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« Middle East Crisis: Solutions and a Quick Synopsis et al | Main | Declaration of Intent »

August 07, 2006

A Confidential Letter to Governor Achike Udenwa of Imo State, Nigeria

by Okechukwu E. Asia ---

The egomaniacs who have welded power in Nigeria over the years, have failed in the mission to serve the people of Nigeria. Such is clear when you consider the infrastructure, which begins with condition of the roads. In many places in Owerri and indeed the entire Imo State, we had to drive six miles to travel five, simply because of all the twists and turns one had to make to avoid the potholes in many of the streets and roads. ~~~ Prof. George Moss of the University of Michigan (Thisday Newspaper July 22, 2006)

Dear Achike,

It has been quite a long time I communicated with you either in writing or by telephone. This time, I am writing as a citizen of Imo State concerned with the short-comings of your seven years of reckless and corrupt stewardship.

I am writing because May 2007 is around the corner and to make sure that you remember that day as your day of reckoning. The day you will be asked to give an account of your stewardship to the people of Imo State. I am sure that day; you will remember to tell us what you did with almost N800 billion Naira you collected as allocation from the federation account and internally generated state revenue since 1999. Particularly, what you did with the N13 billion federal government allocations to Oguta/Ohaji/Egbema oil communities.

You must be prepared to tell us why your finger prints are all over Chief Ogbonnaya C. Uche’s (OGB) assassination and your attitude of indifference toward the efforts to solve this scourge on your administration and all other unsolved assassinations under your watch. We would want to know who paid N5.5 million to Mr. Vincent Ogueri (a.k.a Pastor), the trigger man from Emii, Owerri North LGA. Why the voucher for this money was prepared in the Government House. And why Mr. Nwachukwu the Finance Director at the cabinet office, i.e. Ignatius Umunna’s office (Mr. Umunna was the Secretary to the State Government) was chosen as the point person to pay off Mr. Ogueri. The people of Imo State and the children of late OGB, Agwatu, Emenike, and Onyearugbulem want to know.

I saw you visited and consoled the widow and family of Funsho Williams in far away Lagos, but neither you nor any of your cabinet members attended Chief Uche’s burial or sent a condolence to his widow and family. He was one of your commissioners. Mr. Governor, how can you reconcile this attitude toward a man who made you a governor. How can you reconcile the fact that you personally ordered your entire government staff not to attend OGB’s funeral or send any condolences to his family. You did not attend OGB’s funeral – your Commissioner; you did not attend Theodore Agwatu’s funeral – your Principal Secretary; you did not attend Mr. Emenike’s funeral – a husband of your former Commissioner for Women’s Affairs Mrs. Rose Emenike. All of them were Imo State indigenes. But you are in far away Lagos shaking hands with Williams’ family and weeping. It is clear that your visit to Williams’ family was more of orchestral performance than condolence. Who is kidding whom?

You must tell us why the so-called and almighty state secretariat was built at an eye-popping cost of N3.6 billion Naira from its original budgeted cost of N840 million. You must tell us more about the Orlu regional market and why you spent more than N1 billion on a project that has been abandoned to the mercy of weeds. You must tell us who owns RHS Company – the managing owners of Concorde Hotel and Orlu regional market. Mr. Governor, your corrupt activities in the state is well known by Imo citizens.

I am not finished, governor, we want to know why you converted the Heartland Foundation chaired by your wife into a family fortune, which your administration has donated more than N600 million since its inception. Where did the money go and who benefited from its programs?

In 2002, you Balkanized Imo State by creating inferior and useless autonomous communities in one of your many schemes to hang on to power for a second term, while our communities are burning in Ezeship tussles, you are busy collecting a whopping sum of N500 thousand Naira per a community as a prelude to state recognition of their Eze.

Don’t forget to tell us about your wacky road projects, which you have spent N12 billion Naira on, since 1999 and nothing to show for it. And the 1.5 mile road leading to Umuguma from Port-Harcourt road Owerri which you recorded at a cost of N170 million must not be missing from your hand over story. We want to hear about the N380 million you said your administration spent on refurbishing of the General Hospital at Umuna, Orlu. A 6000 sq. ft dormitory and repainting of existing buildings does not cost N380 million to build. We have a lot of unanswered questions for you about this project.

We will be waiting to hear how your total personal wealth swelled to N300 billion from N1 million in 1998/99. I know this because during the 1998/99 campaign, you had only N1 million for your campaign. This money was given to you by your few friends and associates in Port Harcourt, which late Chief Ogbonnaya Uche (OGB) was one of them. That was the reason you lost the PDP primary elections to Chief Humphrey Anumudu (1), Greg. Mbadiwe (2) and Rochas Okorocha (3), (in that order) but due to the intervention of power brokers, you came from finishing last to the anointed position of governor.

So we want to know how a return on investment of N1 million became N300 billion in seven years. I am sure EFCC and Economics Professors are taking note of this ingenious feat. Oh, don’t forget the Standard Shoe factory you spent N288 million to rehabilitate but no single building at the site has been roofed. We want to know what’s going on in this site. And when will the first pair of shoes hit the market from your factory. What was the deal you made to sell Imo Hotels to unknown company? Who are the owners of this company? How much are you planning to sell this Hotel?

I am sure that you will reveal what you did with N5.6 billion you collected as security vote from the state treasury. We, the people will occupy the front row seats to listen to you explain to us why you deducted more than 30% of local government monthly allocation fund and what you did with the money. We will listen carefully to hear you explain what happened to the N2 billion you budgeted to construct the Owerri to Okigwe highway and why this road is in such disrepair. You must explain to us what happened to the N5 billion you collected from the local government councils in pretense to linking them with good roads. Who is this Yoruba man that you awarded the contract to build these roads? What is your relationship with this man and his company? And why is the document used in the contract missing?

It has been reported that you spent a total of N240 million on your daughter’s wedding on July 22, 2006 to entertain your friends and political associates while Owerri and Imo State villages are in darkness without light and drinking water. And refuge dumps have taken over Owerri municipal area. Whose money was this, anyway? We want to know.

Mr. Governor, I am disgusted to learn that you are aspiring to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What knowledge and experience would you bring to the presidency? Will it be different from your seven-year outing as the governor of Imo State that brought nothing but agony, under-development, negligence, senseless killings of political opponents, insecurity, corruption in an uncontrollable level, drug use, indecency involving female minors and married women and forgery. I agree with Mr. Pini Jason when he wrote on the Vanguard newspaper of July 28, 2006 that the time has come when we must stand up and say enough is enough to stop these jokers and clowns like you from taking us for a ride anytime we have general elections. And that you are making a mockery of our presidency.

By the way, you are one of the principal architects of the failed Third term agenda, why do you think that we have forgotten so soon. Your day of reckoning will come, very soon. I am sure that your so-called presidential ambition is inspired by your attempt to escape arrest and prosecution from your failed stewardship of Imo State. It will not work, Mr. Governor.

In closing, I pray that you receive this letter in good faith and in good spirit. I have only written the truth and in no way have I tried to scorn your person. But if you feel otherwise, so be it. I dedicate this letter to the memories of your former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry late Chief Ogbonnaya C. Uche (OGB), your former Principal Secretary late Mr. Theodore Agwatu, Mr. Emenike (the husband of your former Commissioner for Women Affairs who parted ways with you a few months earlier), Col. Anthony Onyearugbulem – an aspiring gubernatorial candidate in 2003, and all those who was assassinated so that you could have a second term. And to the good people of Imo State whose tears for justice and good governance will not be in vain in 2007. We are ever more vigilant.

Okechukwu E. Asia
Boston, MA, USA

Real Beauty is My Aim - Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by Administrator at August 7, 2006 04:27 AM


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