Imo, Okorocha and the Umudagu Osisi Ukwu Uko


By Kenneth Uwadi
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, Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State,Nigeria

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