From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Some indigenes of Imo State under the aegis of Imo Young Professionals (IYP), have raised the alarm over the worsening state of insecurity, biting poverty and the high rate of unemployment, which according to them, is at 56.6% in the fourth quota of 2020.
IYP Lead Convener, Chrys Anyanwu, who addressed newsmen yesterday in Abuja, stressed that the deployment of soldiers to fight the Eastern Security Network (ESN) worsened the situation as cases of police stations razed, officers beaten and ammunition looted are being reported.
Anyanwu, noted that the claim made by Governor Hope Nzodimma that he had constructed over 46 new roads was a farce as some of the roads leading to the Assumpta and the hospital do not measure up to three kilometers in all and not as symbolic and strategic as being presented.
He asked governor Uzodimma to further publish the State’s internally generated revenue figures for all to see the difference between what it generates presently and what it was in the period he claimed was tainted with corruption and not automated.
“The level of insecurity in Imo State is beginning to deteriorate beyond what Ndi Imo bargained for. The situation is worse than it is in other states of the South East.
“The mishandling of the security situation is such that none state actors now rule many parts of the State. Many Police Stations have been attacked in the recent past, cell inmates released and arms looted in a spate hitherto unknown to the state.
“The happenings in Orlu where the Governor invited the military to quell activities of the Eastern Security Network is a clear case of mishandling of security situation.
“This military action led to deaths of persons who from locals are both innocent and unaware of the reason for such invitation.
“The situation in Imo state right now as it concerns youth unemployment is one that shows that the people seems to have given up on government.
“The government keep given our youth reasons while education is no longer priority. Consequently, cybercrime popularly known as yahoo, yahoo has become the only way out of unemployment in the state.
“In the last one year, the state has consistently maintained the unenviable status of “Nigeria’s unemployment capital”, with the latest being the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) unemployment report of Q4 2020 which clearly put unemployment rate in the state at 56.6% while states like neighbouring Anambra with no single oil keep souring.
“We have said it before and we are reinstating it today, that we challenge the government of Imo State to present to the people a workable blueprint on how the government intend to tackle the problem of unemployment in the state with the view to productively re-channelling the enormous human capital resources that abound in the State,” he said.
He continued: “During the programme to mark the 1st year anniversary of Governor Hope Uzodimma virtually attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor declared that he had embarked on an ambitious construction of 46 roads in the State most of which he claimed had been completed.
“This wowed Ndi Imo. They wondered where these 46 roads were located. What President Buhari did not know is that his virtual presence at the commissioning of two roads Assumpta to Hospital Road and the World Bank to Federal Secretariat Road both tagged as symbolic and strategic was a political show by the Governor to show Ndi Imo that he can draw the attention of the President when he desires and not necessarily to underscore the importance of the roads.
“Both roads do not measure up to three kilometers in all and are not as symbolic and strategic as they are presented to be. There are more symbolic and strategic roads in the State which are currently impassable and have not attracted the attention of the Governor.
“Furthermore, the naming of one of the roads after the President was not only symbolic to the Governor but also strategic to his political calculation and does not have anything to do in any way with good governance in the State.
“If the President had set out an inquiry into the quality of leadership being delivered by the Governor in Imo State, he would have come to the inevitable conclusion that it was only a gathering for political showmanship and nothing more.”
He, however, said the organisation “is ready to provide our professional support to ensure good governance in the state.
“We shall equally applaud our Governor when he deserves to be applauded but not to join the band wagon and sing his praises today in anticipation of pecks and condemn him tomorrow when he leaves office.
“Governor Rochas Okorocha was praised to the high heavens by the same voices that now condemn him. This attitude is the bane of our development in Imo State and we shall discourage it.
“Fact based criticism and commendation will be our focus. There is no better time to join the mission to salvage Imo. We urge all young professionals of Imo origin to join us and save our State. Our address is available, our network can be seen on the ground and Imo will be better.”