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Will Ohaji/Egbema Vote for Governor Hope Uzodinma in November?

By Kenneth Uwadi.
Some people say the government of Imo state will soon arrest me for criticizing them. I have received several emails, text messages, and calls. Those things don’t scare me. One of the fundamental elements of democracy is the right to free speech without having others trample on your opinion. I will not be intimidated by such talk.

I am from Ohaji/Egbema LGA. My LGA is oil-rich. Its headquarter is in Mmahu-Egbema. I am also from Mmahu-Egbema. Arresting me on account of me critcizing the austerity policies of the government of my state amounts to breaching Section 22 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which allows all citizens open power of expression and freedom of commenting on both Local, State and National governments issues. It also violates international norms on freedom of expression. The Nigerian constitution stated that the duty of every citizen is to make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress, and well-being of the community where he resides. The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

I will continue to say No to the ‘America -wonder’ taking place in our LGA’s that is negatively affecting the lives of the Imo masses. What is bad is bad irrespective of who is doing it, your man, or our man. Until we begin to stand up for a true democracy Imo will not see light.

Ohaji/Egbema LGA alone from January 2020 to December 2020 (12 months) got from the Federal government the sum of N1,901,804,579.59(One billion nine hundred and one million eight hundred and four thousand five hundred and seventy nine naira fifty nine kobo ). By monthly breakdown from January 2020 to December 2020, Ohaji /Egbema got from FG the following: January 2020 = N175,594,829.50,February 2020= N162,670,773.27,March 2020=N145,725,348.30,April 2020=N165,817,370.39,May 2020=N153,423,398.96,June 2020=N139,521,629.07,July 2020= N168,366,546.62,August 2020=N172,799,580.57,September 2020=N170,807,592.36,October 2020=N159,845,391.44,November 2020=N143,471,646.04,December 2020=N143,760,473.07.

Where are the monies? What is the actual amount sent to Ohaji/Egbema SOLAD by the Imo State government? I want to know where Ohaji/Egbema allocations from FG ended up. How much is Ohaji/Egbema staff strength? How much is the staff salaries? Where has the surplus gone? What is the remuneration of Paramount rulers of Ohaji/Egbema. Where are the local roads, health care centers, modern schools and markets for Ohaji/Egbema? Where are the projects to speed up development? Where are the billions of naira for Ohaji /Egbema? Where is NEPA light?

A visit to Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State will confirm that lack of basic amenities has made the area a ghost environment. Portable drinking water are all spoiled, roads are now very bad, our schools (primary and secondary) are now in deplorable and dilapidated condition. No cottage industry, no agricultural development. Yet huge allocations were allocated for the LGA by the federal ministry of finance (Federal Account Allocation Committee).

The N1.9 billion naira I mentioned is only allocation for the year 2020.Where are the other billions that came to Ohaji/Egbema LGA in 2021, 2022 and in 2023 in my records? Where are the monies for my LGA? I challenge the Imo State government by virtue of the FOI Acts to make public the actual monthly allocations paid to the SOLAD of Ohaji /Egbema LGA so that we can make comparisons with that of FG at our disposal. The FOI Act guarantees access to data held by the state.

I say No to All Austerity Policies on the working and poor people of my LGA. For four years, the Uzodinma’s government has been appointing people into the local government councils without elections. This is undemocratic and fraudulent. Moreover, funds and revenues of local governments are being diverted for pecuniary interests of the state government without the people being able to decide how funds allocated to the local councils are to be spent. This has made the local councils and the services they provide to be in decrepit conditions. Most local and intra-township roads are in terrible condition, while most primary healthcare facilities are hardly working, and those working are doing so on a skeletal basis.

As against the past situation where local councils provided some educational supports like giving out educational materials such as textbooks, notebooks, chalk, etc., to schools, most of the schools in the state lack these basic supports.

The question remains, will Ohaji/Egbema LGA vote for Governor Hope Uzodinma on the 11th of November 2023? Will Imo re-elect the man who has denied them democracy at the grassroot for another four years?

From January 2020 to December 2020 Imo state received N9,096,486,580.07 (Nine billion, ninety-six million four hundred and eighty six thousand five hundred and eighty naira seven kobo) as 13 percent oil derivation funds for development of the oil communities in Imo State. By monthly breakdown from January 2020 to December 2020,the Oil areas of Imo state got from FG as 13 percent Oil derivation funds the following: January 2020 = N1,030,777,266.01,February 2020=N 828,793,898.64,March 2020= N866,158,974.86,April 2020= N1,052,650,621.98,May 2020= N716,210,758.63,June 2020=N 698,159,661.48,July 2020= N487,497,069.49,August 2020= N999,688,363.39,September 2020=N755,551,659.03,October 2020=N 500,441,708.72,November 2020=N 476,359,055.71,December 2020= N684,197,542.13. This amount is only for the year 2020.What about the billions that came in for the year 2021, 2022 and 2023 in my records? Are we in Ohaji Egbema going to vote for Governor Hope Uzodinma in November? Only time will tell.

-Kenneth Uwadi lives in Mmahu-Egbema, Ohaji/Egbema LGA and can be reached via 08037982714



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