On May 29 2011, Imolites massively voted in a new governor into power. That governor is Rochas Okorocha. He came with new hopes, visions and aspirations to transform Imo State and move it forward. Before 2011, Imo State was a relatively small state in terms of internally generated revenues, urban development and attractive business environment. Fast foward to 2018 after Governor Rochas Okorocha has been in charge for eight years, the state has seen transformation on a whole new level, which has resulted in demolitions of several sites. Many people are not sure if the governor means well for the state or he’s just over ambitious.
If you’re one of those still confused, these two reasons may help you decide.
On the one hand, Governor Rochas Okorocha has done wonderfully well in terms of urban development and awareness. The state has seen massive infrastructural projects than ever before in it’s history- Roads, bridges, hospitals, markets, convention centers and squares, etc. The administration is always been referred to former governor Mbakwe’s because of the many projects under it’s belt.
Mbakwe is responsible for the planning and construction of what we’ve now come to know as Owerri. The entire city of Owerri was planned and constructed by him. He went as far as developing local government headquarters and councils. But that was several years ago. No other governor has done something close to that, until Governor Okorocha stepped in. The city of Owerri has taken a new look and can now be compared to major cities across the country. Many business now find a home in the state, thanks to the urban renewal projects. Getting touted as the next Mbakwe only means he has replicated what Mbakwe did and truthfully so. Governor Okorocha has been quoted to say “he will continue to work until his last day in office”. Such good motives!
On the other hand, many Imolites are crying that the governor has reduced them to nothing. While the state is wearing a new look, many of it’s citizens are not. Governor Okorocha embarked on massive demolitions of several old sites. These sites include markets and people’s properties. The Eke Ukwu Owerre market was the first to go, sending many back to square one, then came the demolition of New market. Douglas, Wetheral, Okigwe, Bank, Akwakuma, MCC roads are being expanded and this means that people’s houses were demolished to make room for the expansion.
Many of these demolitions are happening at the same time and take several months before being reconstructed. This means that while the reconstruction is going on, Imolites will be subjected to different forms of hardship. The question however is, does the governor have the capacity to carry out these projects at the same time? Would it not be better and more reasonable to carry them out one after another, perhaps even getting their replacements finished first before demolishing in the case of the markets?
In a bid to make the state look better, the governor ordered that all keke tricycles should be banned from the major city and introduced a new transportation system Taximo and Busimo. This means that if you formerly drove a tricycle, you’ll now be required to dump it and get a car or a bus to remain in business. While this may be a great idea, it caused more harm than good.
Considering these two instances, one may be confused or indifferent about deciding if Governor Rochas Okorocha has good intentions for Imolites or if he’s just over ambitious. While you’re making that decision you may have to remember the old legendary saying, “half bread is better than puff puff”.