Home Editorial The challenge of Ihedioha’s administration

The challenge of Ihedioha’s administration

My priority is welfare of my constituency -- Hon. Onyekanwa

The art of living is to make the most of each moment and for each one to give his very best. It goes without saying that the secret of enthusiasm is remarkably simply: live in a state of appreciation. When one combines the power of self-belief with pure motives, the person is certain to achieve any set target.

When the indigenes of Imo State trouped to the Heros’ Square in Owerri, the State capital to witness the swearing-in ceremony of Rt. Honourable Emeka Ihedioha as governor of the state on May 29, 2019, it was anchored on the belief that Ihedioha’s administration will be a marked departure from the tenure of the immediate past governor and now Senator representing the Orlu Senatorial Zone Anayo Rochas Okorocha. For good reasons, Ihedioha was never expected to be in the mould of Okorocha as a governor. He should be accorded the right to be his own man just as the Imolites eagerly await the breath of fresh air in the area of governance.

Judging by the perceived unusual and perhaps, the unconventional approach to governance which many said, characterized the administration of the immediate past administration in Imo State, many people had concluded that it will take a little shift to the right for the Ihedioha administration to strike the bull’s eyes in terms of performance, acceptability and followership

We may be wrong, but indications are that the people of Imo State who are justifiably in a hurry to witness an escalation in the fortunes of the state are beginning to regurgitate in trying to come to terms with the actual direction of the Ihedioha’s administration. This is always the case for a people who are in a hurry to play the catch-up game.

There is a sing song in Imo that the state is yet to witness purposeful leadership since the end of the era of the late Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe (PHD) who governed the state between 1979 and December 31, 1983 when the Muhammadu Buhari led military junta truncated the Alhaji Shehu Shagari second republic administration.

It is against the backdrop of the monumental gap in the area of people-oriented governance which has come to exist at Douglas House in Owerri that most people are heaping high expectations on Ihedioha’s administration.
Yet, events at the Imo Government House seem to suggest otherwise as the current regime appears to be dedicating much time and energy chasing what appears to shadow as can be seen in the quantum of attention been paid at efforts geared towards ‘hunting down’ Rochas as opposed to visible efforts at elevating the fortunes of the state.

The Government of Imo State had on Thursday, August 29, 2019, asked citizens to arrest on sight Senator Rochas Anayo Okorocha. The offence was the assault on Mr Jasper Ndubuaku, a Special Adviser to Governor Emeka Ihedioha on Political Affairs. Ndubuaku heads the Imo State Committee on the Recovery of Government Properties. Thugs attacked Ndubuaku at the site of a property belonging to Okorocha, tore his clothes and generally reduced from the deserved dignity of his person and office.

is still insisting on recovering 20 government vehicles, four speedboats, one movable crane and generator sets allegedly fenced off in one of Rochas’ houses in Owerri.

When it is not a demonstration for or against demolition of properties allegedly belonging to Rochas as was the case with the Akachi Estate, it would be the fight over tables and chairs allegedly stolen by the former governor and his cronies.

Nobody is indeed against moves at righting the wrongs of past administrations but this must not be allowed to occupy the driver’s seat as it is now the case at the federal level where the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari is trying to confuse the recovery of looted assets to mean the same thing as fight against corruption.

We are quick to warn the Ihedioha administration against the risk of losing the trust and confidence of Imo indegenes if the government does not re-orientate itself, build character, set verifiable targets in the areas of infrastructural and economic development.

Ihedioha’s administration must be quick to establish a unique selling point for itself capable of helping it draw some measurable distinction between the new and the old. Ihedioha should avoid such dispositions which could allow his predecessor in office to begin to garner public sympathy. Any such things as the Probe of the administration of Rochas Okorocha should be seen as a routine exercise, and administrative inquiery and not a vendetta. It must not be allowed to occupy much space or else it would be perceived as a persecution.

Ihedioha should be quick to put a face on his governance as is the case in such states as Oyo where the governor Seyi Makinde has sprout out as the yardstick for measuring purposeful leadership. The same goes for Nasarawa State where the governor Abdullahi Sule appears to have found the key to unlocking the challenges of banditry in the state.

For us, it is still morning on creation day. Ihedioha must define the purpose and essence of his leadership for Imolites to hold him accountable. The first 100 days in office is enough for any administration to define its character just as four years is not too short for any leader who wants to make the difference. Ihedioha should work towards becoming the new face of Imo after Mbakwe.

“Our priority will be the reclaiming of the dignity of our people. We shall no longer be the laughing stock of Nigeria as only positive, productive and progressive stories will be told of the new Imo. Imo has always been known for the right things, with a huge reservoir of human capital waiting to be exploited for greater leap forward”, Ihedioha had noted in his acceptance speech upon his declaration as Imo governor elect on Monday, March 11, 2019. Time is actually tickling away on the implementation of his administration’s Growth and Strategic Development Plan (G-SDP). This plan has been explained to involve a two stage developmental plan of 5 years economic blueprint part of which would see the government commit to the delivery of 381km cumulative rural access road projects valued N13.5 billion, restoration of an improved Owerri master plan, restoration of water supply in Owerri metropolis, roll out of a state Health Insurance Scheme as well as the reactivation of four Technical Education Institutions in the state.

The Emeka Ihedioha administration must resist the temptation of playing politics with governance. The later is a serious business which must be devoid of sycophancy. Leaders of thought in Imo State must develop the character of holding governors accountable. The elders must avoid the conspiracy theory which have seen them conniving with occupants of Douglas House to steal the state blind. Opposition parties must strive to indulge sight functions in a manner that will put administrators on their toes. The Governor Emeka Ihedioha regime must up the ante if it must come to the people for a renewal of mandate by 2023.

For a better society

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