By Olaoluwakitan Babatunde
A group, Concerned Youths of Imo State (CYIS) has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to call the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha to order.
In a statement, the group’s Co-ordinator, Christopher Nwoji alleged that Imo was now under siege and needs the urgent intervention of the President before things get out of hands in the state.
Nwoji in the statement entitled: “Imo State is under siege: Come to the aid of the people by calling Governor Okorocha to order” said the state’s Chief Executive has no modicum of respect for due process, accountability or even transparency.
He alleged that the governor had destroyed and bastardised the civil service structure and operation in the state.
Nwoji said: Workers are subjected to experimental hunger exercise by being owed over 9-14 months’ salary arrears after which some of their wives and family members went down on their knees.
“Okorocha dangled some carrot saying their salaries would be paid if they were ready to collect 70% (for Ministry staff) and 50% (for Parastatal staff). The workers kowtowed to his antics and he laughed and bragged that he was a political engineer of sorts.”
He said that the worst aspect of Okorocha’s exasperating policies was his recent decision to engage Cambodians and other Asians as artisans to displace Imo indigenes in project sites.
Nwoji said: “The youths were in the fore-front to have the governor elected in 2011. But today, the youths are disgusted and enraged. Even the Okada riders he used initially do not want to hear about him today,” he alleged.
“Former governor Sam Mbakwe who ruled the state for only four years (1979-1983) built a power plant at Amaraku, even though it was later sold by a military regime. He also set up a big poultry farm in Obowo, built the Ezinnachi Clay Industry and set up the Imo State University. What legacies can the people of Imo State remember Okorocha for? These are the nagging questions on the lips of most Imolites today. “Okorocha’s decision to embark on the demolition of people’s residential and business houses along Orji/Okigwe Road, Egbeada/Orji
Road, Orlu Road and Egbu Road has become the most painful and excruciating action of his administration.
“He commanded the bull-dozers to action and they have done a terrible job of increasing the sufferings of several families and the government does not have compensation in its vocabulary.
“Okorocha’s regime has become a lion’s den and his propensity for inhuman policies and vexacious acts has heightened tension in the state. “The people of Imo had a minor disagreement with former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. One thing led to the other and Imo indigenes – youths, women, stakeholders and elders went out of their way to vote out Ohakim – a difficult and dangerous feat.
“Imo State is a rare community in Nigeria where unseating an incumbent governor was simplified and made to look like the chewing of bread.
Okorocha benefited from the mass revolt against Ohakim in 2011. He was popularly elected. But sooner than later, he began to show his real self – a games man. And the people of Imo have been gamed.”