OKOROCHA'S CRITICS ARE DETRACTORS LOOKING FOR RELEVANCE -ALIAKOR
Frank Aliakor, a shipping expert based in Lagos, is well known for his comments and interest on political issues. The native of Imo State is also a politician having contested various political offices in Lagos State. In this interview with Victor Ebimomi he spoke about the crisis of interest going on in his home state, the solution to the threat posed by the dreaded Boko Haram and other issues. Excerpts.
In your own view what do you think could have caused the early criticism of the Okorocha's government because since you are also from the state, you could rightly know better?
Those attacking Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State don't need to do that for now. Such an attack is not needed because Okorocha is on rescue mission in Imo State from the bad administration of the past government . Ohakim was kind of doing a one -man show when the state was lacking in infrastructural development. That is why I say Okorocha is on rescue mission to ensure that Imo State is placed on the part of development like other states.
In almost all the 27 local government areas in Imo State, you could hardly see any meaningful development but now that is gradually changing. Okorocha I believe has come to revive the system; he has started putting up structures. Don't forget that the current governor is among the first governors to agree to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage. That is to show that he is a man who has come to work. Now he has introduced the fourth tier of government where the President-General of town union will oversee or monitor the development in the local government to ascertain whether those working in the council are doing well. It is indeed an idea I think other states should emulate.
You seem to believe strongly in Okorocha's ability to deliver. What informs this strong conviction?
All the governor is doing is in order. During Ohakim, he was doing a show using the NDDC roads to his own credit. Okorocha I believe is somebody that will transform Imo state. I have no doubt in my mind. He is the first governor to forfeit his security vote to pay back for the overwhelming support he got from Imo people during the election. Apart from his clear political manifestoes during electioneering, I think he is a man who knows what he is doing. He has introduced free education in Imo state, something that has never happened before.
I am sure that his detractors are not APGA but PDP who were trying to create confusion in the state.
There is complaint in some quarters that he has bloated team of advisers. What is your take on it?
I don't think the number of advisers is too much. It is good for him to have some of these advisers. Of course, that will help him because you, as a person, may not know where good governance is lacking in the state. And his advisers are men of proven integrity; it is not job for the boys as they use to say. They will help to be his eyes and eyes everywhere in the state and beyond.
What specific advice will you give the governor as an indigene of Imo State?
I will advise Governor Owelle Roachas Okorocha not to listen to disgruntled elements including those who call themselves League of Imo Professionals because they were the ones that derailed Ohakim. He must therefore be focused and go straight for his Rescue mission. At least we are expecting that he has to supersede the late Governor Sam Mbakwe, who is regarded as one of the good people that ruled Imo State and the best too. He should look for investors; we have many arable areas even in his local government Ideato stretching from BSC Orlu to Ugbele and Ogboko down to Isiekenesie. We have a lot of arable land which investors can come and develop. He should also use his business acumen and connection to attract these people because he has traveled round the world.
Ideato South needs good roads, he should rehabilitate the roads and make them motorable. Other parts of the state that needs good roads should be urgently attended to. Christmas is approaching, we need the roads and they can be repaired now done that the rainy season is going.