One of the things Governor Rochas Okorocha has scored very high marks in is the demystification of certain individuals in the State who were hitherto untouchable or made it look like they were.
The irony in this is that these individuals who are being steadily dealt with by the Ogboko born politician are the same people to whom he mostly owes his successful ascendance to the governorship seat of the State to.
The present demolition exercise going on in the State has been described by some observers as another strategy by the government to get back at opposition elements who they passive to be wielding much influence in the State.
This is as one of the popular opposition figures in the State has cried out that two of his houses will soon be visited by Governor Okorocha’s bulldozers.
From Chief Martin Agbaso who ceded his APGA political structure to Governor Okorocha, after he was allegedly settled with some money and offered the Greek gift of making his younger brother, a political neophyte, the running mate to the Chief Okorocha;
to His Excellency, Chief Achike Udenwa who had to coalesce the ACN structure in the State into the APGA family during the 2011 governorship election, which ensured that the latter emerged victorious, albeit controversially, to Chief Alex Obi, whose political gimmicks cannot be taken for granted;
to Senator Christy Anyanwu who deployed her powerful media tentacles to advance some of the most toxic political blackmails against the government of Dr. Ohakim, thereby propelling the image and chances of Okorocha to all the other big wigs who worked in one way or the other to ensure Chief Okorocha’s metamorphosis from a perennial aspirant to the executive Governor of Imo State;
Governor Okorocha has turned out to be their collective nemesis.
The State Government under Okorocha has left no stone unturned in ensuring that they are all shut up, and most of them ran out of town.
The demolition of structures that are seen to be distortive of the Master Plan of the Owerri Capital City would have been a most commendable government initiative, if it had followed due process and observed the necessary laws of the land.
Governance is meaningless if it does not consider the citizenry for whom it is meant.
After all, laws are made for humans and not humans for the law.
No government policy is worth the effort put into its conception and implementation if it will ultimately hurt more members of the population than it would benefit.
A government policy may be unpopular, and yet beneficial, but a policy that is both unpopular and at the same time not beneficial either at the short or long term must not only be discarded but the government, if responsible and respectful to the people it governs should also apologize for ever conceiving such a policy.
Some of the excuses that have been adduced by the Governor and his image makers to justify the demolition of peoples’ houses in Owerri and some other cities and satellite towns in the State is that the government either wants to expand the road around that area or that such buildings are blocking the drainage systems within the areas affected by such demolition exercises.
It is illegal and inexcusable for anyone to build structures that obstruct a city’s drainage system or affects the road design of a city, but when the owners of these structures convincingly insist that their structures followed the right developmental planning and did not at least at the time of erecting these structures obstruct either the drainage system or the road, then, the government needs to prove them wrong before embarking on any demolition exercise, especially, when such buildings do not pose any immediate security or safety risk to the citizenry.
The haste with which the government embarks on this demolition exercise is suspect, especially as some observers allege that the Governor is most keen on expanding and beautifying the roads leading up to his expansive palace, by demolishing houses and electricity poles around Akwakuma, Amakohia and Orji Mechanic village areas.
Another reason why the government’s demolition exercise is unpopular and highly unacceptable among the people of the State is the allegation by some of those affected by this demolition that the Governor is being selective and unjust in picking out houses to be demolished.
A former Minister of Interior and Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2015 general elections, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho whose house is marked for demolition alleges that the Governor’s houses are on the same lane with one of his houses marked for demolition.
Captain Iheanacho has being spitting fire ever since he got the news that the government has marked his house for demolition.
But those who are familiar with the oil magnate’s political history will have little sympathy for him if we remember the role he played in bringing this government to power, even against the candidate of a political Party which he was serving then, as Minister.
Captain Iheanacho as Minister of Interior was accused by people who should know better of being responsible in no small way for the emergence of Owelle Rochas Okorocha as Governor as he allegedly helped the then opposition candidate to have more access to the para-military forces under his command as the Minister of Internal Affairs and also allegedly ‘commandeered’ all the votes in his booth, ward and local government to Chief Okorocha’s APGA.
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