By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
From all indications Imo State is agog with joy and happiness as live returns to the local government system in the State. In each and every one of the 27 LGAs in the State, some type developmental projects are ongoing or are set to begin.
Only saddists like the ex-governor Rochas Okorocha, his family friends associates aides and agents will shamelessly deny the activation of developmental actions and activities in all the LGAs.
In Orlu Zone with its 12 LGAs – Ideato North, Ideato South, Isu, Njaba, Nkwerre, Nwangele, Oguta, Ohaji-Egbema, Orlu, Orsu, Oru West, Oru East – the Interim Management Committees are providing basic intervention on some bad spots on the roads in their respective LGAs.
The same developmental experience in the area of urgent intervention to some roads is the case in Okigwe Zone with its 6 LGAs – Okigwe, Isiala Mbano, Ehime Mbano, Onuimo, Ihitte-Uboma and Obowo.
The hallmark of the visible actions and activities of the local governments is expectedly in Owerri Zone with its 9 LGAs – Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, Owerri West, Mbaitoli, Ikeduru, Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu, Ezinihitte Mbaise and Ngor Okpala.
The 27 LGAs have ccommence various forms of developmental projects, with the construction of mini-stadium as a command assignment of the governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC.
Some of the LGAs that didn’t have a befitting Administrative Building Complex have turned soils for the commencement of that project.
According to the Special Adviser on Local Government And Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Mayor Eze, the LGAs are enjoying full autonomy as endorsed and granted by the governor. He said since the inception of the Ihedioha administration, the 27 LGAs have received the total sum of over N5 billion.
This is one of the major achievements of the administration within its first 100 days in office. The LGAs have begun to perform their statutory functions as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Every Imolite should make out time to ask questions about the actions and activities of their LGAs. The answers will be amazing because truly Imo people at LGA grassroots and rural levels have begun to see clearly again as the evil storm unleashed by Ex-governor Rochas Okorocha has begun to abate.
The LGAs will focus on payment of workers salaries and retirees’ pensions in the their respective LGAs. They will focus on fixing of rural roads and primary healthcare centres. They will ensure that schools are in good conditions, with qualitative education being delivered.
As the third tier of government, the LGAs are representatives of the Federal and State Governments in the rural areas and grassroots level. They bring Government and governance closer to the people.
The rogue regime of the ex-governor Rochas Okorocha did everything humanly possible to ensure that the LGA system was totally frustrated for the entire eight years that he was in office.
He relegated the LGA system and unilaterally invoked the strange fourth tier of government against the stipulations of the country’s constitution. He called his fourth tier of government, “Community Government Council (CGC)”.
Along the lines, after it was obvious that the CGC had failed colossally, Rochas conjured the “State Development Council (SDC)” yet aimed at further hamstringing the authentic, legitimate LGA system.
In both cases of creating his CGC and SDC, the ex-governor stated that his aim was to bring government and governance nearer to the people. But yet both Government and governance remained alienated and very far from Imo people, whom he deliberately denied basic social amenities.
It must catalogued that the ex-governor didn’t conduct any LG election in his eight years rogue regime. He cornered hundreds of billions of revenue allocations to the LGAs from the Federation Account for eight years.
The Committee on Local Government Finances that was recently set up by Gov. Ihedioha has as its terms of reference the determination of the total revenue that accrued to the 27 LGAs and determination of the expenditure profile from 2011-2019.
Gov. Ihedioha shortly after his inauguaration on May 29, 2019 by the power conferred on him by law of the Imo State House of Assembly appointed the Interim Management Committee for the 27 LGAs. And promptly they took full possession of the Councils and began working.
The governor had continually reiterated his promise to conduct the LG election after his first six months in office. At the inauguaration of the Interim Management Committee for the 27 LGAs which tenure is for six months, the governor announced that LG election would be conducted at the end of the tenure of the Interim Management Committee.
Consequently, the governor appointed and inauguarated the Board of the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) and gave them the mandate to ensure that the LG election was conducted at the scheduled time of six months after their inauguaration.
There are positive reports that for the first time in over eight years, the traditional rulers in the respective LGAs have begun to again receive their dues and respect from the government through the LGAs.
All of that and more are achievements of the Ihedioha administration within his 100 days in office. A lot is happening in the rural areas now through the resurrected LGA system. Government and governance are nearer to the people.
Within the tenure of the RebuildImo administration of Gov. Ihedioha, Imo people will ever remain grateful to God and thankful to Gov. Ihedioha for rebuiding the State. By the grace of God, Imo State destroyed by the ex-governor Rochas Okorocha must be rebuilt by Gov. Ihedioha.