Since the disturbing event of the PDP Governorship primaries of December 8, 2014 in Imo State, which created the impression that our party may have gone seriously off-course, I have deliberately refrained from making public statements that may jeopardize our chances at the polls or react to speculations and blackmail.
Many people may have mistaken my silence/calmness for passivity. In taking this stand, I considered the fact that we are in a most delicate and terrifying period in our political history. I also wanted to allow our party’s National Working Committee (NWC) ample time and opportunity to adjudicate on our petition. Although they have neither reviewed petitions nor made moves to reconcile aggrieved Imo state aspirants till date. I would however like to differ with those of us who hold the opinion that our petition may have been regarded as an inferior item on the menu of the NWC or treated with Hobbesian indifference.
At this juncture, may I express my gratitude to all my political associates and team members including Imo Artisans Association for your financial support including the purchase of my nomination and expression of interest forms; keke union also for your financial support; supporters across the nation; the conference of ward chairmen for your resolution and endorsement of my candidacy on September 28, 2014; the body of 10,000 graduate job victims and their relatives; various Imo youth organizations; traders association; town unions, conference of Imo councilors; ALGON; Conference of Development Centre Coordinators; former and current Honourable Members of the House of Assembly, led by the former speaker, Rt. Honourable Goodluck Nana Opia; men and women of God; and so many others, for your patience, understanding, love and support.
I am humbled by your show of solidarity. Everywhere we go we see the enthusiasm and happiness on the faces of our people as they sing “Let’s do more! One more tenure”. Our quest was simple:- a “second chance” to finish the unfinished business and put Imo back to a measure of National respect. To complete our projects/programmes using the remaining tenure so that by 2019 which is 48 months, there will be less acrimony regarding Governorship in Imo. Like one man of God said paraphrasing 1 Peter 2:22, “Ohakim committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth”.
The man of God went ahead to say, “Throughout Ohakim’s tenure as the governor of Imo State, there was no political assassination, no permanent secretary or officer of government disappeared. No impeachment of deputy or threat of impeachment. No zone complained of marginalization. No contract failed. No contractor ran away with the state fund. No community’s land was confiscated. Ohakim rebuilt the PDP in Imo after the devastation of 2007 governorship primaries. In short there was law and order and Imo worked on one page”.
A careful perusal of “The Legacies That Speak” will show the vision behind our projects and programmes. Some of these projects and programmes unfortunately were subject of misinformation and misinterpretation.
The implementation of some of these signature projects naturally must span beyond four years. Our hope was that on completion of these projects including the flyovers in our second tenure, Imo State would become a competitive state. That hope is not lost even under the present circumstances.
We made solid achievements as a result of prudent and creative management of our lean resources and the sacrifice of the political appointees who ceded 25 per cent of their salaries to help develop the state. We operated in an era when crude price averaged $38/barrel as against Okorocha’s (APC/APGA) administration that price of crude oil is averaging $120/barrel until a few months ago.
As humans, we had our own fair share of mistakes either in the choice of some appointees or reliance on the vehicles that conveyed them. Definitely we cannot be faulted when it comes to having the vision, the intellect, the courage, the passion, the administrative acumen, the patriotic zeal, the compassion and commitment to offer developmental governance against brick and mortar administration.
We give glory to God who made it possible for us to survive the devastating effects of all the intrigues and lies told against us in the days immediately before and during the 2011 general elections.
Sadly, in the last four years, the good people of Imo have had the misfortune of being taken through a rough ride of acrobatic manipulation, “akpankolo kpankolo” and “aeroplane turner”.
The so-called Imo rescue mission mantra has ran aground and is now in a state of coma. We must all therefore join hands in spite of our feelings, to recover our state from fortune seekers and merchant adventurers.
If we discount sycophantic applause and vexatious publicity stunt and look underneath the window dressing, Imo is in much worse situation today than ever before. We have made zero progress in economic development and job creation. While people are faced with extreme hardship and starvation, Imo State today has become a theatre of confused all-comers road contractors, all screaming to be paid for jobs they executed with zero design, zero bill of quantity, zero scope of works and zero time-frame.
Today in Imo, more than 100 local contractors have liquidated for non-payment. More than N5 billion lost to unscrupulous foreign contractors. More than 50km of sub-standard roads constructed by Okorocha have been washed away. Three (3) big sub-standard public buildings under construction including a hotel in Okigwe have collapsed.
More than 300,000 people have lost their jobs since 2011 including the 10,000 job victims. More than 100,000 artisans and traders have closed shops as money is no more in circulation.
More than 800,000 persons have lost access to clean water. More than 500,000 persons have been affected by disease due to environmental degradation. More than 100,000 metric tons of refuse accumulated in Owerri capital territory alone. More than N2 billion judgment debts and over N200b loan awaits the in-coming administration.
Eleven (11) Imo State University courses including Law and Medicine and all our Schools of Nursing have been de-accredited. Our 18 General Hospitals have been sold and no new one completed till date.
The Okorocha APC/APGA administration not only abandoned all the visionary projects of PDP administration in pursuit of self sabotaging vengeance. The administration set about erasing every legacy of PDP while embarking on white elephant projects within the Government House, Concorde Avenue and along Federal highways which they repeatedly advertise on National television every week.
The flyovers we started were abandoned. The ring roads and Imo Freeway we started also abandoned; Imo Wonderlake project Oguta which we started and left the sum of N13.2b in the project account in UBA, was renamed Blue Lake of Treasure by Okorocha as a decoy to misappropriate the fund and abandoned. The impressionistic Ahiajoku Convention Centre built by our administration, has been cannibalized and abandoned and a sub-standard conference centre is being showcased on a congested Assumpta Avenue, Owerri without traffic study, which is now causing unprecedented traffic congestion. To stem this rot, we must ensure the return of a PDP led government to Douglas House now.
May I at this juncture, state that after extensive consultation, and considering the current political environment, we have decided to give our full support and backing to Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha who is today our party’s flag bearer. He is a tested and trusted humble leader who will not deviate from building on our laid down solid foundation.
I therefore appeal to all our team members, supporters and indeed all registered voters to come out and vote for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a towering African statesman of our era, who is only seeking one more tenure of only 48 months to complete his transformation programme. Vote for Rt. Honourable Emeka Ihedioha. Vote for all PDP candidates.
I also plead with my fellow compatriots including all former aspirants, to please let us join hands in spite of all the imperfections and personal loses to dismantle the impunity in our state. Repeating the 2011 mistake will tantamount to waving a red flag in front of a drunken bull. As our people say “Echi Ka” (Tomorrow is greater).
Finally, let us inoculate ourselves against propaganda epidemic which is ravaging our state and push in the same direction now that Okorocha’s sand castle has crashed, and our state is sinking. Let’s do it together. Let’s do more.