There is a common saying in Igboland that “when a woman gets married twice, she chooses which husband is better. So it is with politics and politicians in our own part of the universe where politics has for years been dubbed as dirty and dangerous. Where also democracy is not a government of the majority through the ballot box, but rulership of the mighty against the poor masses.
Here in Nigeria after independence in 1960 and the first republic in 1963, the Nigerian citizens have witnessed several forms of government that after 57 years of independence the nation is yet to come to terms with modern democracy which has its roots in Spartan populist government. Nigerians have tasted parliamentary governance, then republicanism, Military dictatorship, diarchy, Unitary form of government, transitional government and in 1999 opted for presidential democracy. Since then a lot of politicians still believe we are under military dictatorship and have not come to terms with the fact that the electorate has a right to choose who rules or governs them and how they should be governed as well as the statutes that govern them. The vestiges of perpetual leadership or leadership of hegemony continues to have strong hold on most Nigerian leaders who scheme or plot all known and unknown principle and practices to entrench themselves in life long authority. That is why we introduced the slogan “who the cap fits, let him wear it”. If you say these men will not rule over you, let your mother come to rule.
Our discourse this morning is one example, Imo State where a lot of anomalies and tradition have been rearing their ugly heads in recent times, where the rule of law must not be obeyed and where the rule of the jungle operates, where new innovations emerge after toxic day dreams or malaria infected vision are seen in broad daylight of whatever Imolites see today, they deserve it. When the rescue mission emerged in 2011, all heralded and embraced it. These including teachers, traders, artisans, motorists, students, market women, religion leaders et al but today all those who joined the Akara street eating syndrome, shouting hosanna the son of Ogboko are today crying “crucify him”. Others say “Ohakim is better,” Ikiri ka land grabber and demolisher nma, said the other way, Ikiri ka onye oshi nma”.
Political pundits, social critics and scholars have raised alarm stating that the government of Imo is a totally new style, notoriously known as “familiocracy”-a system of government where only the family members and extended relations hold key positions in public administration, execute contracts or serve as consultants to the government. A government where the laws and statutes of the state are formulated around the royal dinning table at their family Spibat Castle. In familocracy all lands and other properties as well as institutions belong to the ruling house.
In this new style of government, all plans must be geared towards ensuring continuity of the family heritage in governance and voice of the opposition is a crime that must be subdued, crushed with all the might and possibly eliminated. In familocracy all ministries, parastatals, MDAs and SMEs are profit making under the supervision of an appointed family member or their proxies who render account to single treasury accounts of the emperor of Ogboko. All democratic tenets and known institutions are rendered non-functional whether judiciary, finance, boards and local and community or traditional and religious.
It has been so with the people of Imo State since 2011 when the elected local government executives were sacked, there has been no replacement as the councils are unitarily, governed from Douglas House Owerri with appointed village prefects. The so called Rescue mission government, only several months sacked its cabinet and after months ago, of expedition the governor decided to re-organize a head of the 2019 general elections so as to fulfill all righteousness. A list of prospective commissioner nominees and so called TC chairmen and members was consequently submitted to the executive legislative state house of assembly.
On Monday December 5, 2017, the state Chief executive in his obscene and usual surprise manner, shocked the world when in a widely publicized swearing in ceremony of the newly screened nominees, announced the appointment of his younger sister as a commissioner without due process. The lady’s name was not initially submitted to the state house of assembly for screening or confirmation, “an aberration”, what form of dictatorship? As if this was not enough slap and neglect on the people and abuse of office, the emperor went ahead to invent an unknown and unheard of ministry of happiness and couple fulfillment aimed at wiping away the sadness and tears inflicted on millions of embattled Imo workers, artisans, businessmen, market women, school leavers, unemployed youths, displaced and dispossessed electorate. Tongues have been wagging over this retrogressive innovation but the Governor is right because all Imolites are angry, hungry, jobless, visionless, aggrieved and sad, that they need to be made happy by no less a person but the governor’s sister. She was earlier appointed SA, SSA, Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff on Domestic Affairs to the elder brother.
The governor is right, most Imo families have been disintegrated and couples separated due to government inflicted hardship and financial challenges. The situation needs assuaging hands of the royal sister to reintegrate such couples and re-unite them.