For some days now, I have been thinking and having sleepless nights about my dear State Imo. Her welfare and that of the people she gave birth to, and even accommodates gives me so much concern.
This is our Imo State. A once cherished destination. A bride of the eastern heartland, if not the whole of West Africa.
Owerri, used to be the centre of happiness, where people from all walks and work of life heads to, so as to tap from the anointing of happiness shared, littered and disseminated by the Owerri man and Imolites(s) as a whole.
No wonder, an Owerri man said to my great grandfather one evening, ‘’Bia ka anyi nushiri mmi, ma riri happy, ka ndi ulo elu na wuru ma’’: so to say, “Come, let’s drink and merry, stress not yourself about how to build a skyscraper”. He said this, because at that time in history, life was easy, the dividends of democracy was shared equally, there was no segregation as the three zones were treated as one. So he can always make money and be like others.
Last time, I was in Imo State and to my greatest surprise, I was forced to shade tears on a broad day light. I was pushed to engage myself into an internal dialogue, where the subject matter was, “Is it a crime to hail from Imo State?”
In this short visit, I saw old civil servants, who are meant to be relaxing in their various homes, being turned around, all in the name of waiting to be accredited for their pensions.
I saw people, I mean civil servants, who were meant to be at work as early as 8:30am, trekking to work. In their monkey suits and jackets, they were sweating profusely, as if they were given a chase by James, who hardly chase. Now, tell me how productive they will become having reported to work late. It is not even their fault.
As I was busy, crying for my dear state and walking towards Wetheral Road, which has been renamed, I saw an only daughter of a civil servant being rushed to a hospital. When they got to the hospital, as I later heard, the parents couldn’t afford the jumbo deposit (money wey dem dey pay before payment), because they have been owed for donkey months and their 100% salary, sliced like the almighty agege bread. Unfortunately, the poor little girl(Somtochukwu), gave up the ghost. Ije Uwa! Today, the parents are childless.
When I was about to wipe off my tears, I heard a voice that said the following to me.
Alvan the Nkwerre man,
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where workers will be paid on the 25th day of the month.
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where appointments will be given to a son of nobody.
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where contracts will be given to the best hands.
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where when houses are demolished; the poor owners will be compensated.
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where workers won’t trek to work. Mbanu
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where our general hospitals will be functional and working.
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where one family will not dominate all.
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where Keke Operators will be treated with compassion, knowing fully well that “na condition make crayfish bend”
Together, we can have a great Imo State, where our old parents will be given treatment at their doorsteps.
Finally, together we can have a great Imo State, where Somtoo, the only eye of the family will not die again.
…..that voice said some many “Together-Things ” to me.
In my inquisitive nature, I ask, ‘but how can we achieve all these together’?
The voice replied, FRANKly speaking,Nne ji anyi bu ndi Imo, so it is as simple as ABC.
Then I opened my eyes.
Written by Alvan Chinaka (07034715245)
Nkwerre Man! Catch him on all social media @alvanchinaka