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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Imo’s Parlous Status: Does Ihedioha Really Deserve Pity? – By Kennedy Eweama



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Incontestably, Imo State which prides as the Eastern Heartland is in ruins in so many facets. Her ruinous status today, is occasioned by the eight horrible years of misrule by the administration of the outgoing Governor Rochas Okorocha.

Okorocha came on board as Imo governor with an impressionistic style of governance. He masqueraded his real self with deceptive smiles which do not go beyond the lips. So many Imo people fell for it and applauded him ignorantly. By the time they realized what had befallen them, Imo was already in parlous state. When suddenly, they woke up from their slumber, it dawned on them that Okorocha was indeed, a very bad dream, but then the damage had already been done.

Luckily, God Almighty heard their cries and harkened to their supplications as he did to the Israelites of the ancient times, and still does anyway. He sent forth, a rebuilder with the capacity, capability, pedigree and panache to salvage Imo and restore her lost glories. Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was the chosen one for this onerous task. His choice was not a happenstance. It was designed by God.

Even after Ihedioha’s populist election as governor of Imo State, the people are still worried, lamenting and wondering how Ihedioha will surmount the gargantuan socio-economic, infrastructural, cultural and political challenges ahead of him. Their worries step from the obvious fact that the outgoing Governor Okorocha has virtually destroyed the State by his abracadabra policies and I-too-know mentality.

Imo people are pitying Ihedioha because Okorocha is leaving behind an almost destroyed State for him to manage. How will the in-coming governor navigate through  these burrows Okorocha had dug, the people have kept asking? They contend that Okorocha has dug deep pits for Ihedioha to fall into just to discredit the in-coming administration. Their joy about the populist electoral victory of Ihedioha is therefore, being threatened by the litany of banana peels Okorocha and his cohorts have scattered everywhere in the State and are still doing, all in a bid to bring Ihedioha’s government to public opprobrium.

For me as a person, I do appreciate Imo people’s fear and worries though they are genuine. Anybody in their situation nevertheless, must exhibit such apprehension especially the civil servants, pensioners and business entrepreneurs. Okorocha ruled like king Ahab in the Holy Bible and like Ahab, he is also going down. Nothing in life is permanent except change.

But I tell Imo people, I do not pity Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha at all. This may sound opaque and amorphous, but it is the truth. Anybody who really knows Ihedioha’s administrative pedigree and proven ability to swim through murky political waters to achieve eye-popping results, ought to know that he is equal to the task ahead. He rather deserves our prayers and encouragement, and not pity. Jesus Christ told the daughters of Jerusalem “weep not for me but for yourselves”.

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Of all the plethora of governorship aspirants across the various political divides who later metamorphosed into candidates after their respective parties primaries, it is only Rt. Hon Ihedioha who came into the race prepared for the governorship seat from day one. His aspiration to govern Imo wasn’t a hotchpotch decision. It was carefully thought out. This has clearly reflected in the composition of the Transition Technical Committee (TTC) and the Inauguration and Handover Committee headed by two astute administrators, Dr Ernest Ebi and Chief (Barr) Chris Okewulonu respectively.

Ihedioha is not a man given to rash decisions neither is he ever daunted by challenges. He is always meticulous, hardworking and result-oriented. He is not a fan of parochialism, irrationality, unreasonable sentiments and clannish bigotry.

During his campaigns prior to his much welcomed electoral victory as governor of Imo State on March 9, 2019, he had maintained that Imo is a deep pit, considering the level of dilapidation Okorocha’s administration has caused in the State. He had informed Imo people that he will not rely on federal allocations from Abuja to salvage the stupendous decay in the State. He emphasized that his vast network and contacts with foreign allies will be explored to the maximum in order to cushion whatever damage the outgoing government must have inflicted on Imo’s economy.

In other words, Ihedioha knew the mountainous nature of the challenges ahead and therefore, came prepared. In keeping to his words, since his election, he has been interacting with foreign partners and investors on how to invest in the State’s economy in order to re-jig and bring it back to life. His interactive sessions have also been extended to investors within the country so that there will be a synergy. All these are at his own expenses without any government support whatsoever.

One unique quality about Ihedioha is that he knows the right caliber of people to assign any specific duty. His emphasis is always on positive result that will be in concomitance with Imo people’s expectation. This is why he abhors sycophancy and unreasonable sentiments in his decision making process. To him, it is either “you ship in or ship out”. He works with busy brains and not dullards.

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When I hear people say “chai, I pity our governor-elect because of the very deplorable nature of Imo State today, “I admonish them to wail no more. I tell them that the days of lamentations like Prophet Jeremiah did in the Holy Bible are over. I remind them of the story of the downfall of King Saul and the rise of King David in the Holy Bible. Ihedioha is today’s king David because God ordained his victory judging from the events which preceded his election.

I have never seen anybody whom God places in a position of authority to lead His people and thereafter, abandons him provided such a leader continues to abide in His shadows. Ihedioha is a humble and focused leader who is imbued with the fear of God and is also intellectually equipped to revive Imo. He is neither greedy nor a believer in nepotism like his outgoing predecessor.

Rt Hon. Ihedioha, at the risk of sounding repetitive, does not require anybody’s pity. He needs Imolites’ support, prayers and encouragement. He is open to constructive criticism because he is a firm believer that no man is a compendium of knowledge.

This is where he differs greatly with his outgoing predecessor, Rochas Okorocha just as in so many other spheres. Okorocha erroneously believes that he knows it all. He is “Jack of all trades and master of none”. The result is the abysmal and pariah status Imo is being adorned with today before his own eyes.

Agreed that Imo’s parlous and sore state which Okorocha is bequeathing Ihedioha as a legacy, can easily elicit apprehension because of its gargantuan and hydra-headed nature, it is nonetheless not insurmountable. Problems are most often created by man and they are also solved by man.

Imo is lucky that God brought in Rt. Hon Ihedioha at this trying time for the State. God is not man and He alone knows what is right for Imolites. The people should be rest assured that come May 29, 2019, the governor-elect will hit the ground running because as a good work man, he never quarrels with his tools.

Let us therefore, join hands in prayers and seek for God’s wisdom and grace for Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha in his honest quest to rebuild Imo. With commitment and hardwork, I am optimistic that Imo shall rise again to the glory of God.

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