Redirecting Our Energy To Positive Growth In The Politics Of Naming And Renaming Of Public Infrastructure In Imo State

By Ikenga Chronicles December 31, 2019

–Nnamdi Obiaraeri

Only yesterday, Zuma Road in Owerri Capital City built from the scatch from abandoned refuse dumps and notorious hideouts of criminals by Senator Okorocha when he was Governor of Imo State was reportedly renamed by incumbent Governor Ihedioha.

The said Zuma road was renamed after Mbazuluike Amechi in clear political circumstances designed only to undermine the efforts of his predecessor in office.

We dare say this is classical bad politics.

There is absolutely no need to honour any one we think we cherish, respect and adore with controversial or Greek gifts when there are countless non-contentious unnamed completed projects or even uncompleted ones that can be completed and named after them.

World over, an honour shrouded in controversy is a trifle.

It is good that the present government has acknowledged the strategic importance of that Zuma road which complements the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Inland Roads amongst other virgin roads constructed by Senator Okorocha as Governor of Imo State to ease the perennial traffic congestion in Owerri Capital Territory and to seamlessly link old Owerri with New Owerri but there is no need sandwitching its name in unnecessary contentions.

Many have forgotten that until these alternative roads came on stream courtesy of Governor Rochas Okorocha, it used to take painful hours to get into Owerri from Control Post as Assumpta Church/Road roundabout was the only entry/exit point from either Onitsha or Portharcourt into the Imo State Capital.

These Rescue Mission Government miracle roads including the Akachi and Sirleaf Johnson roads opened Owerri and made the perennial traffic congestion within Owerri Capital to disappear. Rochas was perfectly in his right to name these roads because he built them.

Truth be told, politics of naming and renaming of projects and public infrastructure in Imo State did not start with the Rochas/Ihedioha administrations but Imo people have always been the losers considering the efforts and huge resources dissipated in doing all the beautiful nonsense.

Any good political pundit can bet correctly that this one step forward, two steps backwards mentality will not as well end with the present government unless we draw sensible criteria for our people who are routinely privileged to be our executive servants.

Too bad that political office holders act funny and refuse to learn from history.

Pointedly, vendetta, hate actions and strife are no good leadership attributes because government is and remains a continuum.

Karma and retributive justice will always bounce in for our poor and sadistic judgements, decisions and actions. No one is exempt!

Our present worry is not with the exercise of the raw powers of any incumbent Governor of a State to name or rename projects at will.

Our concern is for Governors to have the liberty to name only projects they built or completed.

It requires no courage to say that the act of introducing politics into the renaming of public infrastructure not only sends a bad signal of sore politicking but also confuses the public including Google maps.

As bad as it may sound, the frenzied renaming of that Zuma Road has now made that old name to stick.

Even without any signage or street sign on it, the average commuter or resident in that area will always refer to it as Zuma Road and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

This present exercise of renaming Zuma Road is just as good as or as useless as, whichever one you prefer, renaming Douglas Road or Okigwe Road or Akachi Road in Owerri.

Residents and passersby already know these roads by those names.

Google entries about them will not change either because of rash political considerations to rename them.

On record, Obafemi Awolowo University remains former University of Ife. Abia State University Uturu remains former Imo State University Okigwe.

No matter the new name given to that road, it will always be referred to as Zuma Road.

That is how stubborn history can be.

Going forward, please, let the present and or any other new government name only new roads it may construct after anyone it may choose and leave the names given to the projects completed by their predecessors.

That is the only sense in the ongoing nonsense.

This we have codified as “#OPERATION BUILD AND NAME!” If this is observed, every person will be fired up to provide infrastructure for our people.

In the interim, we take liberty in #OPERATION BUILD AND NAME to draw attention to a few of the important access roads begging for attention and even naming in Owerri Capital Territory.

These include but are not limited to the Akachi Road to Naze Timber Market bypass, IMSU through Bishop Court to Okwu Uratta, Isuikwuato Street to MCC Road, Toronto Junction to Road Safety, Nkwo Orji to Ukwu Oji, Shoprite to Otamiri to Naze bypass and the many link roads in the World Bank area to Portharcourt and Onitsha roads.

Bottomline: Let he who builds name!

Imo Must Be Better.

…A new normal is possible!

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