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Gov. Rochas Should Go On Strike

By Uzorma Nathan
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According to one of the fables of the great philosopher Aesop, he narrated a story of the lion and the boar. He said one hot and thirsty day in the height of the summer a lion and a boar came down to a little spring at the same moment to drink. In a trice they were quarrelling as to who should drink first. The quarrel soon became a fight and they attacked one another with the utmost fury.

Presently, stopping for a moment to take a breath, they saw some vultures seated on a rock above evidently waiting for one of them to be killed, when they would fly down and feed upon the carcass. The sight sobered them at once, and they made up their quarrel, saying, we had much better be friends than fight and be eaten by vultures.

One of the things I have asked of God recently is to endow my understanding with patience. Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius and it gives one proper understanding of life. All fruits do not ripen in one season and like the sayings of Lao Tzu as contained in the Tao Te Ching, “Be as careful at the end as at the beginning and there will be no ruined enterprises, therefore the sage desires not to desire and does not value goods which are hard to come by”.

No one is perfect but an Arabic proverb has it that “A wise man associating with the vicious becomes an idiot; a dog travelling with good men becomes a rational being”. I want to infer here that he that takes the devil into his boat must carry him over the sound.

The story of Aesop concerning the lion and the boar on who was going to drink from the water first which finally snowballed to quarrel that finally resulted to fight, is a thing to properly reflect upon. The lion and the boar became thirsty in the height of the summer and upon sighting a little spring they came to quench their thirst, the quarrel of who was going to drink first became the issue. The same led to a serious fight which ended in fury but stopping a moment to take little breath they consequently saw some vultures seated and praying God for one of them to die for food to be made available.

The sight of vultures sobered them at once and they made up their quarrel by keenly advising themselves to be friends than to fight and be eaten by vultures. The story truly reflects the position of Imo workers and Gov. Rochas Okorocha the executive governor of Imo State.

The lion (Gov Rochas) and the boar (Imo workers) fighting for their rights. Yes of course, their rights because Gov. Rochas Okorocha is also a worker though not a civil servant. Gov. Rochas Okorocha had informed Imo people that the Government of Imo State owes him billions of naira. Imo workers are saying that Gov. Rochas also owes them months of unpaid salaries, severance allowances and so on.

Last week Imo workers went on five days warning strike. I was amazed to hear that some workers are owned up to eight to eleven months salaries in the state, meaning before the election, their salaries were not paid yet they were all chanting “Our governor, our governor”. In the same vein, Gov. Okorocha was owned for five years 2011-2015. Gov. Rochas confirmed that Imo Government owes him #16 billion. He said this on May Ist, 2015 being workers Day. At the celebration ground Chief Okorocha reminded Imo state that she owes him #16 billion naira the sum total of the accrued security vote which according to him was voted for free education in Imo state.

With such amount of money, Imo state still owes West African Examination Council (WAEC). Though the indebtedness of Imo state Government to WAEC is not my major concern here because proper education is dead in Imo state. Posterity shall justify my claims. Imo people are suffering so much, I pity them. Gov. Rochas on the other hand is suffering because Imo state Government has refused to pay him the #16 billion she owns him. Now that Imo workers have gone for a week warning strike, Gov. Rochas should on his own proceed on a week or more warning strike to register his disappointment to Imo people on why his money has not been paid. In fact, my governor, you have my support to proceed on a month warning strike because you have justifiable reason to do so.

Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable. In the words of Montaigne, “He, who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears”. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, “What does not kill me makes me stronger”. Is it that Gov Rochas has forgotten the money by being stronger or that he finds consolation from some monies that Imolites do not know about? I am not judging him but like we were informed that he has in JP Morgan (bank) in New York the sum of $ 1.4 billion, this is not enough to make Gov. Rochas to forgo his #16 billion that Imo state Government owes him. Owelle should proceed on strike because Imo people are taking him for granted.

People say “Experience is the best teacher” but I wish to add that the school fees are very heavy. Imo is learning! In the words of Socrates, “Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs, therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.” Now that our governor is not paid his #16 billion, and Imo workers are not paid salaries; even the so called Federal Government bailout fund has not reached His Excellency chief Rochas Anayochukwu okorocha, what do you expect him to do if not to embark on strike in order to register his disappointment on the Government of Buhari to have not kept his promise or blame the bank that seized Imo bailout money for Government indebtedness.

Wait a minute! Do you mean that the bailout money from the Federal Government has not reached Gov. Rochas Okorocha? Yes of course, Owelle Rochas Okorocha openly informed Imolites that he got no money from the Federal Government as bailout. Now, a shocking revelation was made recently by the chairman of Nigerian Governor’s Forum Abdulaziz Yari that the money was truly released. This was acknowledged by Chief Okezie Ikpeazu the executive governor of Abia state who received #3billion from the Federal Government.

The position of Imo state Government is in contrast to that of other neighbouring states. Gov. Yari revealed that in some states, banks seized their bailout funds because of debts. Now that our state governor has denied receiving the money, he is very correct because the money did not reach him. Let it be known to anybody that Gov. Rochas never lied. Imo state Government that still owes Gov. Okorocha #16 billion also owes some banks and may be when the bailout fund hit the account of the state Government (not owelle), the bank in question seized the money. If this was what played out then Gov. Rochas is free from the blame. Yes, he is free because he did not loan any money from any bank, Imo state Government did.

You can now see the more reason why Gov. Rochas should go on strike because the bank refused to release the money meant for the payment of Imo workers. Gov. Rochas must be angry at this, after all, Gov. Rochas did not borrow the money, but Imo Government did. Chief Rochas was regular in the payment of workers’ salaries from 2011 to 2015. Now, Gov. Rochas does not owe workers but Imo Government is. Imo Government owes Gov. Rochas #16 billion at the same time owes workers. Gov. Rochas should go on strike so that Imo people will see the difference between him and the Government.

Gov. Okorocha is not Imo Government and Imo Government is not Gov. Okorocha. Therefore, Imo workers should go back to work and ask God to touch whoever that is in possession of the bailout money. Gov. Rochas did not borrow any money he is working hard to make workers happy. The governor should not be accused of deducting some percentage from the salaries of Imo workers; if such a thing took place Owelle Rochas should not be held responsible but Imo Government should be blamed. So Imo workers should go back to work because Gov. Rochas who is been owed #16billion by Imo Government is working how much more ordinary civil servants who is only owed 10-11 months’ salary? Please you all should go back to work because Owelle we know even in 2019.