The Imo State Government has carefully read with concern the two-page interview the two term former Governor of the state, Chief Achike Udenwa granted to the Saturday Sun and at the end of it all, it was obvious that the former governor was on a blackmail trip against the Rescue Mission Administration in the state with Governor Rochas Okorocha occupying the driver’s seat.
In the interview in question, the former governor laboured in vain to discredit all the amazing achievements of the Rochas’ administration including its free education programme, the massive infrastructural development of the state, and also claimed that Imo people are poorer today under the Rescue Mission Administration.
It is very disturbing when leaders like Chief Udenwa a lot of people look upto for direction and to always stand for the truth and what is right and just begin to distort facts or begin to be grossly economical with the truth for one petty political reason or the other.
The current administration in the state regards and treats Chief Udenwa as a statesman of Imo extraction having governed the state for eight years and also having been a minister. And we would have loved him to continue to enjoy the attendant respect associated with the status of a statesman by also ensuring that whatever comes out of his mouth can hardly be faulted.
The government does not take delight in responding to comments by illustrious sons and daughters of the state because the state belongs to all of us. But we only and always take exception to seeming lies told against the administration.
The free education in the state from primary to the tertiary level is working effectively, and the recipients and their parents have been very happy about it. Chief Udenwa should have told his audience why he thought the programme is not working so that we can take him up on that. But to make a blanket comment that there is no free education in the state is really worrisome.
Throughout the eight years of Chief Udenwa, no school was renovated in the state, but today most of the old schools have been transformed. 305 upstair school buildings have been built in the 305 wards in the state. The subvention of Imo State University under Chief Udenwa was less than N50million, but today the government in the state gives the University N257million as subvention. That of Imo Polytechnic is also a huge success story under the current administration. Let him visit the teaching hospital in Orlu his home town which he could not give life and see that it has become ultra-modern.
He talked about Imo people becoming poorer today. How? He did not say. He would have substantiated his claim. Adapalm could not pay salary for the eight years he was governor, today Adapalm has become productive and gainful. Both the Shoe Industry and Avutu Poultry were never talked about during his time, but today they are all flourishing. Which community did he empower? How many Imo people did his government give employment? How regular and how much was he paying workers? How many pensioners did he pay for the eight years? These are areas he never touched and he never cared for. But today Rochas has extensively touched all of them.
The former governor should have been happy that all he could not do and all that the PDP government for 12 years in the state could not do, Rochas has done all of them in less than four years. The last time the former governor came home was the time President Jonathan came to receive him and three others back to the PDP. Another time he would have had the chance of coming to the state was during the PDP primaries in the state this month, but he was posted to one state in the North as the head of an electoral body.
Chief Udenwa is liked in the state because of his humility and peaceful dispositions but engaging in the unpopular trade of trying to run down a government the people of the state and even beyond have acknowledged is doing very well in the state in all aspects, calls for concern. Rochas has dualized the Orlu/Akokwa road, and the former governor is one of the major beneficiaries because it passed through his town.
There is nothing wrong somebody’s successor doing better than him in an office. It is not a crime. Our people must know this fact. When that happens the predecessor should be patriotic enough to commend his successor for doing well or doing better than him. That is what those before Rochas are expected to do in the circumstance and not to embark on fruitless effort to discredit all he has achieved for the state in less than four years.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media.