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Tuesday, 16 December 2014


A democracy inclined Non-Governmental organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA[HURIWA] has alerted the two unions in the nation's crude oil and petroleum sector-PENGASAN AND NUPENG that their continuous breach of public trust by embarking on meaningless and endless industrial actions resulting in concomitant non-availability and artificial scarcity of petroleum products by dealers will sound the death knell on the little credibility left of them in the minds of the majority of patriotic Nigerians.

The Rights group has therefore urged the unions to review their collective bargaining strategy to tailor with global best practices and avoid the consistent mass infliction of hardship and social hysteria on the general public especially towards each major religious festivities. HURIWA has called on the two unions to call off the on-going strike in the interest of the general and peace loving public who are already weighed down heavily by the seemingly consistent armed terrorist attacks by the Northern based banned armed Islamic extremists and also economically impoverished by the dwindling value of the national currency.  

Specifically, the petroleum and natural gas senior staff association of Nigeria [PENGASSAN] and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and natural gas workers[NUPENG] recently embarked on a three days warning strike to compel the passage of the pending Petroleum Industrial Bill [PIB] and other sundry industrial demands relating to their members' welfare and terms of engagement.

But the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] which stated that industrial action such as strike is a fundamental right of workers but added that the resort to such extreme measure by union leaders/members must follow strict discretionary standards which must comply with global best practices rather than the current incessant abuse of industrial strike by the two petroleum unions almost on daily basis even over an issue such as the function within the legislative purview of the National Assembly just as the Rights group affirmed that the current strike which has gravely incapacitated and crippled economic activities and has exacerbated  fuel hoarding by dealers of the products all across the major cities around the country in a bid to make quick profits is immoral and outrageous. 

HURIWA in the media statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf accused the leaderships of NUPENG and PENGASSAN of profiting from their collective unleashing of largely unmerited and wanton punishment of the general public by constantly embarking on irrelevant strike actions to in some ways help their cronies who are the fuel marketers to access the fast lane of milking dry the already dried pockets of the suffering masses of Nigeria.

The Rights group also carpeted the Federal Government for always standing by and doing nothing to nip in the bud such meaningless and reckless industrial actions not through muzzling of freedom of association but rather through a democratic and legally allowed process of constructive dialogue mechanisms. ''It appears like certain forces within government are benefitting also from the frequent strike actions in the heavily corrupt petroleum sub-sector of the economy because facts have emerged to show that majority of the companies that are running the petroleum products dealership around the country are controlled by top federal and state government functionaries. Not long ago the Ekiti state governor Ayo Fayose revealed that the embattled state house of assembly speaker is allegedly a leading petroleum marketer in the state capital. It is also a fact that most national and state legislators and cabinet level ministers have large stakes in majority of the petroleum marketing companies''.

HURIWA stated further: ''Why there are constant strike actions in the last couple of months is that there is a disconnect between the Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity and the Nigerian workers and this organized confusion has thrown up a compromised mechanism of selecting the leaderships of most trade unions and these hierarchies are dominated by forces that are not pro-poor and pro-people but rather persons with some clandestine economic and political agenda meant to undermine the economic wellbeing of the well over 90 per cent of the Nigerian population working in the informal sector and most of whom do not belong to any of the so-called contraptions called registered trade unions. The Labour sector must be reformed and the Nigerian people must take their destiny in their hands and stop relying on these trade unions whose stock in trade is to constantly trade off the collective interest of the general public at the slightest opportunity of dialogue with government. Enough of these shenanigans of constant reckless invocation of the strike provisions by these shylocks.'' 


''Nigeria Can Be Great Again- SAYS ONWUBIKO'' +Book Reviewer- Miss Shirley Igbinedion; +TITLE OF BOOK: ''Who Cares About Human Rights?'' - Written by Emmanuel Nnadozie Onwubiko; +Publisher: Epikaya Communications Nig. Ltd., 2014, pp. 1024; +ISBN: 978-978-941-999-9;

Nigeria, at independence, held a lot of promise. The world was watching and Nigerians themselves were expectant, believing that in no time, their country would be a super power and a gleaming example for other African countries to emulate. This was however not to be; so bad that by 2013, it was named the worst country to be born in by the Economist Intelligence Unit – made worse by the fact that the country has continued to feature prominently on corruption lists, irrespective of their source.

Although a lot of reasons have been advanced for this state of affairs in the most populous black nation in the world, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in his book, “Who Cares About Human Rights?” blames it almost entirely on the government’s flagrant disregard for constitutional provisions which ordinarily should protect the rights of Nigerians.

The book – a compilation of articles on the author’s perspective on various national and international issues that were published in various local newspapers and online platforms in the last nine years – brings to the fore, many ways through which the government abuses the rights of the people. Interestingly, many of the victims, that is, the Nigerian people, do not even know that their rights are being or have been abused.

In this 1024-page book, which is divided into 143 chapters, Onwubiko, a human rights activist, analyses various socio-political, economic, and religious issues that have affected Nigeria’s polity since independence, particularly since 2005. With catchy titles, these issues range from the reasons for subsidy removal as told by those who advocated for it; how as a result of poverty, many young girls have now taken to the streets as prostitutes, encouraged or even forced by their parents, corruption in the judiciary, the Nigerian Police Force, religious extremism the Biafra War, and many others.

In Chapter One, for instance, he talks about the fuel subsidy removal of January 1, 2011, which resulted in a protest that almost crippled the country. He believes it was completely insensitive and unnecessary for the government to have done so as it was one of the very few ways through which the masses benefit from the government. He suggests that the government, in trying to save money, could increase its tax on the upper class which is the practice in most developed countries anyway.

On the international scale, he extensively quotes various international laws, declarations and conventions all through the book. He also discusses pertinent issues like the war in Sudan and Liberia’s new status as a country recovering from years of civil war. In different chapters he talks about such personalities as President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Kofi Annan, erstwhile secretary-general of the United Nations, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and her predecessor, Charles Taylor. Taylor is currently serving a 50 year jail term for fuelling the civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone and other war crimes. 

In Chapter 16, he compares and contrasts the personality of America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, and that of her Nigerian counterpart, Patience Jonathan, concluding that while Mrs. Obama exudes sophistication and the perfect helpmate to her husband and mother to the nation, Mrs. Jonathan has a lot to learn. 

One cannot help but wonder what has become of the pathetic Pfizer Trovan Antibiotic case of 1996 in Kano as discussed in Chapter 20 of the book, titled Pfizer Victims and the Monkey Story. Through this chapter, he is able to show how inept the government is and has always been in protecting the lives of its vulnerable citizens, even against exploitative foreign companies. Between 5 and 11 children died from the unauthorized trial of a drug while others suffered various degrees of disabilities. How over $4.5million was used to purchase cars and a well furnished office for the board and its members that were to monitor the compensation of the victims is beyond imagination. This, to the author, is made worse by the fact that, to this day, not a single victim or their relative has received a dime in compensation.

Situations like this have become the order of the day in Nigeria where boards and committees are set up and equipped to the teeth but after several years the problem they were set up to solve remains untouched.
In Chapter 106, titled Pfizer: Never Again, he blames Nigerians for doing very little to help themselves by continuing to patronize drug hawkers, despite repeated warnings from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NAFDAC).

Throughout the book, he not only mentions the problem and analyzes them with the critical mind of a journalist and activist but goes a step further to proffer solutions.
However, some articles, due to no fault in them at the time they were written, have not aged well, with hindsight correcting suppositions and expressions. Perhaps, articles such as these may have benefited from being updated to include new facts and contexts that have emerged.

The author who hails from Arondizuogu in the South East of Nigeria essentially believed that even while it doesn’t appear that way, the government can always do more to improve the condition of the people. The government can always do better and Nigeria can become great again. This is the dominating theme of the book.

His passion and concern for the country and the issues he writes about are palpable, demanding the immediate attention of those in a position to make change happen and this is by no means limited to the government. He also sounds a rallying cry to all his readers who feel similarly involved to be moved to action.

Of course, like any enterprise of sincerely passionate origins, he sometimes goes overboard in his criticism and positions like when in Chapter 133 he said the president, Goodluck Jonathan, has “cleverly adopted” two Igbo names with reference to his middle name Ebele and Azikiwe, as if he only got the names to appeal to the Igbo people over the government’s repeated failure to rebuild the Niger Bridge whereas they have been a part of him long before he became president. He had also described former governor Murtala Nyako’s argument that accuses the president of genocide with the military intervention against Boko Haram in Adamawa State and the rest of the North East as “puerile”.

Although there must have been a better way to say Nyako’s argument and attempt to incite other northern governors against the president was aimed at sabotaging the fight against terrorism without attacking, one can easily understand that it is his desire for a better nation that also imbues the book with its strong points.  

Indeed, Who Cares About Human Rights? By former Federal Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission and a member of the Presidential committee on Continuous Dialogue in Northern Nigeria [PCCDR], Emmanuel Onwubiko is a book everyone who wants to get an authoritative perspective and good history of Nigeria must read.

It is a well-written, passionate dissection of hot topics over the last decade filled with many insights and factual revelation which is a must-read for everyone interested in an authoritative perspective and good history of Nigeria and contemporary Nigerian politics.



Monday, 17 November 2014


Crude oil asking price per barrel in the international market is reported to have slumped far lower than the budget projection of a little over $75 USD. This, coupled with the unfortunate scenario of the United States of America not buying Nigeria's huge crude oil exports are said to be the major fear factor why Nigeria's external reserves have plummeted to an all time low since 1999.

Nigeria's minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the Nigerian economy Professor Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was at her wits best the other day when she briefed the national parliament and she raised the issue of imminent economic crunch that may befall Nigeria unless in her words we learn to do belt tightening in the way we live as a nation. The coordinating minister for the Nigerian economy is one fortuitous Nigerian public officer that can be said to have seen it all in the area of managing the nation's economy in the last quarter of a century given the fact that she has remained consistent like the Northern star in the Nigerian political firmament since early 2003 or so when she was 'borrowed' by the then Chief Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration to head the ministry of Finance before been reshuffled to the less fancied ministry of foreign affairs which led to her exit but again emerged as the minister of finance under the current dispensation since the current President became Acting President in 2010 and then was reappointed after the current Head of State and Head of government Dr Good luck Jonathan won election for his first full four year tenure since 2011.

In her first stint as the finance minister, she was credited with the role of moving Nigeria away from the notorious club of the heavily indebted nations when she negotiated what she called soft landing with the Paris Club and the London Club which led to the waiving aside of a huge chunk of the so called foreign debts that was accumulated although through fraudulent methodology by successive administrations. By and large, Nigeria paid out over $12 billion USD at once leading to the debt forgiveness of the other segment of the then over $35 Billion USD. Well, the decision by the then Obasanjo-led administration to pay out such a huge chunk of foreign denominated cash to these so called Western creditors met a huge uproar of criticism from some quarters who felt that Nigerians have been short-changed given the fact that first the total package of Nigeria's external indebtedness was not clearly and transparently audited to determine how they came about. Besides, economists and analysts believe that it was not a good business model to pay off such huge chunk of cash by a nation with over eighty million poverty stricken populace out of the little over 140 million population. Those analysts and economists had reasoned that Nigerian government would have used the huge cash to fix the nation's dilapidated and collapsed infrastructure such as the national roads networks and other vital infrastructure which they said would have boosted the domestic economy and put Nigeria in the steady rise to a developed economy that can easily pay off the foreign debts that were transparently determined and reconciled.

Be that as it may, the current minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy would be the last person to entertain that kind of criticism for a decision she considers as one of her finest contributions towards making Nigeria to become a reliable international partner in the comity of nations and which according to her has also made Nigeria a credit worthy ally of the World Bank and the International monetary Fund two of the Bretton wood institutions she has spent the better part of her working career as a senior level official and technocrat. In her current political journey as the minister of Finance and the coordinating minister for the Nigerian economy, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has nevertheless literary swallowed her pride so to say and has led Nigeria steadily back to the notorious club of debtors because gradually Nigeria's foreign debt profile has began the dangerous upward swing to such a height that majority of Nigerians are now unable to afford even a square meal per day because the different levels of government have completely abandoned their statutory role of providing the needed socio economic infrastructures to make life meaningful and constructive. If  I may ask, why did the current minister of finance preside over two diametrically opposed policies of paying off the nation's debts and a little over three years to have gone back to our 'vomits' to began the building up of additional foreign debts profile which will invariably enslave two generations after us? The answer to the above poser is not the reason why I am penning this piece but the reason is that this same minister of finance has again raised national alarm that the steady collapse of the global crude oil price means that ordinary Nigerians should embark on the so called belt tightening measures. Is it not clear to even the blind that most Nigerians have lost their shape to the biting hurricane of poverty sweeping across most homes and therefore it is foolhardy to ask any of these poverty stricken Nigerians to tighten their belts when they literary have no waist to even put on these belts?

I sincerely believe that the reasons Nigeria is broke is not because the price of crude oil per barrels have collapsed in the international market nor is the reason for our sudden financial insolvency as a nation resulted from the lack of patronage of our crude oil by the United States who have found shale oil in commercial quantities as alternatives to our crude oil. The major reason for our being broke now as a nation is because of over bloated political class and the unprecedented quantum of cash that goes into servicing them. Why for instance have we failed as a nation to amend the constitution to specifically state that Nigeria does not need more than ten ministers? What is Nigeria doing with over forty ministers some of whom simply move from one state to the other masquerading as public office holders and costing Nigerian tax payers hugely in wages? I doubt if the United States or China with all their heavy wealth as developed nations have the high number of federal cabinet level officials that Nigeria currently parades. The federal Government must cut down wastages and close all avenues for wastages that currently exists in government at all levels. Government must create the policy and legal frameworks to make it punishable with heavy judicial sanctions such things as engagement of civil and public servants in activities that deplete the resources of Nigeria such as foreign medical trips. There is even this legendary issue of lack of transparency in the extractive industry in Nigeria even as corruption in public procurement regime is massive. What has happened to the $20 billion USD some itching fingers in NNPC allegedly stole over twelve months now? 

If we want to do belt tightening of the Nigerian economy to face the emerging economic realities then we must amend the Nigerian constitution to reflect that we need not more than ten ministers and that these ministers must not engage more than a staff as a technical person and that each of these ministers must be drawn from relevant fields of study and the statutory mandates of these ministries so they do not have the reason to go fishing for jobs for their boys. The next reason we are broke is our wastefulness and our possessiveness by the ghost of consumerism and our lack of productivity. We must as a nation stop this ugly appetites of consuming everything foreign and behave like the Chinese who have developed their domestic economy borrowing from the best technologies that can be found in all parts of the World.

Secondly, if we are to concede to the new gospel of Mrs. Okonjo- Iweala that we need belt tightening measures then we must task this government to stop forthwith the retrogressive practice of reckless issuance of import waivers to politically favoured sons and allies. Why for instance has few individuals enjoyed waivers to import commodities as easily produced as sugar when it is known that Nigeria is so resource rich that there are states that are heavily endowed with raw materials to manufacture sugar in commercial quantities? 

Then again, in the area of justice delivery why is it that sensitive economic related cases are compromised on the alter of nepotism and cronyism by the judges and there is weak legal framework for punishing these corrupt judges? A nation with this kind of weak, compromised and corrupt justice sector will find it almost impossible to attract good foreign direct investors who would play by the rules and create a good business environment that would boost job opportunities and productivity on the side of the populace. Again, why is it that Government compromised in the execution of the privatisation exercises in key economic sectors to an extent that after government sold out the vital electricity power plants built over the years with public fund running to their billions of dollars at very give away prices to mostly the cronies of some top government officials? Why is this same government playing around with the voodoo policy of raising funding assistance to these same new owners of the power plants who ought to have mobilized private and independent funds to developed and expand their business and services to the members of the public? A nation that auctions its hard earned economic assets to a few rogue elements and turns back to raise funds to these parasites will inevitably become broke because there is no economic wisdom in so doing. To the minister of Finance please let her know that three factors have made us poorer as a nation namely- corruption; wastages by public office holders and thirdly on the side of the followers the appetites for consumptions of anything foreign are contributory and we must collectively exorcise these ghosts to regain our economic freedom as a sovereign entity.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Piqued by the reported successes recorded by the armed Islamic rebels in the North East of Nigeria and the spate of unwarranted blood cuddling violent attacks targeted at soft civilian targets, a call from a democracy inclined Non-Governmental Organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA]has gone to Nigerians to step up their collective and individual moral and motivational support to the military operatives and officers waging the current war on terror even as the Federal Government has been asked to specifically set out a day within the coming  year to honor with awards the combatants who excelled as a way of boosting their morale.

In a statement signed jointly by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf condemning the bombing campaign in the Potiskum Secondary Boys school in which over fifty students were slaughtered by suspected terrorists masterminds [boko haram], a Non-Governmental Organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] condemned the Yobe state government for doing almost nothing to prevent this unwarranted attack even after the neighboring Gombe state's administration had earlier proactively shut down all public and private schools immediately after the bomb attack at the public bus park. 

The Rights group [HURIWA] also upbraided the Yobe state government for the abysmal state of neglect of the health infrastructure in that state which has compounded the situation of the victims of the recent bomb attack in the boys high school as can be conspicuously glued from photographic evidence widely circulated in the popular Nigerian press. 

The Rights group further disclosed that her attention was called to the ugly state of medical facilities in parts of Yobe State by some concerned citizens who called in to express their disgust at what they called primitive standards of the health infrastructure. The Rights group has therefore called on the Yobe state government to take verifiable and concrete measures to reequip the public hospitals to be in a good state to treat and handle emergency cases that have arisen from the unfortunate spate of violent terrorism targeting civilians.

HURIWA affirmed thus; ''We hereby call on all Nigerians to step up our patriotic support for the soldiers as they collectively wage the war against terrorists. On the side of the top military commanders they must stop complaining meaninglessly and engage in a more determined and effective combat against these murderous terrorists. We also call on the Nigerian Government not to relent in the current resolve to equip the Nigerian military with the state of the art combat weapons and military hardware because the sacred fact remains that any nation that allows external aggressors and internal rebels to take over any part of her territory will sooner or later find out that it has lost grip of her sovereignty as an independent political entity and the rest of the global community will pay less attention and respect to it. The Nigerian Government must consistently be put under intense pressure by all patriotic Nigerians in the most civilized and constructive methods to equip and train the Nigerian military and provide all the enabling environment including the introduction of heavy material compensations for war heroes and the construction of houses for the families of all the fallen soldiers who fall victim on the line of duty in the ongoing prosecution of counter terrorism war in Nigeria. The fund for the building of these war heroes' houses should be drawn from the Victims of terrorism support fund recently inaugurated by the President Dr Good Luck Jonathan. A national monuments with their names engraved must also be constructed in any part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to remind generations yet unborn of the enormous sacrifice rendered by the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and police currently waging the war on terror.''


Thursday, 6 November 2014


These are political seasons and indeed not the best of time to critique a government in Nigeria whereby most observers read political meanings into virtually all write ups that fundamentally addresses the major flaws in the running of any administrative machinery in any level of government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Reading through the piece written by C. Don Adinuba and published by This day newspaper edition of Wednesday November 5th 2014 [back page] in which he took the ruling national party-Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] to the cleaners for allegedly foisting a political consciousness amongst its support base to the effect that the most troubling opposition political platform the All Progressives Congress [APC] which is angling to defeat the ruling national party was purely an Islamic religious political party that represents the interest of extremists and radical fundamentalists, one major concern I have was exactly the kind of sentiment I expressed in the beginning segment of this piece that these are not the best of times for any objective analysis of the goings on in the Nigerian political scenes particularly because of the risks of bad interpretations in which most people would read such materials with the politically tilted binoculars of partisanship.

Although I am aware of the closeness and friendship of this Lagos based Public relations guru Mr C. Don Adinuba with the political ruling house in Lagos, but I do also concede to the writer his fundamental poetic licence and indeed the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights to freely express his opinions and so it is with the same frame of mind and indeed broad based mind set that I have set out to treat the emerging confusing political scenarios playing out in the camp of the governor of Imo state Mr. Rochas Okorocha regarding where he intends to be post-2015 general election. First I must admit that I am particularly and indeed deeply concerned about the fluctuating political developments around the person of the current governor of Imo state because I am first and foremost a Nigerian from Imo state and so whatever plays out in that state fundamentally goes to the core of my 'Beingness' as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from that unique political space.

I am writing about the confusion that has enveloped the persona of Rochas Okorocha regarding what office he intends to seek and I am absolutely alarmed at his recent gerrymandering and the political merry -go- round that he seems to have embarked upon across the country probably using the resources of the good people of Imo state to further his political nest/ interest with specific reference to his now emerging interest to vie for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the banner of the opposition All Progressives Congress [APC].

The Imo state governor had in the last two months prevaricated on the theme of whether he will run for a second term in office as the governor of Imo state or if he will try his political luck to seek to become the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress in the year 2015 general election. First he began this confusion by asking the rural populace in Imo state to contribute N1 each to a fund in order to purchase the governorship nomination form of his political party if the people still wants him to return to office. As if that drama wasn't sufficient enough to win him an epic comedy award, the Imo state governor has reportedly set up offices of his coordinators in the 36 states of the federation for the purposes of realising his dream or should I say political ambition of vying to become the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming Presidential election. He recently visited Kaduna state whereby newspaper reports credited him with saying that he will run for the office of President under his new political platform-The All Progressives Congress.

Rochas it was who consistently stated that he will stand for a second term in the coming governorship election in Imo state under his political party which he joined after abandoning the All Progressives Grand Alliance that sponsored him to win election in the year 2011. His deputy who also doubled previously as his Personal assistant before he won elective office in 2011 Prince Madumere has severally been quoted in the popular press as indicating that his boss Mr. Rochas Okorocha will run for a second term in office as the governor of Imo state. This double speak and open ended theatrics of the Imo state governor regarding what he really wants to run by next year is so mystifying and amazing that many Imo state people are beginning to question the propriety of the man they saddled with the arduous responsibilities of being a state governor for four years who has in an inordinate fashion began to dabble into the arena of political confusion even while probably spending their hard earned public fund at the political alter of opportunism and self promotional gambits.

Here lies my question to the Imo state governor and this is specifically to ask him whether there is no limits to this merry -go- round and self inflicted political confusion that has beclouded his political ambitions for the coming electoral event which is the general election of 2015. This is also to humbly counsel the Imo state governor to be circumspect and stop playing to the political gallery and to specifically decide what he wants to run for between the offices of state governor and that of the Presidency of Nigeria and also he needs to come clean regarding how he has spent the enormous commonwealth of the people of Imo state in the last four years even before he can seek for the renewal of his mandate by the good people of Imo state.

The current administration in Imo state has made heavy weather of claiming to have embarked upon several projects but importantly there seems to be a wide gap between these phantom claims and the realities on the ground. In the early days of the current administration the people were actually carried away by the enormity of the infrastructural projects that the governor earmarked for execution but three and half years down the line the realities on the ground is that of the more -you -look the- less- you can see.

Where are all these so called giant projects said in the media to have been executed by the current governor of Imo state? In Arondizuogu virtually all the state and rural roads are in the worst state of disrepair even as the road linking Okigwe-Onuimo that takes hundreds -of- thousands of people into most rural communities in these two local government area councils and especially the communities that make up Arondizuogu has collapsed. 

From Umuna Okigwe right up to Okwe, Umuduru -egbeaguru and Arondizuogu communities, there is no single passable road network and this situation was brought to the attention of the state governor by even my humble self and he promised to look into it and it appeared that the rehabilitation work on that road was awarded to an untested contractor who abandoned it or so it seems because as it is right now vehicular movements into over thirty communities within Onuimo, Ideato North and Okigwe Local government areas are almost non-existent.

The only available rural road was through communal and individual effort of the communities aforementioned. Where then are all the enormous releases from the Federal allocations meant for the development of the local government councils? This same bad governance and criminal neglect of the rural communities has remained the permanent feature of virtually all administrations in Imo state since 1999  and so the people are demanding accountability and transparency which gives no room for these types of political theatrics embarked upon by the governor who initially was perceived as a man capable of righting the heavy wrongs institutionally meted out to the rural poor in Imo state.

Rochas has made heavy weather of the allegations of high profile heist of Imo state public fund as was witnessed under his immediate predecessor's administration but he has done almost nothing but media noise to bring the alleged thieves of Imo state money to justice through the instrumentality of the existing anti-graft agencies but instead several of his serving commissioners have had brushes with the law enforcement agencies over allegations of outright stealing of state fund and misapplication of fund including the N6 billion or so that was cornered by a rogue Lebanese contractor who failed to execute a road project awarded to his firm and paid for by the current Imo state government and this scandal which has remained unresolved led to the dethronement through impeachment by the rubber- stamped state house of assembly in Owerri of the then Imo state deputy governor Mr. Jude Agbaso. Why has the current administration not basically address to its logical conclusion the allegations of theft of Imo state money that it made against the last state administration under the Peoples Democratic party government of Ikedi Ohakim? Why has the state government continued to foot drag over the essential demand of the Imo state people that our money cornered illegally by this rogue Lebanese contractor are retrieved to the last kobo because this is state fund that was stolen right under his nose?

What gives the current state governor the impression that he merits a second term and what gives the immediate past governor the courage to begin to seek to return to the Douglas House for the second term when allegations against him are still hanging without resolution? When I raised query demanding to know from Rochas why his administration has not thought it wise to logically complete all the on going projects scattered across the state, I was told that may be due to lack of good prioritization of these infrastructural facilities by the state administration could be responsible for the seemingly emerging pattern of abandoned projects under the Rochas Okorocha administration. 

 A friend from Edo state who recently visited Imo state wrote me a mail saying thus; '' I just came back from Owerri and what I saw did not impress me about what's on ground compared to the media hype. Roads that were reportedly constructed less than six months ago are due for reconstruction due to poor work and substandard materials.''

This unbiased testimony is what is the current state of almost all the urban roads said to have been constructed by the administration currently in place in Imo state and the reason is precisely because the government is said to be in the unlearned habit of awarding contracts to just any one without due process and these contractors are mostly inexperienced and lack the requisite technical qualifications and wherewithal to be able to sustainably execute infrastructural projects that would stand the test of time and that would comply with global best practices. 

 Right now let me turn to the long list of people vying to replace the current governor of Imo state, I want to tell them that if truly they are willing to take the state to the more advanced level that the current administration has been unable to do, they seriously need to market their developmental blueprints to the reading public and explain to the rural people in the language they will understand and also be ready to enter into social contract agreement with the voters on the deliverables that they individually intend to achieve if given the mandate to become the replacement for the current governor of the state should the incumbent lose election or should he decide finally to run for higher office other than the office of Imo state governor which he is entitled to run for just one more time if the people will give him the grace.


* Emmanuel Onwubiko heads Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs@www.huriwa.blogspot.comHUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION | Huriwa