JAMES Okpara, is the Special Adviser to Abia State Governor on Public Relations. In this interview he responds to criticisms of poor performance leveled against Governor T.A Orji by some eminent Abia indigenes and the recent face-off between Abia and Imo States. Excerpts:
Are you saying that the allegations of non-performance are not true, because even most residents of the commercial city of Aba share the opinion that Ochendo has not delivered in Abia?
Ordinarily, you would expect that Chief Orji Kalu would keep quiet, but we have seen the contrary. The contribution of Orji Kalu to Abia State is a classic example of how to develop yourself, your family and cronies and impoverish the state. Under Orji Kalu, what existed was a culture of impunity never seen before in any part of the world.
There are reports of friction between Abia State and Imo State over the operations of their respective Transport companies. Does it mean that there can be no peace between the two sister states?
When you address somebody as Your Excellency, that means that there are certain norms and values that are mandatory for the person. You expect the person to have excellence in character, composure, comportment, behaviour, utterances, carriage, relationship, conduct, integrity and every other excellence that is attributable to a human being.
The position of a governor has grave responsibilities and if you used to be a serial and pathological liar, a person that does not honour agreements, a motor park tout with other disagreeable dispositions, you must stop it. The truth is that the people of Abia State and Imo State are one and the same. Nobody can separate them or make them fight each other.
Regrettably, the incumbent Governor of Imo State since assumption of office has been busy trying to stake embers of fire hatred between Imo State and Abia State. The sooner he realizes he can not succeed the better. As the late Bob Marley said, you can deceive some people some time, but you can not deceive all the people all the time.
Okorocha is a close personal friend and political associate of Orji Kalu. This is part of their grand scheme for one of them to contest the presidency in 2015. It is one thing to use falsehood and propaganda to win gubernatorial election. It is another thing to govern.
Part of the false propaganda that was deployed in the 2011 gubernatorial election in Imo State was the allegation that the former Governor of Imo State was against a particular Church and that he ordered a priest to be beaten. The average Igbo person is very religious and because of the above, a good number of voters mobilized and voted against the former governor.
There is a lot of work to be done in Imo State and instead of minding his state, Governor Okorocha has been busy trying to foment trouble in Abia State. Owerri, the capital of Imo State is dirty and overflowing with refuse. The rancid smell of rotten and decaying refuse is everywhere. The rate of armed robbery and kidnapping in Imo State is uncountable and the man has no answers to these problems.
Civil Servants are always striking in Imo State, Infrastructure are dilapidated and instead of tackling the problems of Imo State he is busy funding miscreants to cause unrest in Abia State. There is a Radio Station in Aba that they established to spew out lies and falsehood everyday about the Government of Abia State with the aim of inciting Aba residents against their government.
On the transport issue, about three months ago, the Government of Imo State closed down the premises of Abia State Transport Network Limited in Owerri and stopped it from operating. The excuse was that the loading bay distorted the master plan for Owerri. Meanwhile, another transport Company called Peace Mass Transit which is in the same premises with Abia Line was not closed down.
The Government of Abia State wrote to the Government of Imo State to request that the premises be reopened and if that was not possible, that an alternative site be provided for us.