local government councils and the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
16. Refusal to pay salaries and pensioners even after collecting bailout funds and the Paris Club refund.
17. Refusal to pay community speakers their monthly allowances.
18. Refusal to pay Traditional Rulers of the 106 Autonomous Communities their monthly allowances.
19. Stoppage of overtime allowance to public servants.
20. Refusal to pay minimum wage to Judiciary workers.
21. Cajole government contractors into borrowing money to do government projects and refusing to formalize and pay for the contracts done.
22. Abandonment of city-gate projects in Owerri and refusal to pay contractors.
23. Refusal to Pay severance benefits and other statutory entitlements to Ex-Governor Ikedi Ohakim, his Deputy Dr. Ada Okwuonu, former State Legislators and Government Appointees who served between 2007 and 2011.
24. Creation of unconstitutional four-tier government in utter disregard to the three-tier government recognized by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
25. Declaration of Public Holidays to celebrate his birthdays and personal programmes.
26. Serial misappropriation of state funds without recourse to budgetary provision.
27. Allocation of land meant for New Government House Complex in New Owerri to private persons as against the provision of the Owerri Master plan.
28. Appointment of Magistrates without a duly constituted State Judicial Service Commission.
29. Refusal to refund the sum of =N=5,000 being fees collected from aspirants to the 2012 cancelled Community Governing Council election.
30. Legalization of abortion
COURT JUDGMENTS DISOBEYED
31. Refusal to re-instate Elected Local Government Councils in the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State as against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal.
32. Use of Sole Administrators to run local government councils in Imo State as against Court of Appeal ruling.
33. Refusal to Re-instate Sacked Members of the Imo State Judicial Service Commission against the judgment of an Owerri High Court.
34. Refusal to obey the Court of Appeal judgment re-instating Eze C. I. Ilomuanya as the Chairman Imo State Council of Ndi-eze.
35. It is on record that Imo State under Governor Okorocha ranks number one on the list of the most litigated government in Nigeria with over 1,000 cases in various courts around Nigeria.