The death of the President of the Imo state chapter of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Gideon Ezekwe, brings to fore the devastating state of the senior citizens of the state.
This clearly and concisely summarizes the obnoxious fate that steers at the faces of Imo citizens. Some of senior citizens who are living by the grace of God are finding it hard to cope with the government of Rochas Okorocha who has deliberately frustrated them . The state government has, it seems, sworn to frustrate live out of Pensioners, the government’s insistence to owe Pensioners and at best issue them dud cheques is to say the least criminal and legally offensive. The case of comrade Gideon Ezeji is one out of many avoidable deaths in the state. A government that toys and plays politics with salaries and pension of workers has failed. No matter how many Billions Okorocha will spend in his rural development plan, he would still be adjudged as one of the worst governors the state has produced. People need to eat before making use of the infrastructures in state.
Aside slashing of worker’s salaries in Imo State by thirty percent, Imo youths who were dubiously recruited as teachers under the aegis of Imo Youths Must Work earn their salary, which is not more than twenty thousand Naira, once in every three months, most painfully if them is the political game played with the Pensioners in the state. Some of them, we hear, were given bounce dud cheques, while a good often spend their days waiting endlessly under the scorching heat of the sun with success. Most of the Pensioners are parents who are still training their wards in tertiary institution, paying house rents and meeting under basic needs and they need the proceeds from their pension to meet all these needs. There is no state in the federation that sees pension as a PRIVILEGE to Pensioners other than Imo State.
With all these mal-governance in the state and ill treatment of pensioners in particular and imo citizens in general one is pushed by an in explicable force to start praying for 2019 election to come quickly so that Imolites will have respite. Indeed, the clamour for youths to take over political leadership positions in the country is gathering momentum as the days roll by. This revolutionary call may have informed Governor Okorocha’s wish to install his son inlaw, Uche Nwosu as the next governor of the state come 2019. But stiff opposition from social commentators and enlightened imolites have posed a big challenge to the governor’s wish. However, indications have emerged that one of the factors the governor would consider before endorsing anyone to take over from him is age. Okorocha is reportedly interested to hand over the mantle of leadership to a youth and this is a pointer to the huge result the crusade for youths to take over power has achieved.
Personally, as a youth I think the time is right if not overdue for youths to break the political jinx. Since 1999 we have been recycling the same crop of politicians, whose best we have seen. As a result of this I have made a promise to myself to bring to limelight, through my writings, any youth that nurses political ambition. This, I believe, will encourage them and boost their confidence to face squarely, the theatrics and uncertainties of Nigerian politics.
Not a few youths are jostling to contest for the apex political position in the state. One of such youths is Uzor Jeff. Uzor Jeff is a technocrat who has found no joy in the condition imolites have found themselves since Okorocha came to power, hence his ambition, although with no official declaration yet, to vie for the position of the governor come 2019. Based in USA, Jeff who who turned 43 on sunday and has deep passion for quality education, having acquired some, both in and outside Nigeria, believes that free education is not free when it is not qualitative. He is of the view that what Okorocha has brought to the table for Imo state in disguise of education is a slap on on our sensibilities.
The business man has vowed to rebrand the education sector and rescue it from its current state of comatose. This he believes would be possible if a law is passed at the state house of assembly to make education compulsory for any person below the age of sixteen . The law will make it illegally offensive for any parent(s) or guardian not to send any child to school including housemaids. It would be a crime to Jeff’s dream government to see teenagers hawking in the streets of Owerri, during school hours.
As a successful business man, Jeff is the owner of Evergreen services, a contracting firm with the US government which provides several specialized services to various governmental agencies, which include providing landscaping services to the veterans affairs in Maryland, providing road maintenance services to the state Highway administration in Maryland and special contracts with the US Army. He is also the CEO of Faraja industries, USA. The quality services his firm renders to its clients has earned him a good name and reputation.
Jeff Uzor believes that hospital is not about a building but what is going on inside the building. Unlike the what is obtainable in Imo State presently, where the government claim to have built 27 general hospitals across the local government areas of the state with no medical personnel employed or medical operations being observed in virtually all the uncompleted – now turned home of reptiles – hospitals. Jeff Uzor is of the view that hospital and health centres should be equipped to modern and international standard with qualified personnel and qualitative medical tools to help quicken services at the hospitals. He has argued that Nigeria, especially Imo State, deserve the same medical services enjoyed in USA and other European countries.
Almost on daily basis, national tabloids in Nigeria beam their searchlights towards Imo State for crime news. The rate of crime arising from unemployment in the state is alarming and a thing of great concern to Imolites. This insecurity in the state has not gone unnoticed to Jeff Uzor who has said that the working relationship his firm enjoys with US Army has exposed him to some technological approaches and modern tools of crime detection and monitoring, which will effectively reduce and curb crime significantly in the state.
There are so many things to say about this young man and his dream nay vision for his beloved state. Like every other aspirants, he will have to convince Imo State electorate that he is the best candidate that will sincerely steer Imo State to greater and enviable heights. I do not lay claim to high intelligence but I am never gullible to fall for political promises but in Jeff Uzor, I think the youths are ready, not in words but by action, to make a bold statement in the country’s political circle come 2019.
To avoid further deaths arising from nonpayment of pensions and salaries, I think youths like Jeff should given all opportunity to execute his wonderful plans for his their state. We most put a stop to the recycling same old unproductive political leaders.