By Chuks Ehirim
Indigenes of Imo state living outside the state who were at home to celebrate the last Christmas and New Year festivals were full of praises for the state Governor, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha.
Some of them who spoke to this reporter during the period under review praised the Governor for the efforts he has been making since after his assumption of office, to transform the state.
They were particular about the governor’s performance in the area of Road construction and maintenance, education, health care delivery as well as security.
According to Destiny Igboanugo, an Abuja based petty businessman who hails from Oguta, in Orlu Senatorial zone and spent almost a week in his country home during the Christmas, commended the “Okoracha administration especially in the area of free education. According to him, “The government’s Free education programme has alleviated the burden of many parents who were finding it difficult to
pay school fees for their children in the past. I must say that my people are very grateful to the governor in this regard.”
He added that the governor is also doing so well in the area of infrastructural development especially road constructions. He mentioned such roads as: Weathral, Egbu/Mbaise, Orlu, Uratta, Orji/Okigwe roads as well as the Aba/Owerri road and Owerri Umuahia roads which are Federal Roads that have attracted the attention of the governor.
These Federal roads made end of year trips so convenient for the people who plied them to their respective home for the festivities.
Another elated visiting citizen, Mr. Anacletus Anyanwuocha, an Abuja based journalist and editor of Global Paragon News Magazine, told this reporter that the Rochas administration has almost equaled the records of the late Chief Sam Mbakwe, First civilian governor of old Imo state, in the area of infrastructural development of different parts of the state. Anyanwuocha who hails from Ahiazu-Mbaise LGA of the state and was at home during the Christmas period, said he was marveled at the level of development that has taken place while he was away especially in Orlu.
“I was taken aback when I visited Orlu during my trip in December 2012 for the yuletide. What I saw marveled me. At a point we missed our way because of the new constructions of the roads as the roundabouts confused us on which way we were to go,” he narrated.
He added that “In the past, Orlu use to be described in such derogatory phrases as: the most undeveloped part of the old Imo state but thanks to Rochas Okorocha for breaking the jinx. I am sure that at the rate the governor is going, he may surpass the achievements of the late Sam Mbakwe.”
In the area of rural development, the Governors mark was felt by the people, sources stated. For instance, they heaped a lot of praises on Okorocha for the development of rural roads and maintenance of peace and security.
A lot other people who spoke to this reporter commented that contrary to the speculations of insecurity, the state was very peaceful as no incidence of kidnapping, robbery, or any form of violence against the law abiding citizens was reported.
Also commenting on the performance of the governor so far, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, human right activist and Head, Human Rights Writers Associations, (HURIWA) who hails from Arondizeogu, Ideato-North LGA of the state commended Governor Okorocha over his programmes on
infrastructural development of the state. The activist however advised the governor to pay equal attention to the development of the rural areas “yes, I enjoyed my stay in the state during the Christmas break, and I must say that governor Rochas Okorocha is doing tremendously well in terms of infrastructural development but this programme is concentrated mainly in urban centers.
While commending him, for these strides, I would equally advise that he extends the same zeal and enthusiasm to the development of the rural areas.
Speaking in the same vein, some indigenes who commended his efforts so far in the urban areas also called on the governor to step up his activities in the rural areas to enable them improve on their quality
of life. Of particular notes are citizens of Ideato South LGA who are staunch supporters of the governor but are not happy with the state of the Isiekenesi-Uruala Road, which is deplorable condition and has not received the kind of attention other major roads in the state are receiving under the present dispensation.
Rising from an end of year meeting, they re-pledged their loyalty to the governor but appealed to him to see to it that the road which links them up with other parts of the state if given the urgent attention it needs, in terms of repairs.
By Chuks Ehirim