Press Release: As Imo State groan under rudderless government, where are the modern day democrats?Headlines, Imo, Letters, State News Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
One thing nobody can take away from Imo State is the fact that she boast of quality democrats in the South-East Geo-political zone. When one talks of Professionals, Intellectuals of repute, Lawyers, accomplished Politicians etc, Imo State rank high in supply of men and women in these cadres. Happenings in the State today appear to suggest dearth of the enumerated set of people; otherwise, it may be concluded that they are choking under apparent intimidation.
With the coming on board of young democrats/ politicians in the State, one had expected a better and vibrant Imo where older democrats like me will be proud of, but behold, what appears to be going on is simply democratic apathy in the face of rudderless leadership, with its dire consequences to the wellbeing of the State, needless to go into elaboration here. It could be enough for some modern day leaders in Imo State to grumble about the Governor’s predatory leadership style in their closets; but it is surely not acceptable for them to maintain cowardice silence in the open – they must speak up.
In the last one a year or so, hardly will a day pass without Imo State featuring on national news for wrong reasons. Today, can the young democrats boast that Imo State is on the right track in terms of peace and stability? Who is speaking out on the danger of being led by a desperate and equally rudderless government in the state right now? These questions become apparent in view of the current near break down of law and order in the state, though not visible to the unwary masses.
Our modern day democrats may want to pretend as if nothing is wrong in the State in terms of governance, but it will amount to fairytale because Nigerians are beginning to ask questions about happenings in the State. In view of the current flagrant disregard to Constitutional provisions in Imo State, the question as to the capacity of AN IGBO MAN TO RULE NIGERIA, could spring up, hence the urgent need for democrats to speak up. In democracy, the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, servers as the only working document open to any President and the State Governors. It must be upheld at any point in time no matter who is involved. It is okay for the Governor to embark on road construction and expansion without design, due-diligence and settling of legal issues arising from the project; but it is certainly unpalatable for a sitting Governor to flout the very Constitution he swore to defend; particularly at this period the people of South-East are clamouring to have a shot at the Presidency.
THE ABSURDITIES IN IMO STATE.
 THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL INSTITULIZATION OF 4TH TEAR OF GOVERNMENT. Out of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, only Imo State has 4th tear of Government. In which Constitution was this aberration derived from? Again, what is the position of our modern day democrats on this shenanigan?
 THE REFUSAL TO OBEY THE ORDER OF COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. Must it take the order of the Attorney General of the Federation for the 27 Local Government Chairmen to be reinstated? The answer to this question is of course, NO. Must the response from Imo State to order of the Court for the immediate reinstatement of the 27 LGA Chairmen, be that “since Federal Government refused to reinstate suspended Justice Salami as allegedly ordered by the National Judicial Commission [NJC]; Imo State is at liberty not to obey Court order”? How can Imo State Government equate administrative order to Court order? Arising from these two instances, what can our new democrats say of the perception of governance in Imo State by Nigerians?
At this point, what our young democrats must bear in mind is Franz Fanon’s quote that states, “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity”. Perhaps it is pertinent to ask our new and young democrats like the Deputy Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, how he is providing leadership in Imo State, as leadership baton has effectively fallen on his shoulder. The failure of our new democrats in the National Assembly to fashion out modalities for putting Imo State on the path of peace and stability is worrying, and it could be viewed as a direct indictment of their ability to act as pathfinders in the State.
Every observer on activities in National Assembly will admit that the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has distinguished himself creditably well. He has been an able leader, in and outside the Senate chamber. His Speakership of ECOWAS parliament is eloquent testimony of his leadership qualities.
In retrospect, Imo State in the last four  years under Ikedi Ohakim, immediate past Governor of the State, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, Achike Udenwa, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, just to mention but few, as old democrats, witnessed relative peace and stability; but same cannot be said of the State today. One begins to wonder if the young democrats have been overwhelmed by the expectation of leadership or are they still learning the rope? Or do we watch the state degenerate into Thomas Hub’s jungle. Could the helplessness of our new democrats at confronting the slide of Imo State into anarchy be attributed to lack of cohesion its midst? Could it as well be that they do not have the interest of the State at heart individually and collectively?
Undoubtedly, Imo State will slump deeper into instability if democrats continue to behave as if nothing is amiss. They must discover their mission and fulfill it- providing purposeful leadership. The unpalatable alternative is for them to betray this mission by remaining docile and apparently intimidated. THIS IS A WAKE UP CALL.
THE LEADERSHIP OF THE PARTY IN THE STATE MUST STEP FORWARD AND DEMONSTRATE REAL CAPACITY TO MANAGE OPPOSITION.
THE PRESENT STRUCTURE OF THE PARTY, DIGITAL IN OUTLOOK AND MORE SOPHISTICATED THAN PREVIOUS ANALOGUE STRUCTURE DOES NOT NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE DISMANTLED EVEN THOUGH THERE IS THE NEED FOR THINKERING HERE AND THERE.
THE PRESENT LEADERSHIP AT NATIONAL AND STATE LEVELS MUST PLUCK UP THE COURAGE TO DO THAT WHICH IT KNOWS SHOULD BE DONE. IT MUST BE KNOWN TO ALL THAT THE PROBLEM WITH THE PARTY IN THE STATE IS THE ACTIVITIES OF FRIENDLY ENEMIES WITHIN.
CHIEF SENATOR FRANCIS ARTHUR NZERIBE
No 4, C C. Onoh close,
Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja.
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