OKOROCHA NAKWA E CHECK
Prof Chinua Achebe in his Anthills of the Savannah said that every artist contains a multitude. An artist is known by the fruits of its work. Governor Okorocha displays several multitudes; therefore he rightly qualifies as an artist. An artist is known for creativity, and plays interlink between the ideational world of forms and that of concrete and canvass conversions.
But when an artist majors at the same time as an administrator, he is compelled by the rules administration to certain degrees of measurements and evaluations, especially as the Father of the State, everyone is bound to learn and lean on him for heuristics and subsistence.
Good a thing, our blessed Governor is an educator of great repute, more than the likes of Montesori, Rousseau, William James, etc., which has earned him State-relativised national honour of GCFE. This compels to measurement and evaluation, which necessitates going back to history, re-reading the annals of this administration, assessing the alignment of its strides with the electoral campaign promises and avowals, as well as the Manifesto of the Parties- APGA and APC that brought him to power.
This measurement and revisit to the annals of his administrative activities, societal reactions and redactions to these, etc. demands for assessment- Thus, the need for checking. It seems monarchical thus for this sort of friendly admonition. Perhaps, the first was that by HRM Eze Njamanze to the former Military Administrator of Imo State, the then Commander Amadi Ikwueche- Ikwueche Nakwa E Check! More than intrusion and pillory, it is a sincere call back to history for re-alignment, which His Excellency must do. The French calls it repartir du histoire. We call it in native parlance- Nakwa E Check!
Certainly, ever since the creation of Imo State in 1976, the State has not been blessed with such visionary leader as Okorocha, who alone could be likened to Ndaa Sam Mbakwe of blessed memory. But as the Oriental Brothers once sang- Chi a wu otu, and my maternal kinsman answers Mmadu eme ka ibe ya. Okorocha stands different from Mbakwe. Perhaps the surest distinguishing difference is the elasticity in the execution of their visions and projects. Elasticity and consistency notch-marks pioneering and ingenuity, and these are only possible with measurement, evaluation and assessment- A gana e check.
Governor Okorocha certainly has set many paces in the State that his future predecessors must be up and doing in order to remain contemporaries. But these paces have been ruined by gross inconsistency and administrative lack-of-follow-up, proper initial compatibility studies and some degrees of recklessness in their executions, which among other things are reasons for their resistance or death in the State, and as such they are notch-marked by trial and error approach, a of sort bulge and withdraw system that remembers not the former things and never considers things of old, but always declaring to do a new thing and make a new way.
The creations and State creativity of Governor Okorocha are innumerable. They range from 6 to 10 revolutionising new policies and creations annually, and these touch all spheres of life in the State. These policies that have never been seen before, and thus welcomed by Imolites, lack consistency and respect to orthodoxy and traditions. They are never parts of what the State or institutions involved are used to. For sure, creativity implies departure from orthodoxy but not lack of historic anamnesis, assessment of past successfulness/failures and continuity principles.
Most of the novelties never survived beyond 10 months and become moribund ideas of the best art-creator. There were the sacks of the 137 Ward Councillors immediately after swearing-in in 2011. They here replaced by the novelty of CGC- An idea borrowed from the Anambra Gubernatorial aspirant that never succeeded in 2010. The CGC drew Imo Traditional Rulers and made them mere community Chiefs as they were compelled by the novelty to become CGC Chairmen. After this came the sack of the 10,000 jobs of Ohakim regime, the feeding of pupils and students of Primary and Post Primaries in the State as well as other indices of free education that have today joined the Monkeys of Lagwa Community to the Banana Bush. How efficient were these novelties? Did the beneficiaries or subjects have life-betterment in them? Are they still in operation as gold-ly visions? E check-kwara ndia?
The ‘Good Morning, I kula Nkwu- Ndaa?’ The modern cities project in the three senatorial zones of the State onde Stas? (The Portuguese would ask). The one kilometre road in each of the 637 autonomous communities in Imo State where où est il? (The French would ask). The new and well fully equipped General Hospitals in the entire LGAs in Imo State, I would rather ask the structures like the Italians- Dove stai (Where are you)? The Imo-Must-Work employees Bazali wapi? (The Lingala Congolese would ask in- Where are they)? The CGC factories that would generate funds for the payment of the CGC officials, los donde? (The Spanish learner would ask their whereabouts).
These more than linguistic understandings call for checking and na-kwa e check? They are ideal for assessment, measurement and evaluation. Of a truth, there were the other wonderful creations of Governor Okorocha that are either inoperative today or have phased out unfulfilled- A real waste of psychic energy of the artist and resources: Human and capital involvement. These include: The destruction of Town Unions, the idea of City Gates in Owerri Capital Territory, the contractors assets liquidated by sponsor-banks for non-payment. There were also the 10,000 Imo youths dismissed from job, their successors- The Youths-Must-Work dismissed ingloriously, the Health sector’s shakeups, civil servants outfits on specific days of the week, rules on minimum wage, workers’ salaries cut by 30%, permanent deduction of high civil servants monthly salaries as contributions to the free education scheme, payment of workers’ salaries by Labour, etc.
Others include the split of the ancient Owerri Kingdom into 5, the saga with Eze Ohiri and his predecessor, demolitions at new Owerri, imposition of CGC members in Communities across the State, palm to palm vision and initiative, pupils stipends, the Ochiedike Diagnostic Centre workers and their attacks to former health workers across the State, taxation on SME and LSE in all commercial sectors in the State, the cabinet of Tax Force Members that have been banished, taxation on borehole operators/owners and banks, rules on Bus stops and U-Turns, revalidation of autonomous communities and threats to merger, taxation on health institutions and morticians, demolition of shanties and road expansion projects, transfer of primordial markets and artisans’ workshop villages to remote areas, construction of sundry squares (heros, bongo, etc), Imo Parliament for say your mind on Fridays, Imo Traditional Rulers’ election option for their State Chairman, Clean Up exercise, rules on billboards and posters in the capital territory that have ceased to exist after the general elections, etc.
The list is in-exhaustive, and bears wonderful art-works and genuine creations of a natural visioner. But about 80% of these lacked elasticity, continuity, sustainability principles and positive transformation of lives for Imolites. These realities make one apprehensive of similar ending and model to the present day appeal to Imo workers to work from Mondays-Wednesdays, and use Thursdays and Fridays for farming. A good idea indeed that if properly taken care of and implemented, would lead the affected Imolites to both augment their earnings and devise means of food provisions in their homes, especially because of the current socio-economic realities in Nigeria. But I doubt. Nay, I’m sure to great somewhat, this idea would not see the light of 10 months and a new casuistry and fadustry would be introduced in the State and all would be propelled by the Cox-swain to row, only to end up as usual.
These realities call for sober reflections on the pre-conception of any fantastic ideology, vision and project vis-à-vis the mindset, tradition and disposition of Imolites to absorb, internalise and make life-transformations from them. Except for their positive realisations and life-changing impacts, they are inutile, wasted: efforts, visions, time, resources and stresses. These I doubt whether Governor Okorocha considers and checks. There must be long-term studies of compatibility of an idea with the actual sitz in leben (German- Living situations) of the people and the zeitgeistthey live in, before projection and investment. These I doubt too, if there were such assessments and discernments. As their manner of phasing out depicts bad and somewhat apt unpreparedness, either from the art-creator’s cum initiator’s angle or from the receptive human society- Imolites. I overrule the possibilities of oppositional antic and activities in these.
Most of these ingenuities as I said earlier are deviations from orthodoxy and destructions of existing institutional modus operadi and modus vivendi of the people. And to this effect draws aversions and outright frustration. For sure, this same novelty for Imo Civil Servants will not last, and thus be unfruitful. It is suggestive that Governor Okorocha checks the annals of his creative strides in Imo State and assess their successfulness, continuity and people’s dispositions to live and operative with them.
Really, he needs to check for these as Imolites have felt more bad than good in these stresses, either as an outcome of their ungratefulness to the Governor or an actual unsuitability of the visions foe modern societal living. I doubt if Okorocha o nakwa E check? Please, Okorocha, na-kwa e check!