George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Chief Blyden Amajirionwu, an Asset and Revenue Management consultant, was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Aboh Mbaise\Ngor Okpala Federal House of Representatives in 2019.
In this chat with Sunday Sun, he looked at the sacked Hon. Emeka Ihedioha government and Senator Hope Uzodinma new government, Imo charter of equity, among others.
As a politician from the Owerri Zone, don’t you think that the Supreme Court judgment that sacked Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and declared Senator Hope Uzodinma as the governor of the state has finally shattered the Imo charter of equity as the Orlu zone would have ruled the state for 22 years by 2023?
The Imo charter of equity was shattered many years ago. Recall that when Chief Achike Udenwa from Orlu zone was governor of the state, the arrangement was that at the end of his tenure, Okigwe zone will produce his successor and fortunately, the zone successfully produced the governor when Chief Ikedi Ohakim was elected governor in 2007. In 2011, the then governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim was seeking a second term to the Douglas House, but lost to Rochas Okorocha from Orlu zone who served as governor for an uninterrupted eight years, 2011-2019, all these developments were against the charter of equity. Even in the 2019 electioneering, candidates from the three geo-political zones in the state keenly contested the governorship election. With these analyses on the Imo governorship succession arrangement in the state, you will agree with me that zoning in the state was set aside many years ago. The Supreme Court’s judgment has nothing to do with the Imo charter of equity because that charter of equity was shattered by the political class themselves as they never respected that charter. So, Supreme Court judgment has to do with who actually won the 2019 governorship election between Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Hope Uzodinma and not the issue of zoning or the charter of equity in the state.
Given the current political scenario in the state do you think that Governor Uzodinma can really win the support of the people of Owerri zone?
The current Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku is from Ikeduru Local Government, which is in Owerri zone. Don’t forget that Senator Hope Uzodinma even before he became the governor has been a household name in the state and he is a man who does not discriminate irrespective of who you are or which zone you come from. In his inaugural speech he stated clearly that his main objective is to bring prosperity to the people of the state and I have no doubt Imo people will be better off with Hope Uzodinma as the governor of the state. Again, don’t forget that it was the people of the state that had elected Senator Hope Uzodinma as their governor, which includes the people of Owerri zone. So, he already has the support of the people of Owerri.
Again, Imo people are worried that the administration of Hope Uzodinma may not continue with the good policies which the immediate past governor had started especially ensuring that illegally acquired lands and state property by former Governor Rochas Okorocha, his family members, and cronies were returned to their rightful owners?
The executive governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has said at several occasions that he will adopt the good legacies of the previous administration. This is a new administration, I’m sure the governor is reviewing the programmes of the past government; he will surely exceed expectations of Imolites. The governor in his address to the people of the state recently said that he would recover all illegally acquired lands and property, which means that he will and he has never failed to do what he has said. The immediate past administration supported recovery of government’s property, but for this present administration under the leadership of Senator Hope Uzodinma, the approach will be in a civilized manner. Recovery of government property is a normal routine in governance; even the Federal Government also recovered its own property from corrupt politicians. If you read the valedictory speech of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, where he advised appointees that served under him to handover government’s property in their custody that goes a long way to show that after serving in a government that former appointees should hand over every government property in their possession and the committees earlier set up by Ihedioha, the new governor has asked them to continue with their work because it is for the good of the state. So, the issue of recovery of all illegally acquired lands and property of government will be recovered and this policy is part of the Three-Rs policy of this administration.
Ihedioha’s administration had within less than eight months it lasted increased the Internally Generated Revenue from the miserly N250 million to about N1billion. This was made possible with the introduction the TSA. But the new governor had announced the re- introduction of the sub-treasury system in the three zones. Don’t you think by this the new administration has abandoned the TSA system?
The Treasury Single Account, TSA, which was introduced by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was greeted with commendations by critical stakeholders in the economic sector. The present administration in the state, appreciates it and I want to assure you that the governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma will adopt it. I don’t think the restoration of sub-treasuries in the zones, according to the governor, will affect the TSA policy. Every government has its own aim and objectives and should be respected. Again, the newly Imo State launched Social Benefit Number otherwise known as “IMSSBN” which was meant to electronically capture fiscal responsibility amongst her citizens shall be reviewed by the new administration while considering if the primary objectives of the policy is achievable. This is because the main objective of this administration is to bring prosperity to the people of the state.
What do you think should be done by Governor Uzodinma to sustain the confidence of international development partners as well as to attract investors to the state?
Imo State has always been an investment friendly environment though previous administrations chased away investors with their policies, which the investors see as a threat. Senator Hope Uzodinma will create an investment friendly environment by improving on the security of life and property of the citizens through establishment of security networks to partner with security agencies in the state to combat crime. Initiate people oriented policies thereby wooing both foreign and local investors to partner with the state government in the area of job creation, but direct and indirect jobs.