MY FRIEND JACK AND THE IMO GOVERNOR HOPEFUL

MY FRIEND JACK AND THE IMO GOVERNOR HOPEFUL

I rushed to the park to board a bus to Owerri. The bus was already packed. It’s usual, same park, annoying now and then. I did not want to wait for another bus as I must be in Owerri by 5pm to see Jack. Seeing the bus that way I let out a heavy sigh or maybe I just looked pissed off. People piled onto the bus, trying to squeeze in as much as possible. For many years, I have been privileged to have a very dear friend called Jack. He possessed many virtues. His almost regal appearance and often stern expression seemed at variance with the mischief and laughter sparkling in his eyes. Seriously by nature he is a generator of laughter and joy. Whenever we get together, laughter cascade around us and we seemed to find some object of fun wherever we turned.  Many were the late nights I would find  him standing , serious and intent on some task or other when spontaneously something would trigger us both and we would collapse, speechless with laughter ,across each other’s shoulders.

I found a seat on the bus. We took off. The person sitting next to me opened her  newspaper as wide as possible as if she was  relaxing in her house. It was terrible considering how small the seats are on the bus.  Maybe she wanted me to read the paper with her.  I was also suffocating under the fumes of her scent. But ‘’what can I do?’ I had to endure till we got to Owerri and I did “ na afa nna na  mmụọ nsọ’’  Thank God!

For Jack, mealtime is a time for talking as well as for eating so it was talk, talk, talk. He took his time that night to reveal to me what has been going on between him and his boss, a governor hopeful in Imo state. Jack is a social media expert.  In January 2016 , he lost his  job.  He wrote to his boss, the governor hopeful, he cried for help. He needed help. His boss promised to help him. Days turned to weeks and weeks into months yet no help from Boss. Boss  went on telling him lies upon lies, defending his failure and deceits with pride. He forgot his usual  biblical quotation  which says: A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverb 11:25-28).  He forgot the Chinese philosophical saying that he always quote which  goes thus: “He who obtains has a little, he who scatters has much’’.  He stopped calling Jack, he stopped picking his calls. It was like do he think he was so special with his sweet crying face and special bags of problems that people are just going to part like the Red Sea for him. A year and four months has gone.  Jack has not received the expected help from his Boss.

Now, in the quest to be governor of Imo State in 2019, Boss is out there deceiving the gullible. He claims he wants to rescue Imo State but he could not rescue his loyalist of so many years. Nobody can point to anyone he has empowered. Soonest he will  start eating akara by road side, bathing Almajiris on the street, drinking pure water on top of dirty gutters, controlling traffic, pushing trailers, driving Keke, buying Suya , plaiting a woman’s hair  and  eating corn publicly just  to hoodwink Ndimo  for  2019. After the election all the bleeping pretence will end. Ndi Mmadu self!

Like I said last week, what’s wrong with deception is that it is a betrayal of trust. You cannot deceive someone unless they trust you, believing that you’re being truthful with them. When you succeed in deceiving them, you exploit that trust, using that person for your own ends. In every domain of life, such betrayals weaken or destroy the trust relationships essential to our vital institutions. Lying to your supporters squanders that trust and diminishes your capacity to lead. As citizens, we have a responsibility here too. We have to impress upon those who would lead us that we do care about truth and honesty and that losing our trust is an unacceptable cost of deceptive politics.

You who wants to rescue Imo State in 2019, what have you done for your LGA? Who and who have you empowered?  We suffer the failure of capitalist anti poor policies in Imo. What have you said about it?  Education in the state is not adequately funded. The situation from primary to tertiary levels in Imo has continued to deteriorate with no end in sight to the rot. Examples of this decay include: the collapse of structures like buildings in the public schools in our LGA’s, over-crowded classes, Ill-equipped laboratories many of which have, in any case, been converted into classrooms, thus making the teaching of science subjects a problem  in Imo, complete absence of library facilities and lack of necessary books in the few available ones, shortage of teachers etc. What have you said about this?

Nigeria’s Constitution recognizes LGA’s as the third tier of government after the federal and state governments. Their functions are clearly defined. They are entitled allocation of funds from the federation account for use in carrying out their functions. Each of Imo State LGA receives millions of naira in allocations. We don’t have democratically elected council chairmen and councilors in Imo since 2011. You who want to become governor what have you said about this? More so the Imo state pensioners are at the Industrial court to seek redress over the cut of 60℅ of their entitlement by the state government. You said nothing about this.

Demolition of people’s houses without compensation   featured more prominently in the state and it draw a lot of tears. Shops of poor people were destroyed without compensation. What did you say about this? I can go on and on. Yet you want to rescue Imo state in 2019. May God open our eyes to the day-dreamers, save us from the deceivers and direct us to the serious!

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

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