By Dr. N.N.N. Nwanesi
I was one of the technocrats and bureaucrats, academics, etc, that His Excellency, the Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON brought into the government of Imo State as soon as he was sworn-in. None of us lobbied for our offices; rather, he invited us with honor, respect, and what he might have thought about our personalities.
We were well off financially and otherwise before our appointments, we looted nothing, rather we lost a lot while rendering services to our people.
We always put heads together and advise where necessary and he did not accept any advice without debate; to him every piece of advice was too important to attend to.
Most of us were appointed to his Transition Committee; we worked tirelessly to produce a Blueprint for the development and growth of Imo State including the Judicial Panel of Inquiries into many matters. For example, the recovering of stolen and looted properties of our commonwealth, the negativity and impunity we discovered were unprecedented in the history of governance in Imo State.
We discovered that from the governments of Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Dede Sam Mbakwe Ph.D, General Ike Nwachukwu, Admirals Lawal, Allison Madueke, Ogugua, Generals Sunday Adenihun, Adisa, AIG Felix Oyakilome, Admiral Aneke, and Col Zubairu to that of Governor Achike Udenwa that there were no abuse of the processes and procedures in governance, no looting, no acquisition of public property, no legalization of illegalities, no disorganization and politicization of public service, no impunity, no acquisition of landed property or immovable property, no embezzlement of funds, no illegal occupation and conversion of private and public lands and properties by the Governors and their families, no destruction of life and properties because of Political reasons, no use of hoodlums and miscreants in governance, no illegalities in governance, no government of the family of the Governor and for the Governor, etc.
Even during the period of my good old friend, Governor Ikedi Ohakim, which we thought could have been abused; we discovered that there was no noticeable act of mismanagement. (Although, he acquired few properties in Owerri legally and never distorted the Ndubuisi Kanu’s urban master plans). That most of the accusations against him were unfounded. Governor Udenwa has one duplex in one of the government estates he constructed; he has no known property in Owerri.
It was during the government of Governor Rochas Okorocha that we discovered a State without government, but personal enterprises, family government, the act of governance through intuition and night or anytime dreams, unprecedented looting and stealing of government properties with impunity, abuse and misuse of power, reckless mismanagement, and misappropriation of human and material resources of Imo State, abuse of processes and procedures, etc.
Banks in Imo State capitalized on the corrupt government and unprofessional office holders of Rochas Okorocha’s government to steal more than #200 billion unaccounted for till now, which Governor Emeka Ihedioha’s government discovered and the robber banks agreed to reimburse the government before we vacated.
Our ad-hoc subcommittees sat severally and made our findings and recommendations to the main Transitional Committee headed by Chief Ebie former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. That was the first assemblage of Imo State Indigenous Bureaucrats, Aristocrats, and Technocrats, Clergymen, Academics, etc, in the history of any government of Imo State, I stand to be corrected.
The Enterprise (Imo State government) of Emperor Rochas Anayo Okorocha and his gangs announced an administrative vote of financial expense of billions of Naira, which we got nothing. He knows what he did with these public funds. The financing of the Transitional Committee came from the pockets of the Governor-Elect and his admirers.
All these duties we discharged without financial benefits or offices to occupy later, we took it to be a call for duty in our State. I have never discerned any humble Governor like Emeka Ihedioha (I address him as Your Excellency and he addresses me as Nnanyi ukwu) and none of us could remember him abusing or talking to us anyhow no matter our faults.
I know I disagreed with my brother, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Governor of Imo State on his entry into the governance of Imo State, right from day one, I preferred not to work for him and he finally unlawfully dissolved our tenured Imo State Independent Electoral Commission and other Commissions and government agencies.
But I agree with the way he continued with the Judiciary Panel of Inquiries set up by Governor Emeka Ihedioha the Adherent Administrator, a man, if you work with him, you would be glad you did even without pay. In Governor Ihedioha’ s government we were 75% of specialists in all field of endeavors and that was why within seven months we achieved developmental growth of the State with little funds we could touch, no cars, no accommodations, etc, for the Commissioners and other aids, still, we were happy to be called upon to serve. To Governor Ihedioha, it was our government and not the usual “my government or my people, my people”
I plead with the Imo State people to give Governor Hope Uzodinma maximum cooperation and support to implement the gazetted recommendations of the panels. If former Governor Rochas Okorocha and his family are disenchanted and feel that they acquired the properties in question legitimately, they should go to court or courts to seek justice, even though he doesn’t believe in courts if the case did not favor him.
But he should stop disgracing himself and his family. Every human being has the integrity to protect. Any citizen of Imo State supporting Senator Rochas Okorocha and his family on the recovery of looted and stolen Imo State properties and funds is himself a robber and must go to hellfire. Every good citizen of Imo State should support the Governor on his move to recover the loots and not criticize him on your party affiliations. I know Governor Hope very well that he would not touch any of these properties or funds if recovered. I know I don’t like his government, but let us call a spade a spade for our heavenly salvation.
Senator Rochas Okorocha ganged up with a lot of forces to wrestle legitimate power from Governor Emeka Ihedioha and Governor Ihedioha took it as one of those things that come out of politics and handed it over to God Almighty.
I am privileged to know that Governor Hope Uzodinma was ready to negotiate with Governor Emeka Ihedioha after the tribunal verdict, but the forces of Senator Rochas Okorocha prevailed on Senator Hope not to negotiate with us. Now, the Law of Karma is at work.
I know Governor Hope is not interested in the acquisition of any Imo property, but what is going on in Imo State now is God Almighty’s handwork. Rochas Okorocha should have known Governor Hope for long that he is more Political Maradona than himself and his allies put together. Rochas is a predictable human being, but Senator Hope is an unpredictable human being. He must face justice; this is a period of reckoning. He should face it like a man and not like a tug.
Dr N.N.N. Nwanesi is an Abuja-based consultant, Technocrat and ISIEC Commissioner during the administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.