Gov.Okorocha, Speaker Uwajumogu & the 10,000 disengaged workers -Kenneth Uwadi

Some Nigerian politicians play the ostrich game; hard to hear, hard to see and hard to smell trouble brewing in the air. Days ago, Invitation started spreading round for a 50,000  man march In Owerri in solidarity for the 10,000 disengaged Imo State graduate  workers. But Governor Okorocha is not losing sleep. He sticks to his usual posture. What is it? Pay no heed to the hypocritical sanctimony of these 10,000 job  folks .He got into a plane and jets out of the country  on a two week visit  to Asia. To him,the 10,000 sacked workers should go to hell for they deserve unemployment.

On this trip, we are told that  Okorocha  intends to attract foreign investors to Imo  State to develop the areas of  power, agriculture and tourism. Oga Patapata, thank you  for  gracing  the Asian countries   with your  saintly presence. Did I hear anyone say he is out there to attract foreign investors to Imo  State ? For where? Oga Patapata  Okorocha  has no intention to draw investors  from anywhere. He is just unnecessarily indulging in junketing not giving a damn about the problems in Imo State.

Okorocha  has increased the number of Nigerian Governors  that have turned their office into a tourism ministry by going on too many travels out of the country.He is failing to attend to pressing issues in  Imo State because he is always traveling out of the country. It is disappointing that Governor Okorocha  has decided to pay a blind eye to the challenges the  10,000 disengaged workers are facing and has instead focused on attending to every international event that comes up in his diary.Maybe this time  he has  gone  to  Saudi Arabia and Iran to help resolve the differences between the two countries or  gone  to Pakistan  to talk about ways to resolve the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria with Al Qaeda. Oga Patapata,please stop this your useless foreign trips.

Can someone help me tell Owelle to  first try to resolve the problems in his home State of  Imo. He should make himself  a welfare conscious governor by  re-engaging the 10,000 Imo state citizens that he sacked from work since June 6th this year rather than  junketing round  the globe.Here is a Governor who during electioneering campaigns promised that before his first 100 days in office, he would create jobs for youths. Sadly just three months  of his government, he has thrown back into the labor market 10,000 highly qualified youths. The Governor’s actions are callous.

You may write me down  with your bitter, twisted lies.You may trod me in the very dirt.But still, like dust, I’ll rise  and continue to say  it that  Okorocha has no reason to sack the workers  other than he is anti-people and anti-workers conscious. Does my assessment of the governor upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? You may shoot me with your words. You may cut me with your eyes.You may arrest  me with your hatefulness  ,but still, like air, the truth must be told. last week, over 8,500 Imo state graduates applied for 20 police cadet positions assigned to Imo State. You can see that the situation  is very pathetic and we must speak to help these poor graduates.

Dr Emenike Nwankwo said in an article I read earlier  ‘Imo State was a war zone and these poor kids worked hard to do whatever was legal under Ohakim to get their jobs. If the  new body did not like how they got it, they should quickly make changes that does not affect those who must work by impoverishing them the more. They need jobs whether by Ohakim or any other”

All these are happening in Imo state because the Imo House of Assembly has refused to do their jobs. Dr Emenike Nwankwo also  said “what regulations and what steps have theImo House of Assembly  taking to protect the interest of the powerless 10,000 workers. Saying they are not qualified does not create a job for them. We elected a new governor and house to give them jobs or make their jobs legitimate.”

It is true that a Speaker of a State House of Assembly plays a key role in the governance of a State and has a very big stake too but Oga Yafunyafu Uwajumogu has totally made himself a Yes man to governor Okorocha that we from outside the corridors of power  see him as a  weak Speaker

In his Acceptance Speech as Speaker , Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu pledged that the House will enact people’s oriented laws and motions through effective legislative responsibility which will put smiles on the faces of Imo people in a  bid to bring to the grassroots the impact of the “Rescue our pocket mission” of the government of His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

But we are yet to see  laws sponsored and approved by the Speaker  that  is  of   help to the  growth of Imo state. All what we hear in Imo State is dissolution upon dissolution. We are yet  to  know  the notable things that the speaker  has done beside  receiving one politician or  one traditional ruler or  paying empty courtesy visits . Sir, na your turn ooooo. It is good and commendable that you spend valuable hours on courtesy visits, instead of wasting your time attending to the need of Imo state. The more courtesy calls the more developed Imo will become.

When I read Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha’s defense of the Imo Assembly Speaker on the 10,000 job issue,I laughed.Iwuoha is an activist gone soft. If it were those days,Iwuoha would have been in the forefront of the fight for the re-engagement of the 10,000 workers.Iwuoha told us  that so far the present government has taken back about 4,500 people out of the 10,000  into the system. I immediately made phone calls to some of the 2035 workers that the government shortlisted their names on paper but refuse to fix them on payroll to ascertain Iwuoha’s  story.

In Umuapu, 28-year-old Ukachukwu said he is still at home without a job since his sack in June .  Ukachukwu  has had “on-and-off jobs” since losing his job, most recently driving taxi cab for his uncle.He is one of the 2035 workers shortlisted but has not been asked to resume work.In Emekuku, Nta, 26, has also worked for a short period of three months  with the Imo State Civil Service before receiving the shocker sack from Governor Okorocha.Now he work  for a gardening contractor to feed  himself and his aged mother but is still hoping that Governor Okorocha will reinstate the 10,000 workers so that he can go back to work

Last  week, Imo state alone received over N14.5 billion in allocation for the month of July excluding local government allocations. What about the allocation for excess crude for Imo State? Then, tell me why we can’t help these poor youths. I join others to call on the government of Imo State to immediately and unconditionally recall the 10,000 workers who have been unjustly sacked by the government  since June  2011. We do not want 10000 youths in kidnapping and armed robbery .I also join others in calling  on the leadership of  NLC  in Imo state to defend the rights of the 10,000 workers.

Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State,Nigeria

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