It was lamentation of woes and gnashing of teeth on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at Obohia in Ideato South LGA, where the leaders of a total of eight wards out of the thirteen political wards in Ideato South LGA, met with the United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for Orlu senate, Comrade Precious Nwadike, during his campaign tour of the area, in continuation of his sensitization with the electorate.
The meeting which was well attended by all and sundry saw most of the political and community leaders of Ogboko, Ntueke, Obohia, Urualla etc, all of who are known as Ndi ebe mmanu, in attendance.
Speaking to our reporter who was present at the event, the spokesman of the group known as Ebe Mmanu Political Assembly who doesn’t want his name in print for fear of intimidation, revealed how the outgoing Governor and son of the soil, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has used his position to forcefully and willfully acquired their farmlands. He lamented that rather than consult with the people, Okorocha uses his office to intimidate them.
He explained that upon objecting to Governor Okorocha’s determination to appropriate all of their community lands, the Imo State Governor, promptly threatened to deal ruthlessly with those who raise eye brows, over his decision to annex their land. This, the Governor does in pretext of sitting a public or government project only for it to turn to his private concern, such as the Eastern palm University.
According to the spokesman, the entire people and leaders of Ndi ebe Mmanu Ideato now live in fear. Most of the victims of the callous acquisition of farmlands in the area, have even left the community and their natural ancestral homes for fear of being harmed. He also recalled how the community in 2011, massively supported their son only for them to be rewarded with intimidation and shabby treatment and deprivation.
Similarly, the Chairman of Ebe Mmanu, Chief Sabastine Nlebedum, in his speech disclosed that the entire Ideato South has been without electricity supply for the past eight years. This has made living in the villages, very unbearable and traumatic for them and their families.
When asked the cause for the power black-out, Chief Nlebedum stated that, it all started during the demolition and dualization of roads embarked upon by Okorocha, which culminated into the pulling down of electricity poles and other installations. “Obviously, since the time the poles were pulled down, the Governor has not deemed it necessary or deserving to replace or re-connect the power cables.
Another speaker and prominent leader of the area who pleaded anonymity explained, “what the Governor has done is to connect the supply to his private palatial home at Ogboko from Mgbee central grid. That also was how the Eastern Palm University located nearby got power, after which Governor Okorocha barred everybody from connecting to their homes through the same source.
It was equally revealed that the only community that has a semblance of electricity supply is Urualla, which recent development was the effort of Remichris as popularly called, who brought over three Hundred Million Naira (N300,000) only to fix the light. “Before this time, only Governor Rochas Okorocha’s private home had supply of electricity but following lamentations and outcry of his kinsmen, Okorocha reluctantly caused the disconnected power supply to be rectified, last Christmas and New Year celebrations”.
Ndi ebe mmanu spokes person also reported that on several occasions, they went to and approached EEDC officials over the matter and pleaded with them to restore their light, they were told that the disconnection was done without their approval or permission. And that only the Governor can decide when he wants the light restored.
Responding to the avalanche of complaints, Comrade Precious Nwadike, the UPP senatorial candidate in Orlu zone assured Ideato South people of his readiness to restore electricity in the area, within the first six months, if elected senator. He went further to explain that his ambition is hinged on effective representation and purposeful leadership. He then narrated how he had overtime assisted some sons of Ideato South LGA in the course of his Human Rights Advocacy. What turned dramatic and tearful for some of the participants was the touching and piteous story of a man, Chief E. Aluka, who credited his salvation from being put out of circulation by evil men to Comrade Precious Nwadike.
When contacted, the Orlu Zone Area Manager of EEDC, Engr. Ugwu confirmed that, most of the communities in Ideato South LGA have no power supply. He admitted that some individuals from the areas in their self-help efforts are making sacrifices to correct the problem and enjoy electricity supply from the public source.
Engr. Ugwu maintained that government has not been able to fulfill the promise of paying N2 million into EEDC purse, to enable them energize some transformers in the area. He added that, he has severally called on both the Imo State Commissioner of Finance and the government contractor, who is responsible for replacing the poles to do so, but to no avail.
At press time all efforts to reach the Commissioner of Finance,Barr Ugochi Nnanna Okoro proved abortive, as she refused to pick or return his calls.