And so they gathered, like supercilious vultures, gathered around a rotting corpse. They made all the noise of that gathering. They hooted and fretted and hoisted the totem of that ritual like their lives depended on it. Yes, of course, their lives, their much vaunted but empty political lives, rest on such empty and hollow ritual as they did in Imo State on February22. Sure, the Imo State PDP, badly in need of relief from the shellacking of April and May 2011, which freed the Imo treasury from their predatory grips, needed such ritual to hang on to life. For a party with the notorious pseudonym of ‘share the money’, it is probable that tons of Ghana must go bags must have made rounds to purchase the present migration and possibly satiate the burning hunger of the past three years. That is in consonance with the credo and belief and operating template of the PDP, even as it holds nothing but fear of regression into the dreaded years of locusts for Imo people. The characters behind Imo PDP needed the kind of revelry they enacted in Imo State on February 22 when they said they were welcoming their straying members back to their fold, to assure themselves they were not dead, to vest some spectre of life to their dying club. With predictable enthusiasm, they gathered in their numbers to welcome their leader, who as President of Nigeria has been an underachieving one, with tales of massive plundering of state treasury, incompetent handling of statecraft and a dead infrastructural base to tell of his commission as president for the past four years. There was nothing innovative of that gathering, as Imo people had them aplenty as the PDP locust years lasted.
Few days to the event, Governor RochasOkorocha was to deliver a well-targeted jab on the PDP when he mocked that they were congregating in Imo to commission people while his government was commissioning projects. He further said the PDP would have gladly commissioned federal projects if there was any but because the PDP do not believe in engaging in life enhancing projects, they were rather congregating to commission people. He laughed out against the art of making a huge but empty show of descending on Imo State to welcome past governors and public officers who cannot mend the roads to their villages while in power but who are today savouringthe network of good rural and urban roads he had built in the past three years. I don’t know if the members of PDP knew the astuteness of Okorocha’s delivery but chances are that they mist have pretended to be ignorant of the hefty message here. Imo people, who suffered the pestilence of the twelve horrible years the PDP ran down Imo and swore to ensure that they would never have such terrible fate, knew. They knew because in the numerous projects the Okorocha government had embarked upon, they see the clear difference between the nearly three years he had been in power and the twelve the PDP wasted. In the numerous life enhancing projects the Okorocha government had embarked on, Imo people see the barrenness of PDP politics of godfathers, stakeholders, apex leaders, renters, share reapers, free loaders and all which ensured that state resources are free meals for all manners of rent collectors for the twelve awful years of PDP governance in Imo State.
The same resources that were hitherto purloined by the congregating political godfathers are the same that are being used to open all the rural areas through massive road construction. It is the same fund that is being used to build twenty seven model hospitals in the 27 local councils in the state. It is the same fund that is being used to finance a historic free primary, secondary and tertiary education in such an educationally advanced state as Imo. It is the fund that is used to finance the massive rejuvenation of the three urban cities of Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe. It is the same fund that is being ingested in all the communities in Imo State to run a grassroots, model community government. It is the fund used to finance the construction of modern schools in each of the electoral wards in Imo State, purchase desks, uniforms, sandals, and books for Imo pupils in secondary and primary schools. Yes, this is the fund the share reapers hitherto shared out using the platform of amorphous groups and the lack of which for the past three years has sparked the kind of hunger behind the present movement of some politicians who have been on life support since the resources of the state were deployed to serving the people and not their pristine needs.
Perhaps, in the days of yore when PDP was swimming in the aura of its overwhelming invincible strength in the murky Nigerian political waters, such grand act of revelry would have had some great meaning, as Imo politics used to be more and more of such empty shows and nothing more. Perhaps, such movement of unproductive political mandarins would have had some political impact when Imo people were still under the suzerain thumb of political phantoms, with their penchant for flaunting power without responsibility and shackling the people with it. But thanks to the redemptive events of May 2011, Imo people have seen the light. Rather than con the people with such empty shows, the PDP is living in the past, especially in Imo where it merely existed as a vote swerving cabal before its rustication. The Imo people have mastered the arts of disappointing those that employ them as herds towards making their cut of the state resources. Courtesy of the lofty achievements of the Okorocha government, Imo people now know that there are enough funds to attend to the multifarious deficits and decay the PDP sat on for twelve years while attending to the financial needs of buccaneers and shibboleths who predicate their political strength on how deep they dig their fangs into the state treasury and employing their respective shares to overwhelm and sheepishly herd the masses to approve of the cannibalistic vocations in politics.
With the benefits of the past three years of Rochas Okorocha government, an average Imo man reads nothing about the congregation of February 22. To him, it was as empty and unproductive as the various failed politicians for which that parody was set proved to Imo for the twelve years they were in overwhelming hold of the state. It was vacant, bland, empty, space-less and unproductive and is merely a rehash of the kind of political grandstanding that set Imo State several years back. Sure, PDP today is a flailing ship that needs all such empty and vacuous shows to keep the sagging faith of its members alive but who knows what was on the mind of the congregating PDP warriors as they came to today’s Imo, in contrast with what it was when they came in 2011 to commandeer the state to the PDP? What could have struck them as they witnessed the new roads and urban facilities that have been wrought in Owerri for the past three years? Who knows what struck them as they reveled directly opposite the Owerri City Schools, which serves as the flagship of the new model schools that the Okorocha government is building all over Imo State. Fact is that if President Jonathan ever visited the Imo government house, he certainly would have missed his way, given the dingy cell house he visited last when he was campaigning for the PDP in 2011. Perhaps, he would have been looking for the old, dilapidated colonial huts that formed the face of officialdom when he was last here and would certainly not believe the architectural wonders that are the face of public buildings in Owerri, not only in Douglas House. Sure, Jonathan would have missed his way in Owerri as he rode through the newly reconstructed roads, with no setbacks, broadened with beautiful silver street lightings that now don the streets in Owerri.
All said, what is ensuing in Imo is a battle between the political slave masters and the people. It promises to be a repeat of the epic April/May 2011 titanic battle even as PDP’s task is made more difficult by the superlative works of the Okorocha government. It is a bat
tle between power exercised with utmost responsibility and irresponsible power tailored towards attending to the ravenous interests of the shylocks of power. It is a battle between the masses and the slave masters who have done well to congregate under their ageless masthead as a way of separating the sheep from the goats. It is a clear battle between the pronounced twelve years’ rot and the landmark achievements of 2011 to the present. Trust Imo people, they are taking note and will act in due season.