- Robbing Imo to pay Abuja and Edo?
By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
From the lies, falsehood, propaganda, blackmail and blame of its predecessor, the current regime in Imo State veered into blaming of workers and pensioners. The regime has erroneously assumed the fake status of the “omniscient incorrigible” that never does any wrong! With this regime, “Napoleon is always right”!
Ndimo woke up on Monday, July 20, 2020 to read news banner headlines on a local newspaper, which screamed: “Primary School Teachers Outnumber Pupils In Imo, Says Uzodimma”! That weird headline had the solemn kicker of: “Delayed Salaries, Pensions”!
What that means in a straight language is that the chief operator of this failed regime said to the hearing of the newspaper that the number of primary school teachers in the State was more than the number of pupils in the State. And because of that, the regime insists that it won’t pay salaries and pensions! In order words, this regime blames teachers and their large number for its refusal to pay salaries and pensions. That’s a shift from blaming ghosts to blaming the living teachers, workers and pensioners. Can you imagine!
Another thing blamed for the failure of the regime so far is the invisible Covid-19 pandemic. The regime, through its confused aides and agents, easily invoke the coronavirus pandemic as impacting negatively on the capacity of the regime to meet its financial obligations such as payment of salaries and pensions, and indeed all payments as a whole! But truth remains that the major source of revenue for the State is all the statutory allocations from the federation account. The Federal Government has never abdicated in its duty and responsibility of apportioning the monthly allocations to Imo State.
The Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria has never been given as an excuse by the Federal Government for not sharing the allocations from the federation account in any month. And importantly, the total amount of money shared monthly hasn’t been lowered by the Federal Government because of Covid-19 pandemic. Contradict me if you can!
For instance, for the month of June 2020, a total of N651.184 billion was shared. It has just been approved for sharing. A research into the amount of money shared monthly since the past one year showed that there has been no change. It has been based on between N600 billion and N700 billion. Nothing changed. The four-month old Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria didn’t warrant a reduction in the amount!
Yet, the regime in Imo State has been blaming Covid-19 pandemic for its cluelessness, ineptitude and incompetence in the delivery of good government and good governance. Point is if Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t stop the State receiving allocations from the federation account, why does it stop the payment of salaries and pensions by this regime with Imo allocations from the federation account?
The blame has also been shifted to the impact of the rainy season in the construction of Imo roads. That’s in spite of this regime having entire dry season months of January to May of 2020. Moreover, it must be recalled that during the RebuildImo administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha, agents of this regime argued that roads can be constructed in the rainy season. With the much-hyped award of road construction contracts to Julius Berger, reputed for working in all weathers, what’s keeping the dog from death? What’s the cause of the further delay, while Imo people are suffering harrowing experiences on the death traps called Imo roads? Why does this regime blame nature and its rains?
What I see in all of this regime’s blames and excuses is that it’s striving to justify its refusal to use Imo money to provide good governance to Imo people. It’s striving to justify its refusal to pay salaries and pensions as and when due. Hence, Ndimo at home are suffering too much! Rather than embarrassing itself with all manners of blames and excuses, this regime should stop robbing Peter to pay Paul. It must utilize Imo money to better the lives of Imo people. It must desist from deploying Imo money to drive the malaria and typhoid political dreams of the chief driver in the near future, as is making the rounds in the grapevine that he’s doing.
If it’s true, why must this regime donate N10 billion to the APC Campaign Council in Edo State, while Imo people are suffering for non-payment of salaries and pensions, and Imo contractors not paid for work done? Finally, this regime must stop its blind, deranged blames and its lame excuses about its refusal to pay salaries and pensions. There’s no way the number of primary school teachers can outnumber the primary school pupils in the State. Let this regime pay Imo teachers, and other workers and pensioners in the State and save the lives of Imo people from hunger, disease, sickness and death. By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!
Please note that the opinion expressed by the writer in this article does not reflect the position of the publishers of www.newsbitsng.com