On Wednesday, July 15, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State clocked six months in office. On the same day, yours sincerely had cause to engage a former Commissioner in the previous administration on what she thinks about Governor Uzodinma’s administration after six months, and she returned a very hopeful response. “To be honest, the governor has done well, and if he continues the way he is going, Imo will be proud of him,” she said.
Yes, it has been eventful six months. Call it six months of no dull moment and unprecedented activity despite seen and unseen vicissitudes you will not be wrong. Those whose eyes can see beyond the immediate already know where the government is headed but those who are blinded by fear, self-delusion, mischief, deliberate unbelief and rabid hatred may never fathom where Uzodinma is taking Imo to. Not even time and space will convince them to see any change but gloom.
To Imo folks whose hearts are pure, six months of Governor Uzodinma has reinforced their hope that tomorrow is better. Imo citizens in this category have seen signs of good governance in the governor’s intervention on road infrastructure, water provision, health sector, security of lives and property, youth empowerment, civil service reform, improved revenue generation, among others. They know that Nkeiruka. They are hopeful that better days are near and they are thankful to God for the governor and his efforts.
Unfortunately, to Imo folks whose hearts and minds are polluted with the diarrhea of hatred just because they never contemplated that Uzodinma would be governor, the six months of his administration have been a waste.
This category of Imo citizens are like the famous Thomas in the Bible. To them, doubting is fun. It gives them spiritual orgasm. They can even doubt their own comments, shadow and deeds if the opportunity presents itself. Remind them that Governor Uzodinma recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, for the rehabilitation of Owerri to Orlu road and Owerri to Okigwe road, and that another pact was signed with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on clean and portable water provision for Imolites, they will question why it must be Julius Berger and USAID. But we excuse them because that is how they are wired spiritually and physically. Let me refresh our memory with the excerpt of Governor Uzodinma’s speech on Monday, April 27 when he marked 100 days in office. By the way, for those who bother to evaluate speeches made by leaders, this excerpt is on marble as mother of all speeches, and I am proud that His Excellency is linked to it. Hear him: “My beloved Ndi-Imo, I want to assure you that I have come to serve. I have come to define good governance.
“I have come to prove that our people have not been cursed with bad governance since the end of the De Sam Mbakwe era as people have been bemoaning.
“I have come to demonstrate that from among us a good government can emerge to offer sincere, honest, purposeful and incorruptible governance. “Hold me on my words and read my lips: Under my watch there will be zero public sector corruption. Imo State will witness unprecedented developmental strides that will make our people glorify God. “I recognize that if not for divine intervention I would not have been able to recover my stolen mandate. I cannot therefore afford to fail either God or Ndi-Imo.”
From the above excerpt, it does not matter what the naysayers and rabid wailing wailers who have remained fixated on what they either lost or failed to gain when they were in office before they were booted out think about where Uzodinma’s government is headed. What is important is that gains have been recorded six months down the road. More gains will be recorded as months succeed months in this administration and those who have eyes to perceive clearly such gains will be happy that it is not by accident that this government is tagged “Government of Shared Prosperity.” I have read some pieces from those who still delude themselves about the direction the Uzodinma administration is headed. One was tagged “Uzodinma and the Battle Within” by my friend, Henry Ekpe.
Like some write-ups when Uzodinma’s administration clocked 100 days, the authors have continued to paint a gloomy picture of a government that has not done anything even after six months. The question is: For how long will the authors continue to bemoan the loss of power by their paymasters through such pieces? Who does not know when write-ups that tend to be advisory to Governor Uzodinma but in actual fact, are not, are instigated?
Like Dr. Chuks Osuji, a Public Relations icon noted in one of his essays in response to those who played politics with Uzodinma’s 100 days in office, “nobody in his right thinking mind could say that the governor has wasted one hundred days for nothing.” The same persons like Ekpe are still at work trying to undermine the governor with insinuation that he is yet to land. Land where?
When they are not complaining that Governor Uzodinma has jettisoned Ihedioha’s programme or projects, they are getting goose pimples about internal politics in the All Progressives Congress (APC), a party that does not have anything to do with their own party. Like physicians who cannot heal themselves, they fail to remove the log in their eyes before looking for the peck in another person’s eyes.
That Governor Uzodinma said government is a continuum does not detract from the fact that he must plan his own governance strategy to suit his orientation. It is wishful thinking by anybody who wants to guide Uzodinma to be like Ihedioha in the name of continuity in government, and that is the blackmail their write-ups are portraying. From the day of his swearing-in on January 15, 2020, Governor Uzodinma knows where the journey to deliver on his mandate is headed. He understands clearly where the governance journey is taking him and the good people of Imo State to. Surely and steadily, he has kept his eyes on the ball regardless of the blackmail, propaganda, slander and uncountable mischievous demeanour political traducers deploy to derail the journey.
He knows the journey is promising, six months gone by, as the foundation of good governance has not only been adequately laid, but Imo people are beholding the tangible things that go side by side with good governance. What we have today as gains of our six months in office are simply the result of strategic thinking on what constitutes good governance which Uzodinma symbolizes and irrevocably poised to vigorously pursue as the coming years will show. One must be blind not to see that ours is a government where Governor Uzodinma’s insightful, pragmatic leadership blends with his tested public and private sector experience that will ultimately lead to translation of the intangibles to tangibles. It is not an accident that Governor Uzodinma sees himself as a licensed driver and no one is in doubt the appellation fits the mould. Going by what has transpired in Imo in the last six months of his swearing-in, Governor Uzodinma’s politically ebullient disposition has stood him out. Let me explain.
No sooner was he sworn-in than political detractors roll out their arsenal to frustrate his well-thought-out agenda for Imolites. Imolites still recall how detractors pursued the failed Supreme Court review with uncommon vehemence, including blackmailing the Supreme Court Justices, yet Uzodinma remained undaunted, till his well-earned victory became history on March 3.
In his six months in office, Governor Uzodinma has synergized the three arms of government – executive, legislature and judiciary – knowing full well that doing so is key to a strengthened governance process.
But the truth is, never in the history of Imo State since 1999 has there existed such camaraderie between the executive, the judiciary and the legislature the way we are seeing it today under the administration of Governor Uzodinma. The opposition would prefer a fractured relationship. Those who came before Governor Uzodinma loved and even instigated war-war situations that dovetailed into lack of trust, lack of concord, and lack of synergy between the three arms of government with the attendant political instability and underdevelopment consequences for our dear state. To him, Imo will be better if everybody works together, and he believes there is strength in unity and more so, in government business.
Let me say that those who pretend not to know that Governor Uzodinma has achieved commendable gains in six months because of their bias inclination to the immediate past government may never reckon with anything good even if the projects are cited in their compound.
Nwachuku is Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Governor Uzodinma