It is no longer news that the Supreme Court ruled that Senator Hope Uzodinma (now Governor having been sworn in) is the authentic Governor of Imo State.
This effectively ended the 7-Month stay of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo state. As I once again congratulate Governor Uzodinma, I also wish Hon Ihedioha well. He did his bit and posterity will be his judge for his 7-month stewardship.
That said, as usual I am quick to get over the instant euphoria of victory or loss and ask; What next? Where do we go from here? before the market starts.
Imo state undoubtedly is a land filled with abundant potentials, from human to material resources. Blessed with vast expanse of fertile land, free flowing waters and some of the most educated, intelligent, resilient and innovative people in the South East nay Nigeria, I have always struggled to comprehend why we are not one of the top performing states in Nigeria in all ramifications.
From dilapidated public infrastructure, an unwieldy, poorly motivated and largely unproductive work force, poor quality healthcare delivery, falling and failing standards of education, unemployment especially youth unemployment with it’s consequential delinquency and crime and insecurity to poor internally generated revenue,
Imo state is in dire need of succour.
In the light of the above, the work for the brand new Governor is clearly cut out for him and the peculiar (some say divine) circumstances of his emergence as Governor will surely put him on the spotlight. But it also offers him a unique opportunity to excel and leave an indelible mark in the sands of time akin to that of late Sage, Dee Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe. Nothing will please me more than Governor Hope Uzodinma excelling to the benefit of the long suffering Imo people and by so doing prove skeptics wrong. Imo people surely deserve a better deal.
I know governance in our clime is not an easy task especially with the overload of hypocrisy and carpet baggers but I also know it is not rocket science. There are a few critical things that can be done by any committed and pragmatic administration to quickly begin to turn around the fortunes of government, governance and the people. Immediate, short term, medium and long term goals should be clearly set.
I am not over simplifying things but I know that where there is the will, the right ideas, the right people and the right strategies and plans, it is very doable. This is the edge that a number of South West states over time and even some Northern states like Kaduna in recent times have adopted and it’s yielding verifiable returns.
Their ability to strike the delicate balance and separate politics from governance to a large extent and ability to put practical technocrats where they need to be while appropriately satisfying political patrons and benefactors have raised the bar on governance and enabled their states to move forward faster.
For Governor Hope Uzodinma, considering the perculiar circumstances, it even becomes very expedient that he sets off with an unmistakable and deliberate style and gusto (not necessarily speed) that will leave no one in doubt about where he will take the state.
For this to happen, there must be a deliberate focus on certain select areas (while not neglecting other areas) that will assuage the impatience that will surely be exhibited by our people and the expected push back from some quarters and efforts that will surely be made by some to make him fail.
I am glad the Governor has said that his administration will be anchored on “rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery” and that he would “revive the state and make it working again.” That is heart warming.
In my humble and considered view, deliberate attention and certain out-of-the-box, strategic thinking, planning and execution of plans (immediate, short and medium term) in three areas of Agriculture (in all its level chain), Public Works and practical Civil Service Reforms (not the usual big grammar, academic stuff we are used to) will deliver immediate gains to our people, ease their immediate pains and within 6-12 months begin to yield positive results in the areas of employment, youth and women empowerment, security and internally generated revenue and set the stage for economic, social and political transformation of the state.
It is tough work but it doable.
It is on this note that I humbly call on all Imo indigenes to quickly get over our loss and our win and give our best in thoughts, prayers and good works to make something good out of our unique, God given circumstances. I always believe that there’s a renewed opportunity in even new beginning.
Imo can be better. Imo must be better in our time and not just by sloganeering. Our time starts counting now.
Onye kwe, Chi ya ekwe.
Dr Uche Diala