Nigeria and Nigerians are fixated with occasions and celebrations, especially after the Military handed over power to the civilians in 1999.
No day passes without one reason for “Owambe” which has defined our own type of democracy where hailing of Leaders and dancing on the streets signify loyalty and commitment.
It was in the “spirit” of celebrations that Nigerians manufactured the so called “100 days in office” for Presidents and Governors for them to showcase what they had achieved within three months in office.
In the real sense of it, no Administrator or Chief Executive can achieve anything meaningful just after spending 100days in office.
How many good tailors can sew a world class suit in 100days, much more a Leader of a people to deliver any tangible project within hundred days, which is three months.
However, since the bug of 100days in office has been bought by our society, everyone looks up to that date as the challenge handed to every Governor to show his projects. So it was for Imo State Governor, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha who won his election on March 9, 2019, and assumed office in May 29, 2019.
For me, the 100days issue is just like the Body of an Elephant to a horde of Blinds. You can define hundred days of office for any Governor based on your expectations and standard of gauging the said Governor. What people desire from their Governors differ from different individuals. Therefore it is not a holistic issue on judging the achievements of any given Governor.
But generally, whoever scores a given governor based on projects he or she completed within 100days is a policy neophyte and non Realist.
No reasonable person expects a Governor to erect buildings or construct roads in the course of celebrating 100days except such a Governor is out to deceive the masses.
Therefore, in my thinking, every Governor must be judged within 100days in office based on the policies he or she put in place as the template and foundation to drive his tenure for the first four years term, after which such a Governor could be put on scale of judgment.
If follows that those who expected the Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha to point at Bridges, Roads, Houses, Factories, etc as his achievements in 100days are mischief makers.
Certainly, had Ihedioha done that in a bid to please some elements that believe in window dressings, I would have shuddered.
Therefore, whoever wants to record the achievements of a Governor sworn in just three months ago should please wait till his first tenure and judge him with their votes which would determine whether he goes for a second term or not.
I get confused when I read in WASAP Groups and Facebook posts of some respected Imo personalities, who in the name of opposition threw away rational thinking to dwell so low to ask frivolous questions bordered on what they expected from a sitting Governor in 100days.
We should not allow individual acrimony or hate becloud our sense of judgment when it comes to public office and real issues and matters.
One thing to commend is that Imo State now has breathed a fresh air in a new administration that has truly restored freedom to the citizens, both physically and mentally.
Whoever resided in Imo State in the last Eight years can attest that the highest prison in life is that of mind, where you wake up in the morning without knowing what to encounter, even as you lie down on your bed.
Today the hostage mentality that pervaded the Imo atmosphere in four years has vanished. People can move around freely, sure that they will get to work or office, without the fear that they may not meet their businesses the next day. Before, you could lock up your shop and return to see it in ruins, demolished, without warning. It was as if Imo was at war with itself.
Workers now go to work without the apprehension whether he or she have been sacked after the previous day’s work without any reason.
Permanent secretaries were sacked on the spot without querry.
We should realize that it is only the living that enjoy infrastructure.
Now talking about infrastructure. For the first time in eight years, Imo people are witnessing where their State Governor in the public glare, lay foundation for roads, awarded to authentic, certified and qualified construction companies that have addresses, with the amount of the contract openly quoted.
This method is a pure indication that things have really changed in the State within 100 days a new Governor assumed office.
This proves the fact that these roads would be constructed, because the reputation of the Governor who declared these projects open in the public is at stake.
Therefore, it is when these projects have failed that the masses would begin to ask questions under which they can scale the Governor, not 100days.
Had the past administration in the State led by Owelle Rochas Okorocha openly laid building foundations in the open, Imo people would have earlier enough noticed breaches and plots to fool them, and asked questions.
Since all the contracts in Imo in Eight years were shrouded in secrecy, it was the reason till Okorocha left office, and now, Imo people are still confused and do not know the contractors that handled all the roads in the State that have now all collapsed, much more knowing how much they were awarded and paid with public funds.
If for anything, one of the major achievements of the present administration in the State is openness of doing business with public fund, which translates to transparency, and a major ingredient in handling people’s money.
Little things like removing of the Pillars and Iron rods hovering over Owerri roads, to some people is nothing. But to me that is one of the achievements of Ihedioha.
Okorocha all his life lived in Jos and Abuja that are “decorated” with beautiful trees that reduce heat, and encourage ecosystem that contributes to the good health of the people.
So, why was it that for Eight years he was in office, Okorocha never planted one tree, but instead cut down those planted by other regimes before him?
Has anybody bothered to imagine what would have happened to Owerri road users in the next few years if these Iron bars and Pillars erected on the roads were not demolished now.
Have you ever seen where roads are decorated with ornaments? It is like putting Television in a mortuary. Who is it meant for to watch?
Is there any achievement than stopping a regime that converted Imo fund to personal treasury? Had the previous administration been allowed to continue in office, at a point the Governor would be lending money to Imo State ala Mobutu and Congo scenario.
The issue of Recovery Team and EFCC which have now opened the eyes of the world on the humongous looting that happened in Imo in the last eight years is an achievement.
It will let Imo people recover their property and remind them to always be alert and not allow their Leaders again to convert Imo commonwealth to a personal thing, even when the Governor is an elected officer to over-see the patrimony of the State in trust of the masses. Imo people have now learnt not to be deceived by sweet-coated politicians that rabble them with Christian songs.
Imo people are yet to be really educated on what is called Treasury Single Account, TSA.
It means that whatever that comes into Imo State as fund must enter into one account, controlled by the Accountant General of the State.
It means that even the Governor cannot know how much the State has until he asks the Accountant General of the State.
This is a far departure from the past where Imo State operated over 250 Bank Accounts, all going to the State Governor who only knows how much Imo State has.
Today, Civil Servants in the State who negotiated every month on what percentage to be paid from their salary are receiving it full.
Some sacked and demoted staff against Public Service ethics have been realled, with seniority, hard work and commitment to duty as basis for promotion which has restored sanity in the Imo Public Service system just within three months.
The Imo Local Government Administration which was completely dead, has been restored. The money due for the LGAs, which was cornered to the State at the caprices of the Governor, has stopped.
Today Local Government Areas in the State collect the full allocation from Abuja without a kobo dropping out in Douglas House.
Already, the gains are showing with the decongestion of Douglas House, as the masses have now trooped back to the Council Headquarters where the Interim Management Committees deal with them. While the Governor faces the onerous task of directing State affairs.
The Imo State Internal Revenue Service IIRS has wired all monies that come to the office to a central control room. It is no more business as usual, as the Board made N1.8B Naira just for the month of August.
Achievements of Governors should not be based on 100days but on four years. And for those who believe in 100days achievements, it must not be physical as no road could be constructed within such time except it is to impress the people and risk the project.
For Imo State, Ihedioha has recorded too many “firsts” in terms of policy statements that will stand the test of time.
Within the days in review, four Bills have been signed into Law, including the ones that established Imo Market Commission and Imo Power And Rural Electrification Agency (I-POREA)
From Ihedioha’s current outings, Imo is in safe hand and does not need 100days rating. Let us put Ihedioha on scale after four years.