My visit to Imo State last weekend left me totally hollowed out with governance in Nigeria, especially as regards social contact between the rulers (because "leaders" isn't a word that should loosely be used to describe any Nigerian in government or power) and the led/ruled. It brought to life the many things I have heard and seen online, and on the very few TV stations like "Channels TV" in Lagos, that's not partisan and unafraid to speak truth to authority, in for instance, shedding more light on the circumstances surrounding the shooting to death of a boy,



allegedly from a stray bullet from random fire by security operatives accompanying the bulldozers set to the work of demolishing one of the markets in Owerri, the Imo State capital.



Away from Owerri, where churches and hotels compete for space with their  magnificent edifices, which was what I did when I visited Amaraku in Isu-Nwangele Local Government Area, and Umuawam, Amauburu also in Imo State, you'd find what seems like an attempt to knock food outta the mouths of already impoverished masses of the people of Imo. I couldn't ignore the hisses and sighs of disgust, a sense of resignation even, amongst the fellow passengers I shared a bus with as we made for the hinterlands of Imo, and passed by one market and the other demolished or under demolition by agents of the state government, with huge billboards hovering over the ruins, with Governor Rochas Okorocha's face taking much of the space in it, intimating those who care to notice, of his intention to put in place of what formerly obtained, an "ultramodern" market.



The kind of ultramodern, my friend MJ once assumed to appear to mean only in terms of "money expended, but not in structure erected" as evidently displayed, not only in Imo State, but allover Nigeria, especially since the return of civil rule in 1999. A return to democracy that seem not to be able to afford massive infrastructural development, as witnessed under military rule, save for the so called "ultramodern" markets, public toilets and flyovers. So what have the the traders done? They simply moved back to the sites of the demolished markets, put up tables with umbrellas and other makeshift apparati, to continue with business as usual in plain site.




Interestingly, touts saddled with the responsibility of collecting levies from the traders, haven't ceased their activity. If anything they appear to be encouraging further encroachment into roads away from the market just so they can multiply their takings exponentially. It is left to be seen if all of these demolished markets will be rebuilt by the time the governor hands over on May 29, 2019. If however one considers that he intends to push a relative or an in-law of his into power after him, that should be enough motivation for him to complete the market projects (with of course the people turning their back on his anointed, if feelers are anything to go by, in the event that their votes count). If not, then these demolished markets may have just been returned to what they used to be pre-independence eastern Nigeria, for no just cause.






Published by m'khail madukovich