- Posted May 30, 2014 by
2014 Democracy Day In Imo
As Nigeria marks 2014 Democracy Day in Imo State, different opinion have emerged, still putting the Nation’s Unity and Progress at cross roads.
With June 12 in view for the Yoruba’s, it is pertinent to note that since May 29, 1999 when General Olusegun Obasanjo came out of Prison to become the Democratically elected President of Nigeria, after 29 years of military rule, the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria have had cause for one agitation or the order.
Notwithstanding, Nigeria has witnessed uninterrupted democratic dispensation in the successful administrations of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Allahaji Musa Yar’adua and now Dr Goodluck Jonathan as it is.
With the Boko Haram’s kidnap of the Chibok girls and the intrigues played by the Northern elders on the matter, no doubt, many people believe that the constitution of the on-going National Conference is an effort in futility just like every other effort in that direction before now.
On Thursday, May 29, 2014, most parts of Imo State witnessed an atmosphere that is calm, serene and wonderfully adorned with the Political intrigues amongst the Political elites with main eventful activities organized only by the State government, catching few PDP meetings in low tone.
Although most of the Local Governments visited had seen the Transition Committee Chairmen performing their statutory duty of taking salute from the children to mark the ill fated May 27, 2014 children’s’ day, the air was most gloomy for many due to the lingering fate of the Chibok girls.
When a colleague of mine re-echoed “15 years of democratic rule” as it became a topic for discussion, I reminded him that the problems confronting Nigeria couldn’t be far from those confronting any adolescent in the process of maturity, and he agreed I couldn’t be far from the truth.
He commented that delinquent behaviors on the part of the leaders is allowed for now because there is going to be a time in the future to look back and laugh at some of the actions that held sway in these day.
Many Imolites who could afford three square meal a day believe that the country has fared well economically while those on the receiving end, the job seekers, the workers believed to be earning minimum wage who in actual fact are made to spend their monthly earnings on borrowing before the meager salary arrives, and those business men and women whose goods expire in their hands due to lack of patronage think otherwise.
The skilled workers who cannot place food on their table due to lack of money in circulation refused to agree to the above, while those owed different categories of salaries and allowances hope against all hope that it is well with our Dear Country and State because Imo, nay, Nigeria must be better!
Some people who analyzed it for me wondered what would have happened if the efforts on ground to ensure asphalting of roads by the present Federal and State Government had taken place eight, ten, or twelve years ago.
Another set of people tried to quote incorrectly, the billions of naira that has gone into private pockets in the name of erosion control agents and agencies in the past the past, yet many structures get swept away with palpable fears on the erosion sites still scattered across the nation.
Yet another set of people looked at the many years of free Universal Basic Education in Nigeria, snuffled by many State governors in the past, which has now translated to reality for some people though the society has suffered so much due to lack of Education.
I couldn’t help but wonder why the same government would employ its own citizens no matter the level of education but based on the quality and quantity of work done and pay a paltry sum of six thousand naria before the present administration said they increased it to eighteen thousand naira, and expect him/her to buy fuel at the cost of ninety seven naira and kerosene at the cost of one hundred and fifty thousand naira.
And this individual is neither infertiled to check the number of mouths he/she could bring into the world to fend for nor his/her own market or economic environment different from that of the Minster, the Lawmaker or any of the elites profession who have resorted to feeding on the flesh of their fellow men in the name of charges in order to make ends meet.
However, looking back at the Industrial sector, it would be recalled that the first Civilian Governor of old Imo State between 1979 and 1983, Dr. Sam Mbakwe established about ten Industries with the loan he obtained in the banks in the present Imo, Abia and Ebonyi State.
In another set of democratic dispensation after fifteen years, those industrial land marks are yet to be enhanced upon.
Today in Imo State, apart from Hotels, filling stations and few petty private businesses, Imo Concord Hotel Owerri, Avutu Poultry Complex Obowo, Alluminun Extrusion Industry Inyishi, Rasin Paints Industry Mbaise, Cardboard Packaging Industry Owerri Ebiri, Ceramic Tiles Nsu, Clay Product Ltd Ezinnachi and Egbema Breweries Egbema, Imo Flour Mills Akabor, Modern Ceramics Umuahia, International Glass Industry Aba and Electric Generating Industry amaraku, Izombe and Mbanano in Isukwuato Local Government Area of Abia State, as the list goes, Imo is yet to witness an Industrial dawn.
Chief Mbakwe capitalized the Industries and was privatizing them before the Military took over in December 1983.
Succeeding Military Administrations in Imo State from 1983 to 1989 did nothing to reactivate the Industries but sold off many of them, and vandalized some.
The succeeding democratic administrations in 1999 allowed others to remain moribund.
As Imo marks three years of Rescue Mission Government, the Commissioner for Industry and non formal sector, Barr Ugochi Nnanna Okoro told Newsmen recently that Government has plans for Onitcha road Industrial area. She said Owelle Okorocha’s administration has successfully rehabilitated Standard Shoe Industry, Owerri and Avutu Poultry Complex while work is commencing on Nsu Tiles, Clay Products Ltd Ezinnachi, Cardboard packaging industry Owerri Ebiri.
Peoples opinion has it that from Owelle Okorochas’ background in the areas of Education, Road Construction and Workers Welfare, there is no doubt that the Industrial sector would witness a surprising dawn in Imo.
Socially, people are intoxicated with governor Okorochas’ achievements with the Free Education from Primary to Tertiary School level with School materials provided, leading to tripling of enrolment in the State School system.
They say teachers are now paid promptly to motivate them into giving their best, but some of those who witness moral and infrastructural decadence in most Schools outside the State capital think otherwise, as anyone who can afford it still prefer Schools in private hands.
They say the free education and one hundred naira stipend handed to students does not solve any problem as the teachers are called out of classes for one State function or the other while the Schools lack laboratory equipment and learning facilities. Others say the governor cannot carry everything at the same time and expressed hope that with time his full intentions would be fully realized.
Although retired School teachers have made their monthly pension a first line charge of Okorochas’ government, rural roads are said to be revolutionized, as more that 25 kilometers of rural roads in all the local governments have been asphalted, though visible in places like Ngor Okpala, Obiangwu, Ihite, Umukabia, Ngor, Obokwe and Ubulu etc.
Notwithstanding the skeptics tune to the reality of payment of salaries at the end of the day, 25, 000 youths have been employed and given free uniforms.
Also in the mouth of the people are wagging in the social circles on the great feat achieved by the present administration in bringing foreign investors, which has eluded even the federal government in many years of wasteful overseas trip in search of such.
To this end, Shoprite said they are in