Taking A Look At Uzodinma’s New Commissioners 

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By Henry Ekpe

The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has beaten the sixty days dateline given by the constitution, at which President or State Governors would submit the names of their Executive members.

Governor Uzodinma submitted just twelve (12) names, who have since been cleared by the State House of Assembly. But certainly, there may be more names, as it does not seem the Governor will have only twelve Commissioners in a twenty seven- Local- Government- Area Imo State.

However, in the last outing, the Governor had a bloated Executive Council, which many believe was  as a result of the situation on ground then, since the Governor had wanted to solicit support for his second term election success, hence the large Executive to please many.

But now that he has secured a second term,  Uzodinma is no more ready to please many people through over bloated Appointees.

Already, by the list of his new Commissioners,  there is an indication that Uzodinma will be stingy is dishing out appointments this time as some certain things must qualify you for a position in the present Uzodinma era.

The Governor was too magnanimous that he even lost count of his own Appointees, as over three hundred people were made Special Advisers SAs.

Therefore, whoever thinks that Uzodinma will repeat same act this time must have been shocked that since the Announcement of the “Twelve Apostles,” the Governor simply went quiet as nothing more has been heard about appointments.

He has since been busy in Abuja, with Federal Assignments, leaving his new appointees, followers, and the entire State guessing.

Meanwhile, looking at the “Twelve Apostles”, it is a mixture of the Youth, Elderly, “Old and New”.

The Commissioner Nominees are Hon Mrs Nkechi Ugwu from Ideato  South LGA, Hon Chimezie Amadi from Nwangele LGA, Hon Bede Eke, Ngor Okpala LGA, Hon Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba, Oru West LGA,  Hon Modestus Osakwe, Isu LGA, Bar Raph Nwosu, Oru West LGA, Chief Cosmos Maduba, Isu LGA, Hon Onyeoha Obinna Everistus, from Orlu LGA, Ozo Obinna Ogwuegbu, Ihitte Uboma LGA, Dr Sir Chike Ben Abazu, from Ideato North LGA, Hon Anyanwu Anselem Eze Chinyere, Ahiazu Mbaise and Barrister Emenike Ejikema Chuks Major, Onuimo LGA.

From the list, only Nine Local Governments in Imo State have been represented in Imo State new Executive Council, with Isu and Oru West LGAs having two slots each.

It means presently that Eighteen (18) LGAs are yet to get representatives. They are Owerri Municipal, Aboh Mbaise, Ezinihitte, Oru East, Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Orsu, Owerri West, Mbaitoli, Ikeduru, Nkwerre, Njaba, Obowo, Isiala Mbano, Ehime Mbano, Okigwe and Owerri North LGAs.

Under this scenario, the Governor still has a lot of tinkering to do in constituting his Cabinet to carry everybody along.

For those who have already been penciled down, it is the Governor who appointed them that can attest to why he chose them, since he is the only person the appointees owe their stewardship, as he (Gov) is the only person that can judge and gauge their performances.

Indeed, they are all Imo citizens and qualified in their own rights.  The Governor will soon inaugurate and assign them their portfolios.

Mrs Nkechi Ugwu is a “Returnee” and is in the good book of the Governor. Ugwu has a close relationship with the Imo First Lady, who hails from Ideato South, where Ugwu is married.

Ugwu coordinates most of the Philanthropic Organizations of Bar (Mrs) Uzodinma. So she earned her return on that basis.

Hon Chimezie Amadi showed sarvy and class while he served as Commissioner for Digital Economy. He deserves his return, even though he is close to the Deputy Speaker of Imo House of Assembly, Rt Hon Amarachi Iwuanyanwu, a Guy who has the ears of Governor Uzodinma.

Hon Bede Eke caught Uzodinma’s attention when he sought for somebody who could be used to crumble Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s political strange hold in Aboh Mbaise and Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency. Uzodinma picked Eke who served that purpose and executed it to the admiration of Uzodinma.

Eke also mobilized youths in that axis for Uzodinma’s second term election.

Therefore, this is a payback time for the youthful politician, who had served in Imo House of Assembly for Eight Years, as well in the National Assembly for Eight Years too.

The latest Executive position will be an added experience and challenge to Eke as he is expected to perform in which ever Portfolio he is assigned.

Bar Raph Nwosu is one of the closest and trusted allies of Uzodinma. Nwosu has been with him for years. When Dr Ikedi Ohakim was Governor, Uzodinma nominated Nwosu as Commissioner, and Nwosu was given Works Ministry.

When Uzodinma became Senator and Ohakim left office in 2011,  Nwosu became Uzodinma’s Chief of Staff. Therefore, when Uzodinma became Governor, Nwosu was returned to the Works Ministry he held under Ohakim.

And the man, who is a Lawyer by Profession has done in the Works Ministry what many Chartered Engineers cannot do. So, he deserves his reappointment.

Hon Declan Emelumba has remained Uzodinma’s Media linchpin for decades. He was automatically made the Commissioner for Information in the first term. It was no surprised he has returned again. You hardly change your Media Team. So, “Lumbas” is back.

Hon Modestus Osakwe was the only House of Assembly Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that survived the Uzodinma Volcano that swept through the 26 LGAs that led APC to clean up all the constituencies in the State.

Even as PDP Lawmaker, Osakwe, along side Sir Martin Ejiogu, erstwhile Deputy Chairman of Imo PDP, worked for Uzodinma’s Governorship election in Nov 11, 2023.

However, that could not stop the courts from sacking Osakwe as Imo House of Assembly member. Today, the young man has been penciled down as Commissioner, at least to cushion the devastating shock of losing his seat in the House. He is now an Uzodinma Apostle.

Chief Cosmos Maduba has been a close Ally of the Governor for too many years. It seems Oduebube Isu is in the Executive Council to represent the Governor’s old pals. The Governor can’t leave all his friends out, in pursuance of youthful takeover. Maduba’s experience and age will be a big factor in deliberations in the State Executive Council.  He is fearless and speaks from the heart. You can’t buy Experience, it is earned.

I don’t know much about  Ozo Obinna Ogwuegbu and Hon Anyanwu Anselem Eze Chinyere. They could be the Technocrats we heard the Governor will include in his Cabinet. I have heard much of their exploits in Imo State political Circle. Certainly they should be good materials.

Sir Chike Ben Abazu was the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC in the  Ideato Federal Constituency election.

And Abazu stood toe to toe with the PDP candidate, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere. But it was not possible for Abazu to defeat the renowned Activist, Ikenga.

Therefore, for his Battles and wounds, Abazu deserves his new post to forget the heavy troubles that Nigerian elections represent, especially confronting Ikenga Imo.

He also has some relationship with the Governor dating years back, through marriage.

Barrister Emenike Major is a known Politician in Imo with Intellectual prowess, and circulates very well. Which is the reason he was close to nearly all Administrations in the State. He is a good pick and will add fervor to the new Cabinet.

While Imo people wait for more additions to  the Commissioners list, and  the announcement of  Special Advisers and other Appointments, it is hoped that these ones already cleared by the House of Assembly be assigned portfolios and inaugurated soon so that the much awaited second term of Governor Hope Uzodinma can kick off.

Just the announcement of these appointees triggered off some positive developments in Imo State that has been in a null for months now, because there is no constituted Cabinet in the State.

However, the Nominees should by now be “warming up” for the task ahead, for whom much is given, much is expected. The privileged few should count themselves lucky as the Appointment slots this time will be limited, because Uzodinma has learnt his lessons and now a second term Governor.