Editorial

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25,000 Youths Must Work Programmes: Who’s Fooling Who?
Just like Ikemba Odimegwu Ojukwu, politicians in Enugu and Anambra States have being using his identity as a status symbol because any sane human being would always want to be identified with a celebrity. It is a truism that many politicians who emerged victorious in Enugu and Anambra states particularly and beyond to other eastern Ibo speaking states did so just because they used Ikemba Odimegwu Ojukwu as their “Joker”.
Down here in Imo State, during the regime of Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe, a lot of things were achieved but these achievements were never realized until his exist. The succeeding regime may not have done much because Mbakwe as it were left a name or legacies, if you care.
Today every politician in Imo State would want to use Mbakwe as a status symbol.
The regimes of Chief Achike Udenwa and Chief Ikedi Ohakim had their own peculiarities which were not discerned while they were on seat. Those who worked closely with Udenwa speak or rather testify that he hadn’t “ARADITE” hand. In Ohakim’s case, apart from his “BAD” mouth and pomposity, he also left landmarks.
All put together both Mbakwe, Udenwa and Ohakim regimes touched on human lives. Their regimes had different slogans which practically rescued Imolites. Remember, if you touch the welfare of the youths positively, you have touched the lives of Imolites.
Ohakim in particular, towards the end of his first tenure offered 10,000 youths jobs. Many wondered why the exercise towards his exist. Many said it was a campaign strategy. Indeed, it was not, the appointments came at the time it came because of the clean and well defined process through which it was carried out, people were appropriately rated as per qualifications and other due processes.
2015 is election year and Owelle Rochas Okorocha has decided to give Imo Youths job or work opportunities 25,000 youths in all. There is nothing wrong in what he has done but the modus operandi, lets use all about the Imo Civil Guards as an example.
The recruitment process is a scam without regard to due recruitment process. Our youths spent various years in tertiary institutions studying various courses. But in the 25,000 youths must work programme all the graduates or applicants if you care were all lumped on one page without any defined salary scales. It was just a case of, “you want job, Oya see work do”. At the end of the day they are promised to be paid N20,000 the type of promise the cock made to the hen. This attitude has lured some of them into taking bribes. Infact, one was quoted as saying “if we don’t take bribes, how do we survive”.
More of these recruits has appointment letters and even no vehicles to operate with. The recruits have no identity cards meaning that they can do anything and get away with it.
Come to think of it, somebody recruited 10,000 youths and left office, another person came on board and sacked the 10,000 for flimsy excuses that it was a political gimmick. Since it came at the heels of leaving office. Now, the person who sacked 10,000 youths offered jobs for whatever reasons went ahead to shabbily recruit 25,000 youths wrongly and since then have been toying with their future.
The most annoying aspect of the entire drama is that the 10,000 sacked youths, some of whom have tasted three to four months pay in their various places of deployments, went to court to protest their sack ordinarily the court would have been respected before any exercises would be carried out again in that direction, yet, rule of law is our prayer.
Well, no problem, no shaking, we are keenly watching. According to Jimmy Cliff, “Time will tell”.

Memo to Chief Emeka Ihedioha
Your Excellency sir, I write this memo with all sincerity and sense of purpose and it is my plea that you make out time to read it in spite of your very busy schedules. Without much ado, the purpose of this minute is to urge you to rise up stoutly to the challenge of reclaiming Imo State from the stranglehold of bad leadership. While I agree that leadership skills can be acquired through a learning process, I insist on the fact that the greatest leaders in the world are those who have some salient leadership traits inborn in them. Selfless service, transparency, sincerity of purpose, doggedness, urbaneness and humility are to me some of the qualities of a good leader, and while one may try to learn leadership, one cannot in any way learn to be humble, transparent, selfless or truthful.
It is on record that those who force themselves into leadership end up forcing themselves into living pretentious and false lives in order to be seen to possess these traits of good leadership.
They live like fish out of water. No wonder they never successfully lead. Sir, I and many others know and have seen that you are not found wanting in these sterling qualities. You have redefined and taken the art of leadership a notch higher, which is why you are rated very high among your contemporaries. Before now, members of both chambers of the National Assembly were merely seen as lawmakers.
They did not necessarily have to embark on projects that directly benefited the masses; they only had to make laws. This, your likes have proved wrong. In all your time so far as member of the House even before becoming deputy speaker in 2011, constituencies have understood the meaning of consistency briefing. Your briefings were not just to brief in words as the name implies, but to brief in all ramifications.
You have used these opportunities to interact with the people and to further demonstrate the dividends of democracy to them. I am not writing to remind you of your good deeds to the people or to tell Imolites what you did and what you will do. If that were the reason for this memo, I would have simply let the people know that you have singled yourself out to be that man who does not believe in talking much, but in achieving results for the masses.
I would have taken this golden opportunity to simply remind Imolites and Nigerians in general, that you canvassed for the dualization of Owerri-Port Harcourt road; that you facilitated the construction of Mbaise Ring Road; that you facilitated the construction of Onicha/Uboma road in Ihitte Uboma LGA; that you facilitated the construction of a waste recycling plant in Ilile Ohaji Egbema; that you facilitated the reconstruction of Okpala Amala Igwurita Road (Rivers State Border); that you attracted the renovation of Owerri-Umuahia road and Owerri-Okigwe road; that you facilitated the construction of a Jetty on Imo River at Okpala in Ngor Okpala LGA; that you have engaged in productive and identifiable youth and women empowerment programmes more than any high ranking public official in recent history, and many other projects that I don’t wish to bore you with. Yet that is not why I am writing.
I am writing to let you know that in you, a lot of Imolites have found hope. In you sir, Imolites have seen a contemporary leader who can take Imo State higher on the rung of the ladder to greatness in the committee of Nigerian states. In you sir, Imolites have seen an Imo State that will engage in industrialisation and quality infrastructural development.
A state that will be the envy of all others. It is important to let you know that why people talk about you and cherish you is not because you wear a green cap. It is not because you are a handsome man, nor because you attended the University of Lagos and several other Ivy-league institutions of higher learning in the UK, America and Canada, among others. It is neither on account of your being highly educated nor is it because you are a knight of the Anglican Church and a faithful family man.
No, you have not earned so much popularity only on account of all these. Rather, you are popular by dint of your many verifiable achievements in office. It is because of these that the title Omenkahuruanya is now a meme which your achievements have demonstrated. Your presence in the green chambers has motivated so many young minds to aspire to follow your footsteps. Your Excellency sir, I therefore wish to use this medium to call on you to rise up to the challenges of our time and hearken to the call of your people to rescue them. The hallmark of every intelligent leader is to know when to act.
As an intelligent leader, your time to act is now. Since you have so much distinguished yourself, you are seen as the man whose time has come.
Rt. Hon. Sir, Imo people will not forgive you if you disappoint them by not contesting at the forthcoming Imo gubernatorial election. The name ‘Ihedioha’ alone evokes the picture of a movement in the state. Come! Come! Come and consolidate your efforts and achievements in Imo State. Granted, you have a difficult task ahead, but please do come and develop Imo State with your good friends and contacts across the world. Do not be daunted by envious elements and political jobbers who seek to create hurdles in your quest to reclaim Imo State. Come and salvage Imo State from the stranglehold of charlatans. Come and take the mantle of leadership and make the true meaning of leadership manifest. As I will always call you, Omenkahuruanya, your time is now.

By A.I.C Akwarandu

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