By Ebuka Afam-Echi
June 20 (Newshour.com.ng) – A time was in the history of this nation Imo bagged an award as the cleanest state. It was the out gone president Muhammadu Buhari under whose administration as the military junta of that era that the state clinched the award, with military administrator Ike Nwachukwu. Chief Sam Mbakwe stated that neatness pursuit between 1979 and 1983.
One of the greatest indiscipline behaviors that characterized that era was living in very filthy environment uncontrolled. The environment was littered with refuse dropped recklessly everywhere and it provided great eye sore giving out Nigerians as dirty and ungodly people.
Remember cleanliness they say is next to godliness. This is the situation Imo people have found ourselves at present in Imo.
Nigerian political leaders travel abroad often and find value in the well laid nice and inviting environment of the countries that they visit. It is this clean, decent, planned and healthy environment that has attracted them to make regular visits to these places, including the tourist centres. But what they have failed to do is to replicate here those good things they locate there.
Ikenga Johnjude Okere, the Accord candidate for the November 11 governorship election, is a decent person. His appearance alone smells good, attractive and inviting. He is also a decent person with impeccable character. It is this quality of cleanliness that he has vowed to rub off on the state to improve its overall health.
If another survey of clean states is conducted now in the country, Imo will come first from the rear because it is currently overwhelmed with filth that poses serious health hazards to the people. Take a walk to the city centres and see littered everywhere innumerable pieces of consumed sachet water wraps, plastic water bottles, disused tyres, consumed plastic mineral bottles etc
Ikenga Johnjude Okere has vowed to reorient the people and return them to that good old Imo of Mbakwe era when after a rain fall the streets were washed clean and no floods are seen anywhere. He has also insisted that under his watch it would be a serious offence punishable with heavy fine for any Imo citizen to litter the environment with bins
In like manner to address the issue adequately he has promised to provide refuse collectors at every corner within the reach of people to thrash their refuse. Speaking to media men on a courtesy call in his country home recently, Ikenga stated that the state orientation agency would strongly be activated to bring the new direction to the people so that all can be on the same page.
Part of his action plans to keep Imo clean is the idea of constantly de – stilling the drainages to allow for free passage of rain waters so that the gutters do not provide abode for breeding mosquitoes. The health of Imo people is of great concern to our young incoming governor. He believes that prevention is better than cure. Imo will be healthier and more productive if the issues that impair their health is arrested.
Environmental concerns are top priority for Okere. He expresses worry over the level of noise pollution in the state. Noise is very high in the state and uncontrolled. Some churches located in residential areas constitute nuisance for the residents some of who are suffering one health challenge or another.
Much as one is free to worship his or her God, it should not be to the detriment or inconvenience of others. Rights are not absolute in themselves. Ikenga believes in the Igbo philosophy of live and let’s live. The level of cleanliness in most of the eating places is not regulated and the filthy environment impairs the health of consumers.
The Ngor Okpala born governorship candidate of the Accord party has vowed that he would restore the lost glory of Imo people in virtually every sector and make the citizens know that God has not abandoned them.