A few days ago, Governor Emeka Ihedioha made a mind-boggling statement when he visited the Imo State Secretariat along Port Harcourt Road Owerri, Chidiebere Iwuoha writes.
State secretariat running on generator
According to him, “When I visited the state secretariat I saw different types of “I better pass my neighbour generators” chained together. There had been no public power supply at the secretariat for 8 years. Everywhere was leaking. But my predecessor was always on AIT and Channels TV, saying he was performing. It is the height of wickedness”.
One recalls that the Imo state House of Assembly had before now beckoned on the governor to declare a state of emergency on infrastructure in the state. In a motion sponsored by Hon Anyadike Nwosu representing Ezinihitte state constituency, the lawmakers were asked to support the motion urging the governor to give his assent to it in order to reclaim the decaying infrastructure in the state. In the fact, the total decay of infrastructure in the state is embarrassing, according to the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Imo state governor.
Up till now, the governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has not moved into Government House because of what he termed as decayed infrastructure there. He said while inspecting the premises he discovered that certain things were not in order and needed to be put in place before he would pack in. Again, he discovered that there was massive looting there as household items like plates, cups, chairs and kitchen utensils were nowhere to be found.
The State Secretariat
Apart from the generators and the leaking buildings at the state secretariat, the whole premises was unkempt before the governor assumed duty as a result of overgrown grasses. About two of the blocks had portions of their roofs blown out.
Some portions of the House of Assembly building are also leaking. You can easily notice big cracks on the Plaster of Paris (POP) used to beautify some areas in the building believed to have gulped more than N5million for its renovation some months ago. The premises had overgrown weeds before the Ihedioha directed that the weeds be cut. About two lawmakers had even moved motions that something urgent should be done to prevent it from collapsing, and also requested that a temporary place be provided for their sittings.
This is a 5,000 capacity hall built by Okorocha. IICC means Imo International Conference Centre. Any time there is a heavy downpour, parts of the roof either from the front or the side are blown out by the windstorm. This has happened up to five times and presently the scar is still there as the present government has not gone into it for any function.
Besides, the beautiful seats that were lined up in the last administration are no longer there, which thus gives the impression that they were looted.
The two flyovers and tunnels
The two flyovers were started by former Governor Ikedi Ohakim and completed by Rochas Okorocha who went ahead to construct two tunnels across Port Harcourt Road in Owerri; one at Concord Hotel junction and the other at the House of Assembly junction. But an inspection carried out by the governor and a team of engineers a few days ago discovered that the flyovers have some engineering lapses which made the governor to order their closure.
Also, the kind of work done in and around the tunnels shows that no professional touch was applied while constructing them. The floors of the tunnels are not smooth and each time it rains, the whole place is filled with water.
The Treasury House
Is a two storied edifice built by Okorocha and is behind IICC. The foot of the building is wearing off two years after being put to use as a result of rain torrents on the walls.
Justice Oputa judiciary building
Also built by Okorocha and was commissioned before Okorocha left office. But the inside of the building was not completed just like many other projects of his. When the governor visited the site recently, he expressed dissatisfaction over the state of work there. He complained of inferior fittings and poor delivery of jobs there.
Somto Hospital/Mother and Child Hospital/General Hospitals
These hospitals are regarded as scam. This is because they were not completed but billions were expended by the government of Okorocha. Somto Hospital was conceived when a 12 year old boy, Somto, was killed by policemen during the demolition of Eke Ukwu Owere market. As a way of immortalizing him, the immediate past governor decided to name a shopping plaza being constructed in place of the demolished market after him. After sometime, he decided to change it to a hospital without giving any reason for that. As hospital, those shops were still there because the building was not redesigned before it was changed to hospital.
Meanwhile, nothing inside shows it is a hospital except the name inscription pasted outside. Since Governor Ihedioha came in, he has been faced with the problems of whether to complete the hospital or hand over to Owerri people who got an injunction in court against Okorocha over the demolition of their ancestral market.
The same state of incompleteness is affecting the Mother and Child Hospital. Okorocha ran to Abuja to get the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, to commission the two hospitals a few days to the end of his tenure without completing and equipping them. Also, none of the hospitals he constructed in the local government areas is completed and equipped. What he eventually did was to hand over some to the army, navy, police, air force and one to a US-based organisation and abandoned the rest in the 22 local government areas.
Several roads in the state in dilapidated state
Many roads in the state capital, Owerri, Orlu and Owerri towns are not motorable, while the ones in the rural areas are not constructed, thus making movement in and around the state very difficult. Most of the roads constructed by the out gone government now have pot holes as a result of the current rainy season. This is because they were constructed with inferior materials and had no engineering specifications. You hardly noticed a construction firm with its name on their vehicles.
What was easily seen was an assemblage of earth moving equipment not owned by any company constructing the roads, with an assemblage of labourers mixing cement and sand with shovels and paint containers constructing drainages by pouring the mixture in the wooden spaces already constructed. The result is that the gutters so constructed are not smooth.
As things stand now, Governor Emeka Ihedioha will have the option of starting some of these projects afresh or abandoning them for other projects as most of the projects Okorocha handed over to him either have structural problems or far from being completed. And in most cases not needed by the people but were conceived by Okorocha alone without input from the people.