Sometimes am ashamed of telling my friends and fans that am from Imo state.
Among the comity of states in Nigeria, Imo state has become a laughing stock. The once thriving economy and pearl of the east currently lacks purposeful leadership and is in ruins. The last 7 years of APC maladministration characterized by flagrant disregard to principle of rule of law and good governance has completely destroyed the foundations laid by our founding fathers, dis-articulated a thriving economy, eroded the significance of our once vibrant civil service, lowered the educational standards, chased away investors through policy inconsistencies, confiscated our lands, expropriated/misapropriated our commonwealth and systematically impoverished and reduced our collective esteem as a People.
Our dear state is bedeviled with a rapid decay of public infrastructure, crippling debt burden of over #100 billion up from 26 billion in 2011 without any meaningful infrastructure to show for it but instead we have mounting salary and pension arrears, humongous unemployment and underemployment, despite the fact that between May 2011 and December 2017, Imo state government recieved over half a trillion naira from the federation account excluding the bailout fund of #63.91 billion, paris refund of 32.02 billion, over #50 billion internally generated revenue, ecological fund running into several billions of naira, the ballance of #13.5 billion on the state bond taken by the previous administration, the 3.3 billion lease of Adapalm and proceeds from royalties etc.
In addition, from May 2011 to December 2017, local governments in Imo state received #276. 6 billion naira from the federal account, yet there was no functional and democratically elected local government system from May 2011 till August 2018.
Our Human capital development has been severally stunted in the last seven years. It is shocking to note that Imo state university, formerly ranked 1st among state owned universities in Nigeria and 9th in overall country ranking by 2005 is currently ranked 16th and 58th respectively by the 2018 NUC ranking, and has lost its accreditation in medicine and allied subjects.
The health sector is in a state of complete decay as evidenced by the fact that there is presently only one functional general hospital in the entire state which is located at umuguma. There are 54 Medical doctors, 4 consultants in Obstetrics, Gynecology, Pediatric surgery and Family medicine, 9 phamacists, 7 laboartory Technicians, 172 nurses and no radiographer and physiotherapists in the entire imo state health system. Compare these figures with that of the Federal Medical Center owerri, having 120 consultants, 240 resident doctors, 50 phamarcists, 7 radiographers, 17 physiotherapists and 700 nurses.
Suffice it to say that Imo citizens and residents have groaned in pains for far too long. There is therefore the need to take back our state and rebuild it through purposeful leadership, cleanse the pains of yesterday and restore the Pride and dignity of our People. United by patriotism, we can still Build a good and better imo state that is anchored on transparency, fairness, equity, good governance, sincerity of purpose and dedication.
Sign Amb Onuawuchi Anyanwu. (Activist, political analyst and founder Imo youth movement for good government)