This week’s Harvest sets out a dialogue between two informed Imolites that unveil their personal perception about governance in Imo State
Ikechukwu: We have seen two years of total transformation in Imo, the rescue mission is on track and I can say we are better off than we were in the past
Amos: That’s your personal view. If the Rescue mission suits you because you are part of the system, it does not entail all is well with the people.
Ikechukwu: Do you think the way the PDP orchestrated governance in the State in the past is what is obtainable in Imo State now. Let me tell you, gone are the days government is seen as a channel to acquire wealth and affluence. Let me tell you, things have changed now. Even those in government are feeling the heat of the new order introduced by the rescuer. The rescuer has changed the face of governance in the State and soon, you will see the benefit of his intentions
Amos: And you think everybody is happy with the sudden change. Change is something that evolves gradually and steadily. You do not impose change on the people. There is hunger in the land and you are telling me this trash. Does change entail that workers in 19 government parastatals in the State should not be paid salaries for three months, does the change you talk about entails non-payment of pensions of old aged men and women in the IBC for 30 Months!
Ikechukwu: These parastatals were run aground by the previous administration. They were dead before the Rescue mission came on board. How do you expect government to continue to fund dead agencies. As for the pensioners, proactive steps have been taken to take care of them.
Amos: Proactive ko, proactive nii, Will they be taken care of when they kiss the grave. If this is the new order you bandy about it, then you guys better have a rethink, before we all….
Ikechukwu: You better get it straight. We are introducing new innovations. Government should not be seen as a come, carry and chop thing. People should learn to make little sacrifices to aid good governance. This is why the commercialization policy was introduced. Ministries and Local Governments should be able to generate funds to remain afloat, so that monies from the monthly allocation can be used to fund capital projects. Do you pay your tax? When last did you pay tax?
Amos: Nonsense! Arrant nonsense!! Is the economy of the State viable enough to enable Ministries to raise money and sustain themselves. You say the Local Governments should raise N5million as Internal Generated Revenue monthly. How are they going to achieve such feat? Are they going to tax palm wine tappers, garri sellers or farmers in the villages that are looking for means of survival? Have you been to the villages to see crushing poverty at work?
Ikechukwu: Who told you the local Governments or villages in the State are not economically viable? Listen, this State has enormous economic potentials that are left untapped.
Amos: So, why not harness the potentials first before thinking of making millions out of it? I do not know where you people studied economics. Please can you tell me what economic theory is this?
Ikechukwu: Relax! You will soon see the benefits of what we are doing. Soon, this State will be a destination for both local and foreign investors. Sooner or later, the “New Imo” will come on board. We are only putting in place the platform for the State to thrive. The problem we have is that we are very impatient and we find it difficult to endure little pain, so that we can enjoy forever.
Amos: There is limit to human endurance. Fine, who are these white-men building our roads and pathways in Owerri. What are they doing here? These jobs they are doing are they not for our people. How do you empower the people and eliminate cash squeeze in the system when jobs that can be perfectly done by our people are given to foreigners?
Ikechukwu: We do not want to compromise standards. We want quality jobs to be done. We see skyscarpers in foreign lands and we only marvel and wonder when we will have such things here….. Now that we have….
Amos: My friend, hold it there. Do not sweet talk me. I am not one of those who clap without weighing and digesting what I am being told. I am an educated enough to know when I am being misled or not
Ikechukwu: You are scared of the truth. Which administration has provided massive roads, built modern schools across the State. Tell me, which one, except this one
Amos: How many of them have been completed. Tell me, how many?
Ikechukwu: Most of them. Besides, this rescue mission is barely two years old. There is still enough time to finish up the uncompleted roads. What is important is that roads are being constructed. Don’t you know the importance of roads to an economy of a State?
Amos: The rains are almost here with us. If these roads are not completed before the rains come, they will be washed away. Besides that, we have taken measures to ensure that all the projects are completed as at when due. We do not believe in abandoning projects that are of immense benefit to the people.
Ikechukwu: What about the security gates that have been abandoned for over a year? You know some of them have become death traps. Some of them are now threats to human lives
Amos: Can you mention one that has collapsed and injured anyone. This is part of your propanganda. It will do you no good. Your criticisms are not constructive. You criticize us with hatred and……
Ikechukwu: This is my State, I have the right to ask questions concerning government policies. I have the right to know if such policies will be useful or useless to my family, kindred, community and my State.
Amos: No problems, but for once, appreciate what is being done by the rescue mission to rescue all of us. If I talk about the CGC now, you will rain me with abuses.
Ikechukwu: That reminds me, I do not understand what the contraption called CGC is all about. It is destroying town unionism which has been the pattern of governance in Igbo land since Adam?
Amos: It is not. It is only a mechanism to modify governance at the grassroots. It will reduce pressure on the State government, so that State and Local Governments can focus on other matters. It is even practiced in some foreign countries.
Ikechukwu: Which country is that? See, my friend, are you not seeing the confusion that is trailing the entire concept. Every day you read the local papers you see reports of complains from the people. Petitions have been flying in left, right and centre from aggrieved persons over this CGC thing. I pity the CGC and Chieftaincy Affairs Commissioner, she has been on her toes since this CGC thing was created. Poor woman!
Amos: She is capable. She can handle the situation. See, the CGC is the best thing that has happened in Imo State. It is a modified pattern of local administration. It is grassroot governance at its best.
Ikechukwu: I disagree. It is a political structure of the rescuer, by the rescuer and for the rescuer. It is a structure for 2015.
Amos: It is not. Believe me. Has he told anyone he is contesting for governorship again. You stay in your homes, make conjectures and begin to spread rumours
Ikechukwu: We know all this political mago mago . You know we have been in government. So we know how these things work.
Amos: This is a different ball game. The CGC is not a political structure. It is a people’s oriented package. We want the people to feel the impact of governance. This is why we involved the people right from its formation. This is why they were told to pay counterpart funds. And many of them have complied. If they were not interested, they would not have paid.
Ikechukwu: But the petitions keep on flying in. The hinterlands are on fire. If the youths are not restive, the Ezes are fighting with their President Generals…
Amos: That is the beauty of democracy, you disagree to agree. Besides, because we know Imolites are professional petition writers, this is why we decided to levy petition writers
Ikechukwu: Eh, until the disagreement turns to a fight, then germinate to a war, then you will understand what I mean.
Amos: No shaking
Ikechukwu: This government is partyless.
Amos: Do not say that. Which political platform brought us to power. Did we fly into government from the sky. Was it not APGA?
Ikechukwu: Are you still in APGA, a party your oga described as a cultural organization
Amos; When did he say that?
Ikechukwu: I should be the one to ask you that question
Amos: We are APGA- APGA that has gone into the APC, not the APGA PDP that has been polluted, that has lost the real philosophy of the founding father of APGA.
Ikechukwu: I see. And you think the half APGA you took to APC will make you a major stakeholder
Amos: Just watch and see. The rescuer is an experienced politician. He is on familiar terrain. When the time comes, you will see what will happen
Ikechukwu: You better go on your knees and pray his plans work out for him
Amos: The Lord is our strength.
Ikechukwu: The Lord is everybody’s strength.