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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>IMO, OKOROCHA AND  THE UMUDAGU  OSISI UKWU UKO
Monday, 10 June 2013 01:08


Written by Kenneth Uwadi
Governor Okorocha Governor Okorocha


I wish to commiserate with the families  of the  50 persons in  Umudagu Mbieri, Mbaitoli in Imo State that lost their lives in the Osisi Ukwu Uko tragedy . My  heart also goes  to other victims and residents of Umudagu who  suffered bodily injuries as a result of the  Uko tree calamity. I am  wishing them quick recovery. For those of you who don’t know, an ancient tree believed by some to be a tree of the gods fell on Thursday May 16th, killing over 50 people at Umudagu in Imo State.


Apart from civil  war  and pipeline disaster ,I can’t remember the last time  so many  people lost their lives in a single disaster in Imo State. One wonders the number of Iroko trees  that are within the neighbourhoods in Owerri and elsewhere across Imo State  that constitute serious threat to public safety and are waiting to explode. One wonders what kind of deep sleep the  people of  Umudagu Mbieri were into when markets, houses and other structures were being erected around such a big Iroko tree. At least, there should have been a specified radius within which no structure should be put up  around the Osisi Ukwu Uko . It is lack of planning that makes it possible for residents and Iroko tree to live as neighbours. In all ramifications, the Mbaitoli local government area authorities should be held liable for the loss of lives as a result of the Osisi Ukwu Uko tragedy.


I  call  on the Mbaitoli local government area authorities and the Imo State government to please pay some compensation to the families of the deceased and to those who lost their properties. This includes adequate and free medical treatment to those who sustained injuries. I  also call on all levels of government in Imo state  to immediately commence the planning of all urban and rural areas such that houses, schools, roads, bridges, hospitals etc., are built in an organized manner in order to meet the needs of the people and in such a way it guarantees safety to all Ndi-Imo.


Speaking about the Imo State government, one cannot forget that Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State clocked 2 years in office on May 29 this year. Did he performed  well in his second year in office?. This question is in the minds of so many persons. I criticized Okorocha a lot in his first year in office  over so many of his policies. I was all over the place, shouting from the roof-top, sermonizing and evangelizing against   some of his official decisions. Some persons joined me to complain about him in his first year in office. Emperor  Iwuala and Dr Kelechi Okpaleke complained. Prof Obi Nwakamma was throwing fits. Even Dr Herbert Nwankwo  joined in the chorus. There  was also one Prof  Nathan Uzoma Protus. I hear he is the one who wrote the book Occult Grand Master Now in Christ. We yak and yak against Owelle in his first year in office. It was one grumble after another.


It is a big triumph seeing the SP poll results released on June 4th this year. In this year’s SP poll results ,70% of the 825  SP poll participant  are happy with Okorocha’s  performance in his second year  in office which is indeed a  big triumph. The AFCUDE Resource Development Centre also praised   Governor Okorocha, giving him a 79% approval rating for free education. Owelle In his second year in office rebranded  his style of governance in Imo State.  He did  a good job . He did learn some lessons from his first year and he did a much better job this time and so many persons hope he continues with his good performance into next year. In his second year in office, with his performance, Owelle  won over the minds of  many of those who predicted disaster for the state . Kudos to him.  Eto dike na nke o mere,o mekwa ozo.


Ekeoma Iwuji in a  remark said she  is happy with what the governor has done so far  "People now admire his  free education policy . He has also done well  in  security, among other simple things that directly touch on the lives of  the people .They respect his political trajectory and  they genuinely like and trust him" She said . Stephen Nwahiri, a public affairs analyst gave Owelle an excellent mark ‘’urban roads that have never experienced any form of work since creation are being constructed in Imo  with a verve I have never seen in the state before. All such roads in Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe are receiving attention at the same time. In all the 27 local councils, rural roads are being tarred. The volume of roads under construction in the state at present is amazing and I believe, after my visit that Imo is on a happy mood once again after Mbakwe. I saw real dualization of major roads like Owerri-Orlu, Owerri-Imo Airport, Anara-Okigwe roads and these are major works.’’ Nwahiri affirmed.


Nneka  Ofili  scored Okorocha  highly in the area of road construction and rehabilitation, free education at all levels in the state, urbanisation of Orlu and Okigwe, improvement in teachers’ welfare packages, improvement in school buildings and construction and renovation of some structures.Ihueze  Bob  from Ohaji  said he is   happy that Okorocha’s free education  system is  successful. “A child of a cleaner can now study in the same school where a child of a Bank executive studies. The Public School system in developed countries is what Imo has adopted. Most of the young children in the state, who hitherto had no future by virtue of being born to underprivileged parents, now have a future . Today, schools in Imo are bursting with children. Every individual enjoys a right to a bright future. With Okorocha’s free education Imo will in future  turn into a boon for  each and every child will be educated. An uneducated person cannot comprehend many things in life  because he is limited in his foresight. ‘’ he said .


Opara  Ibe  gave Okorocha  a low grade  in the area of employment. He believes that the governor has failed in the area of job creation.To him Imo people need jobs and  the issue of unemployment should be seriously tackled. Truly , Imo people need jobs . Officials say that Okorocha  has presented a supplementary budget of N5 billion for the purposes of designing and implementing jobs for over 30,000 unemployed youths in the 27 Local Government Areas of the state. I believe in this his job creation plan. When he first announced his free education plans for the state, I did not believe him.


I thought he was playing to the gallery.I thought it was  a Nollywood drama. I was thinking that free education policy in Imo State will not work. Today,the free education is running successfully in the State. If Okorocha could make free education work in Imo, I don’t have to be hasty in concluding that his employment plans for the youths in the state cannot work. With this plan  my  unemployed friend Jenifer will smile again.  Those we now know as the 10,000 will  smile again ..May God bless Imo State . May God help relatives of  victims of the Osisi Ukwu Uko tragedy in Umudagu Mbieri.


Kenneth Uwadi,  writing from Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State,Nigeria



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