Shun deceptive antics of desperate detractors – Okorocha tells Imo Judiciary

Governor Okorocha poses with Imo Chief Judge, Justice Paschal Nnadi

Imo State Governor, Anayo Rochas Okorocha has admonished the state judiciary to shun deceptive antics of desperate detractors who are working round the clock to misinform the general public about government programs and policies.

Speaking during the activities marking the 2016-2017 legal year at the High Court premises in Owerri, Okorocha charged the judiciary to be alive to their responsibilities, rightly dispense justice and constructively criticize the government when it is necessary.

He tasked them to verify issues before going to press and not to be a clog in the wheel of progress.

Reacting to uncomplimentary remarks against him by the Imo State Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Lun Nwakaeti,   Okorocha described as untrue the sack of over 1000 local government workers and other anti-government policies he mentioned.

Governor Okorocha stated convincingly that judicial workers in Imo State earn higher salaries more than their counterparts in the other states and challenged them to counter his claim with facts and figures.

The governor who observed that the state NBA chairman derailed in his speech and spoke with a bitter heart, called on the judiciary to properly investigate issues before them without bias so as to balance their opinion about the activities of government.

He called for more cordial relationship between the judiciary and the executive arm of government as it would be in the overall interest of the state and promised to address the issue of upgrade of poor facilities in the court.

The Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Paschal Nnadi, said the theme of the Legal Year; ‘Adherence to Judicial Ethics as the Bedrock to Enhance Justice Dispensation’ was chosen to draw attention to all the programmes of National Judicial Council.

He pleaded with the state government for the completion of the burnt Customary Court of Appeal buildings.

Speaking in his capacity as the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr Miletus Nlemedim  scored the judges high for their professional conduct and promised that the state government will soon complete the new court complex in new Owerri.

THE NEED FOR PATRIOTIC UNIONISM AND OPPOSITION

In a conventional Nigerian political atmosphere, most personalities in positions of authority in government have always received it hot from many politicians in opposition and the leadership of various labour unions. Their actions were always highly confrontational with destructive criticism that paints a picture of a foe.
To many Nigerians in civil service the local, state and federal government levels, labour leadership or unionism means fighting or attacking the government of the day may be through the media or other available means. Similarly, behavioural mannerism always exhibited by the leadership of various political parties that are not in power at any of these levels most times is worrisome as it makes them look like a clog in the wheel of progress.
Instead of constructive criticism, they always chose the path of destructive criticism, blackmail, baseless propaganda and a kind of `pull him down politics`. Without mincing words, it will be like a miracle if the leadership of opposition talks good about government programs and policies.
On the part of the labour union leaders, most times they fight the policies of the government to a standstill without considering if their agitation will cripple the state or not, they don’t even consider if their level of contributions and productivity corresponds with the resources government maps out as monthly subvention to enable them run the establishment. They do not put into consideration the positive impact or changes government programs and policies would bring in the state particularly to the citizenry. It is unfortunate that they do not consider overriding public interest, most times they focus on their parochial interest and when it is not protected it sparks off agitation.
Based on the attitude of most civil servants to work, there is an impression it has created in the public domain that when it comes to quality service delivery to the general public, they are working below expectation. It is generally believed that most civil servants in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have not lived above board. Those whose offices yield revenue to the government were not left out as their level of accountability is also not impressive.
For instance in Imo State, the government owned newspaper called Statesman, has not lived up to expectation in regular newspaper production at least on weekly bases. One hardly sees the newspaper on newsstand. Even with the availability of manpower and monthly subvention, they have performed abysmally low, but thank God for the new management under Mr Jude Nkpado who is determined to rebrand, repackage and reposition the newspaper outfit.
The same labour leaders at the helm of affairs in Ministries, Departments and Agencies have decided to silently close their eyes in pretense to certain acts of sabotage going on in some of these crawling establishments. Based on reports, they have done little or nothing towards meaningful improvement of their various offices. The truth is bitter but it must be told, there is this lacuna due to lack of corresponding, efficient and effective service delivery from them to compliment or justify the huge monthly allocation given to some of them as subvention every month.
On the other hand, political opponents of the governor have always approached issues with destructive criticism. They behave as if all the governor does is absolutely bad. They criticize him on free education, cajole him on road constructions, blackmail him on payment of workers’ salary and pension arrears, they set Keke operators against him through their blatant lies on ban of Keke, a well calculated propaganda that provoked negative reactions from the tricycle operators against the governor.
At this point in Imo State, every sincere observer and analyst will notice with dismay the conduct of the opposition party members at all levels. The way labour leaders carry out their actions are obviously worrisome, some of them take laws into their hands to the extent of locking up the gates of government establishments.
In their approach to issues, opposition should not make the state look like a reproach or they should not behave in manner that looks like they are clog in the wheel of progress.
A candid advice the labour leaders and opposition politicians should consider is first the interest of the state, its peace, unity and progress should not be sacrificed on the altar of selfishness, all in the name of unionism and opposition.
There is nothing wrong in PDP been an opposition party in Imo State, there is also nothing wrong in labour leaders fighting for a good course, but it should be done without hiding agenda, mischievousness, baseless propaganda and heart breaking blackmail to pull down the governor or rubbish his hard earned reputation.
In a nutshell, the union leaders should not be a willing tool in hands of opposition, they should be positive-minded in thinking and approach. They should do their best towards the growth and development of various government establishments where they work.
On the part of the opposition, they should be constructive and shun destructive criticism and pull him down type of politics. It is totally wrong to condemn all the activities of the government because you are not the one at the helm of affairs. Both labour leaders and opposition politicians should give their activities a human face. They should know that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. Imo state should not be destroyed because of parochial interest. We don’t have any other state called Imo, it should not be destroyed in the name of opposition politics or unionism. Overriding public interest should be of paramount importance and it should not be negotiable because Governor Okorocha means well for the good people of the state.
Written by Chuks Nwokeji