By Henry Ekpe
The incumbent Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was sworn-in in office on May 29, 2019. Today makes it exactly 23 days in office.
Even before he won his election on March 9, 2019, there were a section of the State who never gave him a chance. After he scaled the hurdle, they still believed he would not be sworn in following their own warped imaginations.
From the moment Ihedioha departed Dan Anyiam Stadium on May 29, they started throwing myriads of missiles on his person and his style of administration, even when he had not stepped into the Government House for the first time, not to talk of making his first appointment.
One of the blind critics even wrote over three pages in the Newspaper outlining how Ihedioha should run his office, or else he fails. And this fellow could not give his failed Boss same advise. The other who sees his opposition to Ihedioha as life and death since three years now could still not yet swallow the fact that despite his constant diatribes on Ihedioha on Wasap Groups, the young man has at last become Imo State Chief Executive.
Till date, this Group of people, who are now more mobilized to continue the attack on every policy direction of Ihedioha have been emboldened the more by the recent success of their principal in the National Assembly.
But fortunately, truth is constant, and Imo populace are too sophisticated to be hoodwinked for just no reason to begin to write-off an administration that came into office just Twenty Three days ago. An administration that rode on the tumultuous wings of the majority of suffering Imo citizens, who have yearned for a new beginning and good riddance of a draconian era.
These Arm chair critics had in the last 23 days Laboured in vain to paint the Ihedioha administration as being slow and unfocused, which have been eclipsed with the gallant achievements of the 23 day old administration.
For starters, running a Government is a serious business and therefore should not be compared to the jest of the last Eight years, where an elected Chief Executive of a State could award contracts at the back seat of moving convoy of vehicles.
No one should ever imagine that an administration led by former top high ranking lawmaker could approve appointments of Aides based on their notoriety to evade laws of the land.
No reasonable person would expect an Emeka Ihedioha to stay alone in his room and compile names of Commissioners and Advisers, without the input of others.
However, despite the challenges he met in an office that was previously marred with impunity, and needed months to be put in order administratively, Ihedioha has since hit the ground running.
And more importantly, despite the cobwebs wired everywhere in the form of booby traps by his predecessor, Ihedioha has since demolished these obstacles by following legislative due processes that baffled even the most political strategists .
Within 23 days, Imo State has been stabilized and once more put under an organized system that existed before the State was thrown into administrative chaos Eight years ago.
The Imo Civil Service that has been restless, and operated under a tensed atmosphere dominated with unserious personnel famished by years of unpaid salaries, is now back with euphoria to perform their duties as Ihedioha has restored their 100% salary payment that was slashed to 70% by the Army of occupation that called itself an administration.
Douglas Road, the major artery of Imo Economic base that was closed for years now, is back to life. Economic activities are gradually returning to this Road that habours most of the stores that oil Imo economy.
Mountains of Refuse Dumps that were seen in every nook and cranny of the State have disappeared. But the last regime only counted how much it would cost to evacuate these of heaps of epidemic, than counting the health hazard it poses to the masses.
The Doctors who have been on strike in the State for months have since returned to their duty posts, after many patients had lost their lives just because Government pocketed Doctors’ salaries, which it channeled to personal use of top officials.
The Imo Polytechnic Umuagwo which remained in a turmoil because of bizarre administrative structure, and academic scam, has since resumed studies, with lecturers and students minding their businesses.
For eight years, there was no pipe borne water in the State capital. But soon Owerri residents will smile because Ihedioha has promised to revive this most important sector that was relegated to nothing by the out gone administration.
Water is life and FELA sang that “water no get enemy” but the past administration in Imo would forever be remembered as “Enemy of water”.
The Dan Anyiam stadium abandoned to decay away was the first place Ihedioha showed that only a confused and unserious leader makes solving problems look like Rocket Science.
He also rehabilitated the Grass Hopper International Stadium at a record speed that baffled the gone-administration.
Recently, we saw asphalting of some important Roads around Concorde Area in New Owerri by NDDC.
Is it not shocking that just in 23 days Ihedioha has attracted NDDC to Imo? For eight years in a stretch, how many NDDC projects did the past administration attract to the State?
Now, work is going on at the Mbaise/Emekuku/Umuahia road that has remained a death trap for years as if Imo State has no Government.
In Eight Years, for the first time, the members of Imo House of Assembly were engaged in a Retreat in serene Oguta Lake where the old members updated their skills in lawmaking, while the new ones were educated on what to expect when the resume for legislative duties.
Before now, such venture was seen by the past administration as a waste of resources that should have been plunged into developing private Housing Estates of the Master and his family.
Before I forget, Ihedioha has set up a Committee to look into the issue of the demolished Ekeukwu Market and compensation to the affected.
But the last administration which operated like a Military junta, against court judgment, mauled down that market without recourse to the loss incurred by the Traders without compensations till date.
Many of the pessimists had expected that the first crack on the wall of Ihedioha’s administration will commence in the course of appointments.
But today, the prophets of doom are shamed. Apart from the fact that Ihedioha is making his appointments based on the Imo zoning formula anchored on a tripod, he is also putting the round pegs in round holes by fishing out and putting individual appointees to the positions that fits their persons and professions.
On the issue of Speaker of Imo House of Assembly, many had predicted that Ihedioha will go against Imo zoning formula by letting the position go to Owerri zone, because all Okigwe lawmakers are of opposition extraction.
After Ihedioha showed his craftiness in political manoeuvering, and Statesmanship, the entire outcome has shut up the doom sayers.
And to the credit of Ihedioha, PDP which had a majority with a few numbers, has since swallowed other political parties in Imo legislature, as nearly all the legislators have pitched camp with PDP.
What this means is that the Executive will have smooth relationship with the Legislature which will reflect on the good of the Imo masses who the perfect understanding between the two will benefit.
The icing on the cake is the recent inauguration of a new set of administrators in the twenty seven (27) Local Government Areas of the State.
In the first place, it had seemed difficult on how Ihedioha will handle the so-called elected council chairmen and councilors, without travelling the same route his predecessor did by dissolving with impunity the elected council chairmen and councilors of the Governor Ikedi Ohakim era.
But as a thorough bred politician and administrator, who wears rule of law as a second skin, Ihedioha followed absolute due process in tackling the matter.
Luckily for him, the Imo Legislature, on their own recommended a lot of proposals for the Governor, which included the suspension of the council chairmen.
Therefore, standing on the promulgations of the State Legislature and in lieu with extant Laws of Imo State, Ihedioha dissolved and inaugurated new interim committees to over-see the affairs of Imo LGAs for six months, when an election would be held.
And to avoid bickering that will erupt in the LGAs with the usual way of appointing only five transition committee members, the Governor urged all LGAs to produce members each to represent the numbers of Wards in each LGA.
Since Tuesday the councils were inaugurated, tension has reduced in the entire State, with life returning in the grass roots, with the inauguration of the members, by the chairmen.
Whoever does not see this gargantuan activities by the Ihedioha administration within these days as success for Imo State, is a sworn enemy of progress.
How many tailors can sew a good suit in twenty three days, which is what Ihedioha has used to correct the various wrongs that have bedeviled Imo State in the last as eight years?
With the simple manner Ihedioha diffused these bombs, he could be easily be described a magician.
Indeed, there are more challenges ahead. But since the taste of the pudding is in the eating, with what we have seen so far, it shows that Imo State is now in safe hands, and all Ihedioha needs is the good atmosphere to concentrate and deliver the goods. He has disappointed the doubting Thomases. Can they now join the moving Train? Time shall tell.