From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, said Governor Rochas Okorocha has turned the state into what he described as a ‘Ranka Dede’ state where nobody is supposed to hold contrary opinion, no matter how germane on the governance of the state.
He said whoever did not support him was immediately tagged enemy of the state.
He further noted that where critical appraisal of the governance of the state was not allowed by those in power was not democratic but tyrannical.
He said that was the current position, where nobody is supposed to talk about the poorly conceived, knee-jacked policies of the Okorocha-led administration.
Ihedioha stated this in a lecture entitled: “The role of the political class in realising the collective dreams of justice, equity, fairness and financial accountability in Imo State,” he delivered at the 2017 Diocesan Synod of the Diocese on the Lake, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) St Mary’s Magdalene parish Oguta.
The former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, recalled that in 2016 when he was also called to deliver a lecture at the Synod of the Diocese of Isiala Mbano, he was harangued by the hirelings of the administration for speaking the truth on the deplorable leadership of the Okorocha’s administration.
“Expectedly, after my presentation, there was a consensus of opinion that the truth cannot be suppressed or at best be glossed over, and that indeed our state deserves better governance than what we have today.
“The patriotic intention of my presentation which was to make the government more responsive, transparent and better positioned to deliver the goods was rather misinterpreted by their uninformed errand boys.”
He said Imo has the highest GDP among the states in the South East but it had not reflected in general standard of living of the people of the state as they had even fallen deeper into poverty.
He argued that the political leadership was placed in a unique but strong position to galvanise, direct or influence the thinking and actions of the people but that has not been the case in the state as the governor is only accountable to itself and to the people which has caused disillusionment in the citizenry.
“I need to remind us that the attainment of justice, equity, fairness and accountability in Imo state will remain elusive so far as our constitution the very instrument of our federation is applied in breach and until the legislature indisputably oversights the executives for necessary checks and balances while the judiciary interprets the law without fear and favour.
“But unfortunately, we have become a Ranka Dede compliant as the popular maxim now appears to be follow and obey the leader without question.”
What the “leader” says or directs becomes the law and accounts for current state of anomie in Imo”.
Ihedioha, however strongly admonished the political class in Imo state not to be intimidated to abandon its moral responsibility of holding government to account and to point to the leaders where they have failed .
According to him “when we are afraid to confront our