As a stakeholder and patriotic son of Imo State, I am greatly perturbed, indeed, appalled seeing the colossal wreck that the state was subjected to during the reign of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who presided over affairs as Governor for eight long years.
The Imo State Governor from 2011 to 2019 embarked on numerous projects most of which were heavily and visibly substandard, uncompleted and undesired. A cursory look at the state or status of all the projects embarked upon by his administration will compel any keen observer to readily return a verdict of condemnation of the visibly poor handling of the affairs of the state under him. In fact, he clearly comes to mind as the Governor, in history, who wasted the resources of the state the most. This assertion or summation is definitely not questionable.
I really wonder what goes on in the mind of Owelle Rochas Okorocha each time he recalls his account of stewardship as Imo State Governor. Indeed, I truly ponder over what goes on in his mind seeing the terrible conditions of the projects executed by his government. My presumption is that, if he has any conscience or sense of godliness deposited in him, he will hardly ever sleep well; he’ll be consumed by remorseful feeling such that he’ll be itching to gain another opportunity to redress this ugly, ignoble and inglorious history that he left behind as a one-time Governor of Imo State.
Let me ask him the following questions. I wish that he will offer honest and sincere answers to the puzzles:
How do you feel that virtually all the intra-city, inter-city and rural roads executed by your administration broke down even before your exit from office?
How do you feel seeing the total collapse of Umuchima bridge in Ideato South LGA which leads to your country home only a few poles away and you failed to fix it before leaving office?
How do you feel seeing the most deplorable condition of the Orlu-Akokwa road dualisation project which your administration initiated but failed to complete which eventually paved the way for the invasion of the Umuchima stretch by the worst erosion menace in the history of the area? How do you feel hearing or seeing houses being washed away more than ever before in Umuchima and environs owing to the environmental degradation that accompanied the shoddy and uncompleted execution of the dualisation of the Orlu-Akokwa Road project?
How do you feel seeing the Okwelle-Dikenafai-Ntueke road which you promised to dualise with street light fittings in your first tenure without as much as receiving a trip of sand on any portion to improve its most deplorable state ever?
How do you feel that you must go through very rough ride in your SUVs on roads ridden with drum holes and bush paths either from Orlu or Dikenafai to get to your heaven-on-earth mansion in your environmentally devastated Ogboko community?
How do feel that you raised the hopes of Imolites to high heavens with the promise of bequeathing 27 world class hospitals for the 27 LGAs in Imo State without accomplishing any, except one that got completed in Ikeduru LGA following its take over by private investors? How do you feel seeing the rest are in virtual ruins.
How do you feel seeing the gigantic primary school buildings constructed by your administration in nearly the over 300 electoral Wards in the state almost in varying degrees of deplorable conditions owing to very poor construction standards? How do you feel seeing majority of those school buildings unoccupied and, or abandoned?
How do you feel driving on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri and seeing the imposing Police Headquarters complex constructed by your administration in very deplorable shape with falling roofing sheets and all that?
How do you feel seeing hundreds of public buildings (most of which were poorly constructed by your administration) in total ruins without being occupied for several years now? One wonders if many of those unoccupied and deplorable buildings were necessary in the first instance.
How do you feel seeing the massive block pillars constructed with iron crossings on poorly constructed roads riddled with pot holes within Owerri metropolis almost all pulled down due to the serious dangers they posed to those roads users following the collapse of many?
How do you feel seeing that your much-celebrated International Conference Centre (ICC) had been pulled down to its foundations?
How do you feel seeing the two underground tunnels dangerously constructed by your government across Port Harcourt Road which were heavily flooded whenever it rained, posing grave threat to motorists were both completely demolished and simple construction design and work executed at those points, facilitating free-flow of traffic ever since?
How do you feel seeing that the two flyover bridges constructed by your administration have remained fully unutilized since they were completed due to their terribly visible poor standards affirmed by professional engineering bodies in the state?
How do you feel seeing the needless gigantic Aka Chi fountain destroyed soon after you left office?
How do you feel seeing the poorly constructed water fountains at Government House and Orlu Road Junctions demolished for their threats to public safety?
How do you feel that the decorative artificial palm trees you made to adorn major streets in Owerri have all disappeared because they were not meant to last?
How do you feel seeing your couple of Squares (Bongo, Freedom Squares) constructed without recourse to quality job delivery are all in degrading conditions?
How do you feel seeing broken down culverts all over the major road junctions in Owerri constructed by your administration? How do you feel to know that any standing culvert on Owerri major roads were constructed by the present administration of Hope Uzodinma while yours have all become caved in?
How do you feel that upon your ascension to office, you had commenced the project of constructing iron gates on virtually all streets within Owerri metropolis to enhance security and you ended your two terms leaving almost 99% of those gates abandoned?
How do you feel that you left numerous uncompleted projects across the state notwithstanding the fanfare that greeted their inception? Here, you will recall the tallest building in Africa that you made so much fuss about; the gigantic five star hotels you conceived for Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe, among several other unfulfilled projects either promised or initiated by you, most of which consumed unquantifiable chunk of the taxpayers’ money in Imo State.
One can go on and on to enumerate the legion of projects that were either poorly thought out or haphazardly executed by Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s government, resulting in colossal waste of scarce public resources. I’m eager to know how the former governor actually feels with such alarming and horrendous degree of wastage staring him in the face.
Unfortunately, there’s no mechanism for holding governors who squandered public funds in such irresponsible manner accountable. Rather, we see the state pampering them with stupendous pension benefits. THIS MUST STOP!- Joachim Olumba