According to Narendra Modi, an Indian politician, the strength of democracy lies in criticism, and if there is no criticism, that means there is no democracy. And if you want to grow, you must invite criticism.
Imo state the Eastern Heartland is a blessed state with abundant human capital and natural resources. Our dear state has produced great men and women alike to the admiration of our sister states in the south eastern zone and Nigeria at large. The political situation in the state is one every Imo person should be happy about considering that power has still remained to the people rather than to anyone’s political dynasty as against their wish.
Howbeit, the pronouncement of His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Executive Governor of Imo state by the Supreme Court unanimous judgment on the 14th January, 2020 has been greeted with unprecedented acceptance by almost all parts of the state.
Consequently, in his two weeks in office as the executive governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodinma has shown Imo people that there is still hope of returning the state to its past glory. He has continued to assure all ndi Imo of his commitment to make Imo state a model among the comity of states in the country and his readiness to embark on people oriented projects to prosper Imo.
During his maiden broadcast on the 21st January, 2020, Hope Uzodinma urged every true man, woman and youth of Imo state to put the past behind us without throwing away the lessons learnt, as we forge ahead to the great task of making a New Imo state work again. This timely and compassionate broadcast also, gave ndi Imo a good and purposeful trajectory of development in the state under his administration that the time is now.
The fact that Hope Uzodinma has come fully prepared and has offered himself to create a new Imo is good for Imo people on the already laid foundation of his predecessors is good for Imo people, who are asking for good governance.
One thing that I know and I feel is that Imo people want to celebrate continuity and peace. The administration of Hope Uzodinma which centres on the 3Rs of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery is cardinal as Imo people can testify of substandard and inferior projects embarked on by past administrations in the state. It takes only a servant leader with the courage and boldness to complete whatever that is unfinished good business that any previous administration had left as he embarks on new projects as well.
During Governor Uzodinma’s two weeks in office, he has approved extension of tenure and support to different panels of enquiries as set up by his predecessor in order to give a detailed report and recommendation for further implementation by the state government. He has also, ordered contractors to move to their different construction sites within 72hrs without revoking anyone as they have all been mobilised by the government during the last administration, all in the spirit of continuity of good governance.
Again, the Governor, during his maiden visit to the workers in the state at the Imo state secretariat on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 assured them of his commitment to improved services, and on the 4th of February, 2020 he fulfilled part of his promise by presenting brand new vehicles to all the permanent Secretaries in the state at the Government House in Owerri. On February 6, 2020 Uzodinma approved the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage in the state public service for junior workers and consequential adjustments on other levels to be implemented as soon as the on-going government-labour negotiations are concluded. On infrastructure, the Governor ordered the temporary shutdown of Otamiri Head works for Repairs and maintenance as part of the measures to guarantee constant supply of portable water to residents of Owerri metropolis.
I see it that the administration of Governor Hope Uzodinma wants to grow and has invited constructive criticism rather than fabricated lies and distractions by past administrations.
On the other hand, the era of abandoned projects is now over in the new Imo state. I recall with every sense of disappointment and reckless abandonment of projects by previous administrations. One pathetic case is the pipe borne water project that the Sam Mbakwe regime left uncompleted and till date has remained the same state. Government as a continuum must be allowed to thrive by opposition groups and detractors alike.
To that end, the mandate that our new Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has is about continuity and sustainability as against disruption, stagnation, and all of such. Ndi Imo, you must have to safeguard what you already have as a servant leader. Recently, he showed this by sacrificing his security vote for the payment of salaries and pensions. Imo cannot afford to put at risk their God sent Governor and gamble away their future.
Ikechukwu is a public affairs analyst, who writes from Abuja