We write to thank the former Governor of Imo State and a friend, His Excellency Chief Ikedi Ohakim for his open and (sincere) letter to our governor, His Excellency, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha.
While we appreciate Ohakim’s purported ‘good’ intentions and his expose of events and developments in the State after he left office in 2011, one may begin to wonder why he (Ohakim) has hidden under the cloak of protecting the interest of Imo People (who rejected him in 2011) to engage in furtive politics.
It is really ludicrous to read an expose of a man who has seen nothing good about the government after him since 2011 he was voted out of office. We honestly would not want to join issues with Chief Ikedi Ohakim, but to say that he (Ohakim) has not seen anything the Rescue Mission Government has done right in Imo State is plain mischief. In the Igbo parlance, if you want to abuse a beautiful girl and you have nothing to say against her, you tell her to go and have her bath (Elechaa nwa mara mma, asi ya gaa saa ahu).
It is a well known fact that the Rescue Mission Government came into power when Imolites were fed up with the maladministration and the repugnant abuse of the sensibilities of Imo people by Chief Ikedi Ohakim. The outcry and clamour for change was the major reason the Rescue Mission Government came into power to restore hope to the hopeless and offer to Ndi Imo the leadership of trust they had yearned for several Q. The government of His Excellency, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha on its assumption rescued the State from the political merchants and godfathers who plundered her resources leaving the State under developed.
We are surprised, that no mention was made by Chief Ikedi Ohakim about the Imo free education policy – from Primary to tertiary level, with its attendant relief on the families of the less privileged and Imolites at large. Do we begin to talk about the numerous achievements made by this administration – Is it the New Government House, Odenigbo Guest House, Owerri City School, 305 Storey School Buildings in all the electoral wards of Imo State, Befitting Imo Liaison Office in Abuja, the magnificent Heroes Square, Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, over 800 kilometres of Rural Roads across the 27 LGA and lots more. We stopped just at this few in order not to sound boastful. Imo people may also not have forgotten the security situation in the state before 2011 when Chief Ikedi Ohakim was the Governor, but today, the Rescue Mission Government has arrested this situation, bringing crime and criminality to its barest minimum. This infact, has helped to boost the investment and Tourism industry of the State as Imo State is now the Tourism hub of the South East.
In the event of your misrepresented findings about the state of affairs in the state since after you exited as governor, we wish to tell you Sir that our government has achieved milestones which you have unwittingly eulogized in your letter published in the various local tabloids of 31st August, 2016 and the social media. A careful perusal of this letter in question would tell where the former governor is coming from and driving at. To say he is jealous of the feat achieved by the Rescue Mission government may be an understatement. If indeed, he knows so much why then did he do little while in office? It would be unthinkable for anyone to adduce that the Rescue Mission Government which draws its strength from the masses would still go ahead to punish the same people it has come to rescue and serve.
We are happy that Chief Ohakim acknowledged the present economic downturn in the nation, yet it beats my heart that he has failed to commend our Governor, Dr. Rochas Anayo Okorocha’s Government for blazing the trail in opening up the socio – economic frontiers of the State. What this government is doing is in the overall interest of the people of Imo State.
Owerri is the fasted growing city in the country at the moment, and we need to undertake certain developmental actions that would befit the city of our dream. We are expanding and duallizing the roads. Ohakim never duallized any road, but he demarcated them. We are building markets outside Owerri town to make it really a city we can all be proud of.
In all considerations, the relocation of Eke-ukwu Market is long overdue, if we are sincere to ourselves. With the rapid growth of Owerri into a model city, it is no longer feasible to allow the Eke-ukwu market to remain at its present location. It is a known fact that Douglas Road and some of the adjoining roads cannot be recovered from its deplorable condition if the market continues to exist there.
Granted too that those who built the market at that place meant well, but they must have done so in consideration of the prevailing scenario at that time. The traders themselves should be happy about this development despite the temporary inconveniences associated with change. What government is doing is to relocate the market to a more conducive place that will accommodate more traders and equally ease traffic congestion on and around Douglas Road.
The truth about the road expansion project within the Owerri Capital City is that this project will change the entire landscape of the capital city into a model city with free flow of traffic.
However, this government as a very responsible and people – oriented government has restrained itself from demolition of buildings that contravened the stipulated distance of about 15 meters from the road; rather what we did was to remove fences and other structures built within 10 metres from the affected roads as well as those that blocked water ways.
More so, the issue of broken water pipes and cables are actually consequences of road construction and all of these are receiving attention. After all construction is not completed yet. We are getting there and this government appeals to Imo people to remain patient. This is a sacrifice we all will make for our generation and generations unborn. Once again, we appreciate the former Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and lots more who acknowledge that the Rescue Mission government has made some achievements. Whether they say the cup is full or half empty, what is important is that something new has taken place in Imo.
Thank you and God bless you.
Dr. Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe
Hon. Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public utilities