- How Propaganda Was Used To Oust Him From Office
Judging from the state of affairs in Imo state right now, any political spectator or critic who has watched the transition of Imo state from the early 2000s in the times of Chief Achike Udenwa till date under the Uzodinma administration will agree that in terms of credible government administrations, veteran Statesman, Ikedi Ohakim had the best administration and tenure.
The judgment of the Supreme Court voiding the lawful election of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (who scored 276,404 votes) and awarding questionable votes to declare Hope Uzodimma of the APC, who scored 96, 458 votes as governor of Imo state is highly irrational, unfounded, a provocative product of executive manipulation and a recipe for crisis, which should not be allowed to stand.
With the verdict, the Supreme Court executed a coup against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the people of Imo state, as well as other Nigerians.
The verdict, however, also brought back the age-long politics of party defections and legislative opportunism to Imo state, the Nigeria’s capital of political runs men and food is ready politicians.
In Imo today, honour, consistency, value and respect to friendship is now irrelevant, thanks to the new political gangsters that have taken over the stage in the last two decades or so.
It’s now the politics of follow him if he has bread in his bag and betray him if his bread has finished.
Immediately Ohakim was announced as the consensus/compromise candidate under the PPA platform, men from PDP, APGA, ACN, etc all flocked to the camp of Ohakim and the chant of “Ochinawata” rented the air and they suddenly claimed that Ohakim was the messiah they had been waiting for.
Immediately the bread and butter did not spread well, some of them now discovered that Ohakim was not the messiah and the kick-him-out mobilisation and propaganda started. They moved from one alliance to another, from ACN to APGA and some back to PDP at last minute to collect money to remedy what they had already destroyed.
Taking a cursory look at the 2011 governorship elections in Imo state, one would strongly agree that this same propaganda was used as a strong tool in taking down Ohakim and his loyal cabinet members.
In their delusion, they chose not to credit the administration of Dr. Ikedi Ohakim for the reason that their warped mindsets could not be disciplined at all to give honour to whom it is due.
They chose to, after noting Ohakim’s masterstroke in Education and wealth creation, to spew falsehood that Ohakim’s administration was a failure. Instead of taking their time to study the well-articulated projects and programmes of the Ikedi Ohakim era, their over-bloated ego and hatred for truth and facts will not allow them.
Critical infrastructures such as good roads, water and electricity, etc, are required for any state to grow industrially. In these areas the Ikedi Ohakim administration performed marvelously.
Despite that water was part of the MDGs target, Ohakim knew that industries cannot flourish in the state if there was no water.
He did not destroy the water pipes laid by the Mbakwe era with borrowed money but rather went ahead to renovate Mbakwe’s water projects that had become moribund and also built new 1,395 water schemes both in the rural and urban communities. The water board known as Imo State Water Development Agency (IWADA) operated with good equipments and highly skilled manpower.
Ikedi Ohakim also saw that good roads were pivotal to the growth of industries in the state. To address this challenge, Ohakim constructed 450km of roads while 325km others were at various stages of completion before he left office in 2011. Through his Imo Roads Maintenance Agency (IROMA), he rehabilitated 270km rural roads and committed N150M for tarring them under RAMP before he left office.
This opened up the rural communities and linked them to the urban areas in order for industries to survive, resulting to a robust economy under Ohakim, despite the biting world economic meltdown.
On the other hand, investors will not come if there is no strong legal framework in place, especially if the Governor who is the Chief Executive of the state does not commit himself to the rule of law and due process. Not only did Ohakim impressively and unbeatingly stick to the rule of law and due process, he was very transparent in government transactions and obeyed the rulings and judgements from the courts.
He attacked frontally the dysfunctional Judiciary he met on ground by not only renovating the high courts in different parts of the state, especially the State High Court in Owerri where he also tarred the road, the magistrates and customary courts, he also made sure that the Judges and other judiciary workers had good working environment. Ohakim brought the Appeal Court to Owerri to ensure the quick dispensing of Justice. Ohakim’s framework for a robust Imo economy that opened the space for sustained industrializing also led to the establishment of the Nigeria Stock Exchange in Owerri with their office opposite the state government house.
Ohakim had the opportunity to enrich himself and acquire public property to himself or cronies like Uzodinma is doing but he did not do so, preferring instead to live in his three-bedroom bungalow built-in 1992.
Imo people are sure that Ohakim has the capacity and institutional memory to halt the raging madness in the state and reposition it for greatness.
Source: AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK