LOOMING DANGER: Imo State Government and their interference in Abia State.

 The major element of governance is to provide the basic necessities of life. Governance, being the process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented or otherwise can apply to corporate, international, national and local governance or to the interaction between other sectors of the society. The personalities that often provide good governance are those who have the intellectual endowment and managerial capability and competence to drive the economy to the right cause.

Today, people talk about failed institutions and collapsing government structures, but fail to attribute the crumpling of these institutions and structures to inept leadership and bad governance. This is why good governance is sine qua non to even and rapid development. It is the responsibility of any government to provide governance to the led; a concrete and realistic programmes, policies and guiding principles that will impact positively on the masses and not just a hollow and phantom projects that would demean the essence of leadership and impoverish the people.

This is why what has been likened as harvest of projects in Abia state is worthy of celebration and commendation. Not a fewer individuals will agree that Governor T A Orji’s administration is ahead of its contemporaries in the provision of infrastructure and remodeling this God’s Own state. Do we talk about his intervention in housing, roads, healthcare, security, rule of law, environment, women and children affairs etc? Perhaps, we should cast our attention to his performance in international organizations that resulted in the synergy with the Minimum Development Goals (MDG) which has produced over 250 health institutions or its foray in building major developmental projects such as the new government Umuahia, international conference centre, workers secretariat etc all in Ogurube layout.

However, what is giving the governor the sobriquet “the legacy governor of our time” is not only these projects scattered in the nooks and crannies of the state, but the relocation of three major markets and industrial centres in Umuahia the state capital. Two have already been moved this year while the Umuahia main market will follow subsequently this year, 2013.

The ones already moved include: the timber market at Ohobo Afaraukwu, which was moved to Azueke Ndume Ibeku while the Auto spare parts known as “Ngbuka” market situated at the heart of the town was moved to nearby Ohiya, to join and complement the fast developing and sprawling allied/mechanic cluster villa. There is no gainsaying the fact that the relocation of these markets including the Umuahia main market awaiting relocation to Ubani Ibeku will uplift the aesthetics beauty of the Umuahia urban city and enhance the economic status of traders doing business in them.

Interestingly, an intending buyer of auto spare parts can now easily access Ohiya from Aba, Okigwe or Owerri through the expressway; just like any dealer on timber produce can easily connect Azueke Ndume from Ikot Ekpene, Uyo and Calabar. Ironically, a sister government that is supposed to play complimentary role in social and economic development of the Igbo land is throwing spanners in the works of Abia state government under the leadership of Chief T A Orji, Ochendo. It is amazing to think that the Imo state government could go all out to persuade some traders in both relocated markets to relocate to Onu-Imo, the boundary between Abia and Imo state.

Initially, no one gave credence to the assertion until the Imo state government started the clearing of Umungwa-Obowo axis of the Imo River (a boundary town between Abia and Imo state) preparatory to the building of what they called “Obowo auto/timber market”. Right now, the portion for the proposed site of the supposed market (straddling both sides of the Umuahia-Obowo-Owerri Road) is under construction. Top government officials from Owerri have reportedly visited the site to assess the level of work going on. Forms, it is also said, are been sold in Owerri, for interested buyers.

One wonders why a government that prides itself “a government on a rescue mission” should abandon its avowed mission statement to stray into a territory that is beyond its jurisdiction. It smacks of ineptitude and lack of clear vision to pursue shadow while the city burns. Imo, we all know, has been hounded for some time now by kidnappers and criminals of bent. A focus on its eradication should have been a better option than trying to woo people who are ordinarily not interested in joining any fray from any politician. Certainly, abandoning one’s calling midway in pursuance of pittances is akin to engaging in political hara-kiri. It could be another way to show that the train has left one. It amounts to a dearth in fecundity to abandon one’s vision.

Recently, a resident of Imo stated that what happens in Imo state is nothing but plagiarism. According to him, “politics of talk more, do less reigns here”. Indeed, if any state government wants to copy the developmental strides of the Abia state government it is free, but what will be unacceptable is a situation where a government or an individual tries to undermine the effort of a sister state in the name of positioning himself for the leadership of Ndigbo. Undoubtedly, acquiring Igbo leadership or vice presidential slot is not through blackmail, sabotage or through subterranean moves.

The late Eze Ndigbo Gburugburu, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, it will be noted, did not acquire his leadership of Ndigbo through intrigues and saftage, but through the dint of hard work, selfless service, commitment to the cause of Ndigbo. The Rochas Okorocha led-Imo state government should stop creating tension among traders in the timber market and auto market by dismantling the Onuimo bridge market hurriedly been foisted on a section of the traders. This is the opinion of the traders that they should be allowed to do their business and save them the embarrassment of a shadow leadership tussle of either Ndigbo or vice presidency.

Written by U . Nwosu 




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