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Monday, March 4, 2024

How Not To Seek Uzodimma’s Favour – By Collins Ughalaa KSC



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For those who may have forgotten, there was a time it was considered a taboo for anyone to dare mention the name, Hope Uzodimma in Imo State. You would face all kinds of persecution:  name-calling, threats, and attacks for supporting the governor. That was our reality, and it was indeed sad.

Senator Hope Uzodimma became governor on January 15, 2020, following the record setting judgement of the Supreme Court, returning him as the validly elected governor of Imo State on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Those who did not like the judgement, who thought that food had been taken away from their mouths, let all hell loose on the state, sparing no efforts to destabilize the state. Many of those who hauled threats and attacks on the supporters of the governor apparently did so not because they had an axe to grind with him but because their bosses had. So, in working for the interest of their bosses, they saw nothing good in the governor and therefore did not give him any chance. It was normal for them to see anyone who dared to stand with the governor and say good things about him and his government as not only evil but also against the interest of the state.

Thus, you would hear them call the supporters of the governor efulefu, hungry, frustrated, enemy of Imo people, anywhere belle face, a man lacking in integrity, saboteur, etcetera. Some of us were taken to court and still have pending cases in court as a result of our defence of the governor and his government when the “opponents” rained down fire and brimstone on him for nothing. Attempts were made at kidnapping some of us. On several occasions, while we were speaking on some radio programs, we received messages suggesting that we should develop wings and fly out of the radio station. Some radio stations had to plead with some of us to either stop our “praise for the governor” or they would stop inviting us to their stations due to the threats they said they were receiving. We sauntered on, and in the end, we collapsed the mountain of opposition in the state and made the governor the most beautiful bride. The good news is that our detractors who later saw the truth of our message joined us, and we salute their courage, but the emergency lovers who have turned themselves into advisers, trying to decide for the governor whom to reappoint or not, are being hypocritical and childish. Blackmail, slander, and character assassination will only fetch them the governor’s pity, not his respect.

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Many appointees of the governor actually became victims of attacks. Some had their property burnt down, and some lost their lives. Hon. Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba, the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Strategy, apart from suffeeing attacks in the media for his strong support for the governor and his professionalism in the discharge of his duties, had his own house burnt. But all of a sudden, some people who are interested in the office, who cannot attempt to do half what Mbadiwe did, are all over the social media suggesting to the governor not to return him. This is bitterness taken too far.

There is no perfect individual anywhere or in any government, and I am certain that the governor is not looking for perfect people. He needs loyal and committed persons, and he has them in quantum. I thank persons like Onwuasoanya FCC Jones who understand the efforts the Uzodimma team put in. If you ask me, there are a few strategic changes that could be made for the optimum performance of the government, and the governor knows what he wants and what to do. The governor hinted at this when he told the former members of the expanded exco on Tuesday, January 16, that he would do a lot of “sampling in and sampling out.”

No doubt, we have been able to sell the governor as a transformational leader, working tirelessly to bring about positive change in Imo State. It makes us happy each time we listen to news on the radio, watch news on the television, read news and opinions in the newspapers and on social media, and we no longer hear or read negative commentaries against the governor. The talk about his performance has become a settled issue, as all have come to agree that he has done so well and deserves his reelection. This points to the fact that the governor had a good team, especially those on the governor’s media team.

There is no gainsaying the fact that one of the crucial aspects of successful governance is appointing capable individuals to key positions, but many believe that a lot of these capable hands are found around the governor and in his team. Therefore, it is pertinent to highlight some of the positive impacts reappointing loyal and committed aides bring to the administration. One of such positive impacts is continuity and institutional knowledge. Those who just served under the governor and are well-acquainted with his vision, priorities, and work ethic will serve a good purpose. Their experience and understanding of the administration’s inner workings enable them to hit the ground running, ensuring a smooth continuation of ongoing projects and policies.

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The other positive impacts are trust, confidence, consistency, and accountability. Loyalty is an invaluable trait in any relationship, including the political arena. When the governor reappoints aides who have demonstrated unwavering loyalty and commitment, it sends a powerful message of trust and confidence. These individuals have proven their dedication and dependability, which fosters a sense of unity and loyalty within the administration, contributing to its overall effectiveness. Aides who have consistently showcased their dedication and commitment are more likely to remain accountable for their actions.

Effectiveness in achieving goals is also important. Governance is a team effort, and appointments play a key role in determining the success of an administration. Reappointing loyal and committed aides guarantees that the governor can rely on a team that shares his goals and aspirations. These aides possess a deep understanding of the governor’s vision and work tirelessly towards its realization, and they were with him in the very dark hours. Their patience, courage, and familiarity with the set objectives and strategies increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration. Aides play a significant role in shaping the public perception of a government. The public generally appreciates continuity and stability in leadership. When loyal and committed aides are reappointed, it demonstrates a level of consistency and reliability that resonates positively with the public. This, in turn, strengthens support for the governor.

Let me end this by noting that the governor has consistently demonstrated his commitment to good governance and positive transformation in Imo State. Reappointing his loyal and committed aides is a strategic decision that brings numerous advantages to the administration. While Imo people look forward to seeing the strategic impetus he will add by his “sampling in and sampling out” approach, it cannot be overstated that continuity, institutional knowledge, trust, accountability, effectiveness, and enhanced public perception are just some of the benefits derived from retaining such aides.


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