By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI.
Over 63 civil society organizations and other interested parties are planning a one million-man march against what they tagged “the growing administrative anomalies,bad governance and gross insensitivity of the state government to the welfare of the citizenry”.
Confirming the planned protest march exclusively to Vanguard yesterday, in a telephone interview, the former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly and protagonist of Advocacy for War Against Corruption Initiatives, Chief Kennedy Nwagwu, lamented that “Imo is stinking and we must recover Imo for Ndimo”.
In his words: “We must make the Governor to sit up. Over 63 civil society organizations have declared interest to fully participate in the one million man march against bad governance in Imo State”.
While saying that nobody can completely rule out the participation of the organized labour and pensioners in the exercise, Nwagwu equally promised that they will work round the clock to ensure that enough security personnel would be on ground to prevent hirelings from causing trouble.
“No person’s tall ambition is more important than the interest of millions of suffering Imo people. It is most regrettable that governance in Imo State begins and ends with the Governor’s immediate family members and in-laws”, Nwagwu fumed.
After describing themselves as “active stakeholders in Imo project”, the former Speaker also said that “we can’t allow the state to drift into anarchy and wickedness to the very people we are supposed to protect, hence this action”.
Continuing, Nwagwu hinged their planned protest on “bad policies, callous behaviours and insensitivity of the state administration towards Imo people”.
Going into some specifics, Nwagwu said: “Do you really understand what our senior citizens are passing through daily? Frail and famished citizens, after serving their fatherland, are left in the cold to wallow in hunger, poverty and disease. Do you know what it is when court orders are flagrantly disobeyed? Do you recognize the wickedness meted out to the Directors and their deputies in the state’s Ministry of Justice, who were sacked without due process? Destroying careers built over the years, in a split second, is devoid of love for one’s people”.
Answering another question, Nwagwu said the state’s debt remained a guarded secret of the administration.
“Do you know our state’s debt profile? Do you know how much the state is exposed to, in terms of bonds, treasury bills and loans? Nobody knows how much that entered local government accounts and how it was used in the past six years. Nobody knows what happened to grants, bailout funds and the Paris Club refund that came into the state”, Nwagwu said.
He recalled with grief that “since the Governor’s son in-law could build on a piece of land designated as a recreational centre in the Civic Centre Layout, what happened in other areas could be any person’s guess”.
All efforts to get the Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public Utilities, Engr. Obinna Nshirim, to address the issues raised by Chief Nwagwu, failed because he never called back as promised.