Many people don’t seem to understand the interminable responsibilities of the government of a people. It is part of the responsibility of the government is to defend, protect and promote the welfare of the people in their collective will. Many people may think that the raging controversy between the current Imo government and the seeming original owners of Eastern Palm University is a matter of moral tone.
According to Walter Bageholt, a British political scientist, “What touches one must be approved by all.” That is one of the reasons why people careless of any matter belonging to the people saying that it is government matter. The phrase, the people’s ownership is all encompassing. For example, many years ago, as a former state director of MAMSER, I was delegated by the then Babangida administration to go and send a message to the people of Izii in Abakiliki.
What the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma has done and is doing has legitimacy under moral and cultural value. Thank God, the assignment given to Hon. Emeka Nduka to head the panel was absolutely in order. Imagine the State was given just 9% of the ownership while Eastern Palm University was given 90%. Is this not an example of primitive bad government?If this matter does not come up now, it will still come up in the future either with Emeka Ihedioha or Uzodinma. It is therefore a legitimate call for action for which Senator Rochas Okorocha does not have the locus standing to hold. After all, from this, he will learn that what touches all belongs to all and what belongs to all should not be appropriated to one family for this is the chief corner stone of operative culture.
The message was for the government of Izii LGA. On reaching the place, we wanted to know specifically to whom we convey the message. A traditional ruler told us (the delegation) that he was just a mere chairman of a LGA and not the government. Then we asked him to go and get who in his opinion will receive the message on behalf of the people. He took us to the chairman of local community.
A brilliant young man refused to accept that he is a government. Then we asked him who in your opinion will represent the government? Then after a brief hesitance, he accepted the message but as we were to leave, he drew our attention to the fact that he is not the government. He appeared to be in a confused state. After discussing with him a little bit, one of the most elderly persons among the crowd advised us to go back to the state government headquarters to report that nobody wanted to answer the government.
In any event, we were sure we had delivered the message by giving a reasonable size of the crowd that the message will get to the people. In a way and in fact, the government is a collective bunch of people with some assigned responsibilities.
In a way, those who have read history particularly that of political history of citizenship must remember that the beginning of a collective body is the formation of the government being the representative of the citizens. The assemblage of the governments is the collection of citizens beginning with city states. Every government begins with a collection of families.
At the local level, families collect to form community government and the community government collects to form the local government or city government. It is from this amalgamation of governments that we form local government and from local government to state government. From this perspective, every one of us is a participant to this formation. Therefore the collective will of the people is a collective will of the people. Therefore, but therefore nobody can claim not to be part of the government.
The apex authority in a city government is the responsibility of everybody. Through taxation, everybody has become the owner of government through the concept of collective responsibility. In fact, government is the owner and caretaker of the people entrusted with the ability to take care of the people of a place either the city government, local government or national government. In a way, nobody but nobody can claim to be the owner of a government.
Thus, when Rochas was the governor of Imo State, he was merely administering the affairs of the people. But unfortunately, due to his own imperial style of leadership, it did not occur to him that his stewardship will be accounted to the people. Now that he is not the governor anymore, he is still accountable to the people and it is therefore time to give account of his stewardship.
Through the concept of collective responsibility, it is time for him to give account and the people of Imo State to whom he is accountable through their current government has found out that the Eastern Palm University was built with the people’s taxes. In fact, the packaging of the EPU was the people’s money and no amount of intelligent argument can deny the people the ownership of EPU.
Indeed, from concept to the formation of the university, by and large, it was built with the people’s money to which every legitimate government no matter how rough or careless can’t obviate this cardinal point. And no amount of legal tussle devoid of fairness, truth and equity can deny the people the right and ownership of EPU.
Indeed, it was a matter of bad packaging and management. In truth and in fact, those who were involved in the establishment of the University should have known that they were investing and embarking on a bad business.
It is wrong, absolutely wrong for a former governor to think that he could hoodwink the entire state over this issue of the ownership of EPU. I can still remember that when this issue was raging that I drew the attention of few intellectuals that this bad business will snowball into major conflict and now, my prediction has come true. Properly put, the ownership of EPU belongs to the people of Imo state. And without mincing words, nobody grabs something that does not belong to him with his two hands.
What the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma has done and is doing has legitimacy under moral and cultural value. Thank God, the assignment given to Hon. Emeka Nduka to head the panel was absolutely in order. Imagine the State was given just 9% of the ownership while Eastern Palm University was given 90%, is this not an example of primitive bad government.
If this matter does not come up now, it will still come up in the future either with Emeka Ihedioha or Uzodinma. It is therefore a legitimate call for action for which Senator Rochas Okorocha does not have the locus standing to hold. After all, from this, he will learn that what touches all belongs to all and what belongs to all should not be appropriated to one family for this is the chief corner stone of operative culture.