By CHUKS Ofurum
“You only have to do a few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” (Warren Buffett). Recently, the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem had a rare parley with the long-suffering newspaper publishers based in Imo State.
The media parley was ostensibly to offer a form of solidarity and support for the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, who in all honesty, is facing the worst challenge of his life as far as Imo politics is concerned. Well, Emeziem’s gesture is not only timely, but re-assuring when one considers that the 9th Imo Assembly have practically been aloft of the happenings in the State, with many branding them as “Unknown House members.” Well, that mimicky could be right when considering the near absence of life at the temporary abode of the Lawmakers.
A visit to that makeshift edifice, one of Rochas Okorocha’s wonders, would attest to the fact that Rt. Hon. Emeziem and his colleagues have not visited the place since the advent of the “unknown gunmen”.
The last time was when they hurriedly sat for thirty minutes, to pass, without deliberation, the executive bills from the governor which it was learnt, has been signed before the honourable members actually saw it. Till then, the place looked like a ghost town.
Abandoned to rot just like the original abode of the Imo Assembly. Let’s spare a thought for the abandoned edifice that had seen billions of Imo money pass through it. That huge edifice, that needed only small or minor structural adjustments, have been left in ruin. It beats ones imagination to see the honourable members comfortable in the current office that could only house the small kiosks of Mai gadi.
If Governor Uzodinma could make himself comfortable with state of the art offices and facilities in the now refurbished Governor’s Lodge, the newly constructed Exco Chambers and even the Pentagon where much work has been done- to taste, nothing prevents the Lawmakers from demanding that the governor should extend his renovation work to the Chambers of the State Assembly.
Probably, the leadership of the House are myopic, or somewhat overwhelmed by their lack of legislative finesse, or outright disdain of their hallowed office. The truth remains that many of the current crop of legislators do not actually know why they were elected to represent their constituencies or what were expected of them by Imolites. They believe, rightly or wrongly as their speaker stated, that cordiality with the Executive or not rocking the boat in local parlance, is all that is needed to earn their entitlements.
Invariably, they are comfortable being tagged “lackeys” of the executive, seeing or hearing no evil. And that is why the criminal neglect of their chamber. Nothing demonstrates these lack of patriotism by the 9th Imo Assembly by the obvious silence of members in the current security challenges confronting the state and its people. The ready alibi is the fear of the unknown gunmen that has put the daylight out of the citizens.
Be that as it may, we want to believe that the unjustifiable absence of the Imo lawmakers to their legislative duties smacks of betrayal of the trust of those who elected them. It equally shows that the men and women of the 9th Imo State House of Assembly do not ab nitio know what they went to the hallowed Chambers to do. That is why they readily acquiesce to the whims and caprices of the executive. This is not the type of legislators we should be electing.
Agreed that the current political experiment is full of charlatans and drop-outs, the present crop of Imo Assembly members is to say the least uncharitable to the ideas of the founding fathers of Imo State.
Those patriotic leaders have envisioned a robust legislature that could act as the catalyst to ginger the needed socio-economic and political emancipation of the State taking into cognisance the intellectuals that abound in the State. Sadly, what we have witnessed over the years are spoon-fed, unambitious and lackluster individuals who are there because a certain godfather decreed so. No wonder the executive, who themselves are lacking in any administrative finesse, treat these bellicose legislators with disdain and opprobrium relegating them as an arm of the executive.
What then can we say- that a vibrant state like Imo with abundant talents are bedevilled with inept and unserious legislators, the present occupants justifying the analogy. Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem and his cohorts in the hallowed chamber must know that Imo people are not happy with them at all. While their unseriousness in jumping from one political party to another within six months, could be taken with a pinch of salt, the criminal abandonment of their legislative duties should evoke in the citizens the desire to elect reasonable and ambitious House members in future elections who patriotically will not abandon the house to attend to burial ceremonies.
This indeed is the actual Constituency projects.