By Collins Opurozor
Virtually all contractors in Imo State have just one story to tell: “Government functionaries are threatening to cancel our contracts if we cannot give them money”. Also, anyone who seeks audience with the Governor has invariably come out to allege: “They won’t let you see him if you don’t give them money”. These are weighty allegations that not only discredit the government but also undermine the integrity of the entity named Imo.
In a rash move to stem the tide of opposition, the government launched a probe into the finances of the local government areas for the seven months that Emeka Ihedioha held sway as Governor. This was calculated to dent the image of Emeka Ihedioha who the government so dreads. Unknown to the government, Ihedioha was only beatified and canonized, and clothed with the toga of a martyr. The reason is simple: Ihedioha left office at the high noon of his accomplishments, and because the incumbent has been unable to show anything to the people, chasing after Ihedioha has proven to be a waste of time.
The only way to destroy Ihedioha permanently is to deliver value, embarrass Imo people with landmark projects and prove that an Uzodinma is a better governor than an Ihedioha. Workers hardly get paid and pensioners starve to death. Defeat Ihedioha by doing for these social categories more than Ihedioha did for them while his brief tenure lasted.
The incumbent came into office at the peak of the dry season, and has sauntered into the rainy season without filling one pothole anywhere in Imo State.
The extant contracts, which were awarded by the past administration, have been varied in a way that either leaves the contractors with the option of demobilising from sites or of delivering substandard outcomes. While the government has failed to energize the local government system in order to undertake infrastructural revolution in the remotest parts of the State, other establishments, for instance the Imo State Housing Corporation and ISOPADEC, which have a statutory mandate to develop parts of the State have been abandoned without management.
Worthy of note is the fact that in the months the preceded the coming of Gov Uzodinma, ISHC was able to deliver one thousand housing units, and ISOPADEC was able to restore electricity within the oil-bearing communities of Oguta and Ohaji/Egbema. Imo is in tatters.
In the second part of this series, we will look into some more issues, but with tears in my eyes I wish to drop my pen.