Gov. Okorocha and the LGA Cash Pot – By Kenneth UwadiArticles, Columnists, Governors, Imo, Kenneth Uwadi, NNP Columnists, State News Saturday, August 4th, 2012
By Kenneth Uwadi | Imo State, Nigeria | August 4, 2012 – Ralph Miliband was a key twentieth century political thinker. Ralph Miliband once said that the hottest place in hell will be reserved for those who sit on the fence in the face of great moral crisis. No one will want to go to the hottest place in hell, at least not me. As a citizen of Imo State, I am worried and will continue to speak out on the manner of politics and public disservice Governor Okorocha of Imo State and his Caretaker Committee Chairmen are practicing in our State.
Okorocha’s government is doing little or nothing to create wealth in Imo State but is running a huge con game in the 27 LGA’s of Imo state via his Caretaker Committee Chairmen. Judging from the communications coming out of Imo state government house daily on the Rescue Mission project, one will applaud the governor for the way his propaganda machines have been communicating his many lies to Ndi Imo, and to other Nigerians in the name of achievements. The governor’s wonder achievements are only visible to his group of megaphones.
According to Abraham Lincoln, You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. For one year now I have been highlighting the manner of looting of council funds in Imo State. Owelle has been manipulating the minds of Imo people through his fourth tier government sweet talks while rescuing his own pocket with our council funds. I highlighted what I saw as the dawn of naked impunity in Imo State. Rather than listen to voice of reasoning and hands off our council funds, the Governor and his megaphones called me all sorts of names saying that my allegations are nothing but the handiwork of power thirsty opposition.
Okorocha lives in Disney land, completely detached from reality. He has full bodyguards and is driven around in convoys of SUVs, with police ‘korofo’ to open and close doors for him so he don’t give a hoot about how the people feel. He dispense favours to cronies and praise-singers with thoughtless abandon: the entire LGA funds of Imo State are his to spend as he wish. His word is law and he believes he knows everything. He helps himself liberally from our LGA purse with his Caretaker Committee Chairmen by exploiting the weaknesses of the Joint Account systems still in use in Nigeria. He knows where every kobo of our LGA is, and therefore how to steal it.
Okorocha sacked democratically elected LGA Chairmen and Councillors one year ago and appointed Caretaker Committee Chairmen for our LGA’s. The Caretaker Committee Chairmen are his agents for diverting our LGA funds for his personal use. Today, the Councils in Imo State are dysfunctional. Nothing is happening in over 90 per cent of Imo State Councils. Our LGA funds are held hostage and we are deprived the opportunity to function democratically.
Nigeria’s Constitution recognizes LGA’s as the third tier of government after the federal and state governments. Their functions are clearly defined. They are entitled allocation of funds from the federation account for use in carrying out their functions. Each of Imo State LGA receives millions of naira in allocations. Where are the monies? Nobody knows where these monies end up. Where are the local roads, health care centres, modern schools and markets? Where are the projects to speed up development? Where are the millions of naira for Imo LGA’s? Okorocha and his Caretaker Committee Chairmen are looting these monies. They are using local government revenue and allocations to enrich themselves . Caretaker Chairmen according to my source will be asked to sign an allocation of the actual amount sent by FG but meagre money will be handed over to them.
EFCC and ICPC are not vigilant in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Fighting corruption should be a holistic approach and not showmanship or fighting against those who fell out of favour of the presidency. I challenge ICPC and EFCC to investigate what is currently going on in Imo State LGA’s. I am disappointed with the manner Imo Council funds are being looted. It appears the National Assembly has also lost courage to make laws and stop the illegal usage of Caretaker Committee in our Local Government. How can we move forward in Imo State where the Governor is holding our Local Government to ransom and taking merchandise of their allocation.
Owelle does not want elected Council men because he cannot face the prospect of losing his council cash pot that he has been sipping from since June 2011. On 5th July 2012 a Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, Imo State shamed him by ordering the reinstatement of all elected LGA Chairmen and Councillors in the 27 Councils of Imo State that he sacked. The Court held that the Governor lacked the powers to sack an elected government. But Governor ‘Onye-Agwanam’ Okorocha has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeals ruling and promised to deal with anyone who tries to cause chaos in the State over the Appeal Court ruling. And so, the looting can go on. Haba! Okorocha! Ques que na afio?.
There is no moral justification for Okorocha’s appeal in the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeals ruling. Instead of wasting the state’s money on avoidable legal suits; such money will go a long way to improve workers welfare in Imo State. No wahala! Anyone who tells him differently is ‘Ikiri’. Soonest the Court will ‘shame’ him again by asking him to recall the sacked 10,000 legally employed Civil Servants in Imo state. The 10,000 Civil Servants are still in Court. The Civil Servants were duly employed according to Imo State Civil Service Commission laws. Okorocha ordered their sack via radio broadcast. There are laid down Civil Service rules to follow in the sack of any Civil Servant. We must follow the rule of law in governance for we operate democratic system in Nigeria. Where is the rule of law in Imo State ? Save us o’ God
-Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria
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