Last Thursday, September 9, 2021 President Muhammadu Buhari was in Imo state on the invitation of the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma. Buhari was in the State on a working visit and commissioned some landmark projects executed by the shared prosperity administration of Governor Uzodimma.
Among the projects commissioned by the President was the Flood Control Tunnel done by the state government to mitigate the effect of flooding that ravages the state capital whenever it rained.
Those familiar with the story of flooding in Imo State know that Uzodimma has scored a high point following that intervention.
As a matter of fact, flooding became an issue for the administrations before this one, with the opposition party members dragging the government of those days as they flaunt with relish, the pictures of badly flooded areas in the state immediately after the rains.
So, Uzodimma got it right by first addressing the flood menace and putting an end to the perennial flooding, at least in the state capital.
Another important project commissioned by President Buhari was Naze-Poly-Ihigwa-Obinze road. We understand that the project is in two phases and the first phase is Naze – Poly Road which has been completed and subsequently, said to be the one commissioned by the President.
We therefore task Imo State government to ensure that the remaining part of the road is completed within the shortest possible time.
It bears repeating the fact that people resident in that part of the State are suffering untold hardship orchestrated by the deplorable condition of the road. Hence, the need to fix the remaining part of the road cannot be over-emphasized, especially now that the president has commissioned a part of it amid wild criticisms.
Another project said to have been commissioned by the President was the state executive chambers which the government claimed it rebuilt, although Ihedioha’s Rebuild Imo administration claimed to have rebuilt and recovered it from near collapse.
While we commend Imo State Government for the laudable achievements in two years and ‘successfully’ hosting Mr. President, it is simply right, we draw their attention to some happenings of that day that smeared the person and office of the President, that of his host and the nation in general.
A group seeking breakaway from Nigeria – The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had through the President’s visit to Imo, once again demonstrated their control and domination of the five Igbo states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
IPOB had declared sit-at-home in all the Southeast States the same day the President came calling, basing their reason on the incarceration of their Supreme Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The group had insisted that Buhari is not welcomed in any part of Igboland until MNK is released from the DSS facility.
Surprisingly, people of the region heeded to the order more than they had ever complied with the previous ones.
We at Nigerian Newsguide view this as a bogus affront on the office and person of Mr President.
It goes a long way to explain that government has lost touch of the masses just as the masses have since lost confidence and trust on the government.
Analysts suggest that it is better to disobey the government that has little or nothing to offer and join forces with a group seeking secession, even when their leader still issues directives from detention.
There are lessons to be learnt from the Thursday drama where the president and his entourage drove on empty streets of Owerri to Douglas House. It was a ghost town indeed.
We are not in any way trying to deride the president nor his host, but we are just concerned about the situation as we pray that they learn their lessons and begin now to make amends before it is too late.
If nothing urgent is done to remedy the situation, one day federal government will declare public holiday and citizens will go about their normal businesses, ignoring the order.
Restructuring and introduction of policies and programmes that have direct bearing with the yearnings and aspirations of the people remain the way out of this ugly situation, that is, if the government at the center must not allow those seeking secession to go their separate ways.
Regular payment of salaries and pensions, not excluding the provision of basic amenities to citizens should be made utmost priority.
The era of allowing a section or group masquerading as bandits, and negotiating ransoms with governments and individuals with registered SIM cards should be over, for citizens to breath some fresh air.
The time to act is now.