Lessons From The Oguta House of Assembly Re-Run
Last weekend, the Oguta House of Assembly re-run election took place in Imo State as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Unfortunately, the election which ordinarily ought to have been an in-house election for constituents of Oguta State Constituency turned out to take the shape of a presidential election.
This is sequel to the enormous heat and controversy it generated before, during and after the exercise on Saturday June 29th.
Granted that the venue of the re-run election is many kilometers away from Owerri the state capital, the velocity of the heat which it generated was being felt seriously by observers and residents in Owerri.
Are we talking about the blaring of sirens left, right and centre two days to the election proper in the state, signaling the presence of the high and mighty as well as external security forces all in the name of the re-run election.
Come to think about this scenario where all the PDP egg-heads from both within and outside the state collapsed into Oguta as well as all Imo state functionaries including the Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his Deputy, Eze Madumere.
One had expected that INEC should have devised a measure to ensure that all those who are not from the constituency would have been prevented from entering the area irrespective of their positions, including the Governor and his Deputy.
INEC would have proved its neutrality and transparency by ensuring that only people who are from Oguta State Constituency were allowed entry into the area that faithful day.
In as much as one condemns the level of brigandage, militarism and the alleged high level of manipulation of results, falsification of electoral materials and the use of thugs during that election, one feels and strongly suggests that INEC redeems its image with the Oguta re-run election by ensuring that all those involved in electoral offences during that exercise are prosecuted.
Now that INEC has maintained a stance by declaring the election inconclusive because of crisis and electoral violence in some booths, it should go a step further by ensuring that those found guilty of the crisis and other electoral offences should accordingly be prosecuted to serve as a lesson to others.
As much as election goes, what happened at Oguta should serve as an eye opener to Imo electorate on what is likely going to happen in 2015. Unfortunately, when two elephants fight, it is always the grasses that suffer.
Gov. Rochas and Construction of
Rural Roads in Ngor/Okpala
Though I have done some opinion pieces on the current administration in Imo State, led by the peoples’ Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha in connection to infrastructural development, particularly in the area of road construction, it would not be out of place to draw the attention of Imo State government to the lapses observed by this writer in the construction of the road that runs through Umuocham Ntu to Elelem all in Ngor/Okpala LGA.
During my last visit to Umuodagu Ntu in Ngor-Okpala LGA, I was able to gather from a reliable source who does not want his name mentioned which this writer also confirmed of how the contractors handling Umuocham, Umuhoko, Umuogba, Umuolokoche and Umuaku axis road all in Ntu community forgo the construction of culvert at Aforegbe a weekly market in Umuogba Ntu and another at St. Paul’s Catholic Parish which is located at the boundary between Umuogba and Umuolokoche Ntu. However, information available to ngorokpalaresercher a few hours ago indicated that a solidarity club which goes by the name Otu Ama led by its leader took it upon themselves to dig and lay big pipes across the two flood spots that has eased free flow of flood into a bush through these pipes. As commendable as this gesture by the Otu Ama Club is, that has resulted in the complete reduction of flood which gathers at the two spots, the state government must compel the contractors to construct the culverts just as the one that was constructed at Umuocham Ntu, near their weekly market. What the solidarity club has done is a temporary act of concern to mitigate the situation. Apart from erecting the culverts, the state government should make sure that the contractors handling the road project build drainage systems by the sides of the road.
It has therefore become necessary to draw the attention of the state government to this negligence on the part of the contractors to put in place “standard culverts” as captured in the design of the road in the above mentioned places as this will ensure the durability of the road if it is duly completed. The above spot for the avoidance of doubt is seen by many as the converging point of flood. If nothing is done to put these culverts in place, the contractors and the state government should take the blame. Many are of the view that, the flood which is a common sight at the spots whenever rain falls will lead to the speedy deterioration of the road if eventually completed.
Furthermore, the haphazard erection of drainage system (gutters) along the road, given the all-important role it plays should be completed holistically before the current asphalting from Umuocham Ntu to Umuagwu Eziama if those handling the road construction want the road to last for appreciable time frame. The factor that can result in the timely depreciation or weakening of the road which is currently undergoing asphalting is flood, intractable weeds and grass that grow constantly along the road.
Though it is the constitutional responsibility of any democratically elected and responsive administration to provide such dividends of democracy to those who voted them into elective positions, I must therefore commend the Rochas Okorocha’s led administration for the ambitious development projects it has embarked upon (both the on-going and completed ones). Mention need to be made of the completion of the road that runs from the main gate of the council secretariat through Umukabia to Ihitte as well as the asphalting and building of gutters of a selected portion in Ngor-Okpala council secretariat which was never attended to by previous administration.
Indeed, Owerri, the capital of Imo State among other places is wearing a new look. Keep up the good work you are doing.
Nwaorgu Faustinus wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org