By Anthony Oha
I just watched a clip where Rochas Foundation School pupils, students and teachers were lamenting over the sealing of the school after the recovery of the property by Imo State government. I was not only perplexed but troubled by the reactions of the uninformed teachers and school children who have been kowtowed to believe that this government of Governor Hope Uzodimma is not passionate about their plight.
Let’s not suffer fools gladly. Go to Onitsha Road, almost opposite NNPC Mega Station, and you will see the gigantic Rochas Foundation School abandoned there.
Why must a private school that is founded on philantropy be enmeshed with governmental matters? Governor Rochas Okorocha played beyond the rules to acquire many government properties without recourse to the property laws in the state.
Is this not a mindless provocation of the wrath of the law? Is this not an arrant nonsensical move to test the anger of the gods and God?
For crying out loud, we’re talking about 84 hectres of land that belongs to Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), a government parastatal, for the development of the communication village and staff estate. Why should such a marked out government property become converted to private property?
Many things have gone wrong in the state. What matters now is to restore the property to its former status quo. There are legislative procedures for converting government properties into other uses and such uses should also be the choice of the government.
It is purely abberrative for anyone to turn a government property into a private use. Such abberation can only be allowed in the country of charlatans, which Imo State does not belong.
Rochas Foundation School could not have occupied 84 hectres of land. Most of that land must have been sold to individuals for private projects.
So, why should the present government be painted black because they want to put things in the correct order?
Over the years, many things have gone wrong in our state with the governors acting with impunity. It’s now clear that some day, things will take the right order with the right person in the saddle.
Let’s not forget so soon that the IBC property at Orji has been lying morribund for years without any government action.
If the past governments had acted to develop the place it would not have become food for the consumers of lands. This should be a lesson to us.
Our government over the years engage in frivolous ventures while understanding the immediate needs of the people. A situation where a governor feels that the moulding of statues would alleviate the suffering of the masses is truly pathetic.
The billions of Naira which were spent in the futile dredging of Nworie River by Governor Ikedi Ohakim or the billions of Naira which Governor Rochas Okorocha spent for his farcical ‘Factory, Factory, Factory’ drama could have been channeled into the development of IBC property and other urgent areas of need. Even IBC (Orient) Radio and Television are in sorry states. The communication gadgets and transmission equipment are obsolete, a reason why “the clearest voice in East of the Niger” has become “the faintest voice in just New Owerri.”
Governor Rochas Okorocha’s conversion of the IBC property at Orji into his private school and private estates speaks volume. He went too far in undermining government procedures in development.
He used his ideology of estate development and sense of business to carry out his plans but he did that wrongly. Dr. Ravi Zacharias opined that “Sincerity is a noble character but someone can be sincerely very wrong.” Rochas was sincerely very wrong in his plans.
He ought to have separated his personal business from government business. He failed to create the boundary.
Besides, he assumed that the culture of higgledy-piggledy in our government would continue while things as things continue to move in odd manners. He assumed that the people will continue to be helpless as their commonwealth become annexed for political interests. He never wished that one day things will be properly done.
Let’s implore the parents whose children are in Rochas Foundation School to understand that no one is witch-hunting their children and wards.
They have been made to become victims of political thievery and corruption. They should come together to advise the proprietor of the school to relocate the school back to its former location at Onitsha Road. The facility is large enough to accommodate all of them. They should advice the proprietor to stop gambling with the education of their children because philanthropism should never become a tool for political corruption.
Imo State will continue the recovery of all the illegally acquired state properties from the looters. The culture of mindless looting must be checkmated from now. The lawless annexation of Imo people’s commonwealth must stop.
Today, Governor Hope Uzodimma is recovering the loots of Governor Rochas Okorocha and tomorrow whatever he looted will surely be recovered from him following the dictates of the law. The culture of recovery has become sacrosanct in the state and nothing will stop it.