Uzodinma Changes Status Quo in Imo

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By Henry Ekpe

The incumbent Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma is in his second term on the Seat.

His first term got to him in a jiffy, and he confronted the situation then as he met it until now he was elected for a second term in November last year.

Therefore, it has become clear that the Governor now enjoys a secured term by his own making and has decided to make things in his own image.

Remember, he came into office firstly through a Judicial pronouncement after an Administration was already in existence.

What it means is that Uzodinma is now his own man, and out to tell that to Imo people through his pronouncements and policies.

After he was sworn-in in January, it took April for him to inaugurate his Executive, made up mainly of his old Appointees, when Imo people had thought that what delayed the formation of the Cabinet was to shop for fresh faces.

Now, the Governor has appointed twenty seven Sole Administrators for the Local Government Areas in the State.

A close look at the composition shows that the Governor is out to change the Political Status Quo in Imo to his own making, as he is the Leader in the State.

Uzodinma has been around Imo politics for decades and knows the Game thoroughly. And he remains taciturn, therefore leaving Political Pundits confused and guessing, since men are usually predicted from what flows out of their mouths. It is even in the Bible that out of the abundant of the Heart, the mouth speaketh.

But Uzodinma is not a talkative. He hardly talks. So, you can’t even claim he said “this and that”. Dropping his Name is difficult.

Under this shut- lips scenario the Imo State Governor, strategizes and unleashes his plans that usually take the people off their feet.

The latest LGA appointments shocked Imo populace, especially the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC in Imo State.

Nearly all the party Leaders are bemused with surprise, but can’t say anything, as you cannot question the choices made by the Governor.

Uzodinma may not have danced to the tune of the Old Politicians that control the levers of power of appointments in their LGAs, but his choice of Imo LGAs Sole Administrators is nearly perfect.

The Governor is gradually giving power to a set of New Turks in Imo State. Youthful and ebullient young men and women. It speaks volumes.  He seems to be nurturing a new breed of Leaders in the LGAs, who will soon morph into State Leaders and gradually render the old and aged politicians redundant, but not neglected.

The New kid on the Block is a certain Oru Man, from Oru Nation. He is now a Commissioner and the Leader of the emerging bulk of structure through which the Governor appointed his present LGA Administrators. They will hold forth until elections are held to produce Executive and elected Council Chairmen.

These Guys are called “Monitors”. They were the people practically incharge of the Uzodinma election. The Governor trusted them, and they did not fail him.

These same “Monitors” had Coordinators in each LGA, and down to the Wards. They took care and protected Uzodinma’s results. They also literally husbanded the Logistics for the Election.

Therefore, while Party chieftains were collecting heavy Logistics for the Governor’s reelection, than contributing, he answered their demands, but hinged his hope on these uncelebrated Young Turks.

And prior to the election, the Governor made them promises. They delivered and Uzodinma also delivered on his promise.

Therefore, it is important to keep to your words, and keep to your promise. So, both camps have shown sincerity.

However, this Status Quo change is causing ripples in the hinter lands, as the old brigade politicians feel used and dumped. They are now revving with anger, and have only the opportunity of producing elected Council Chairmen, whenever the Local Government Elections are held or retire or be retired.

Since nearly all the members of the State Cabinet returned, these Leaders were also denied the chance of making submissions for appointments of Special Advisers and Commissioners.

Under this scenario, the weather may look quiet, while the storm brews. A lot of Imo APC Leaders are presently not happy.  But unfortunately  not every of their followers are with them in their situation, as they believe that with what the Governor is doing now by dealing directly with those who worked for him, their own opportunity is in the offing. So, the bulk of the Youths still look unto Uzodinma for salvation, not their Local Leaders anymore.

Politicians remain optimists, and thought that Governor Uzodinma will remain generous as he was in his first term, even after his own party men taxed him to no end to execute his election.

For the three months he was away after his swearing-in, the Governor has taken time to have a sober reflection of what had happened in the last four years, therefore, this term will not be like the one last.

For the first time in the history of Imo State, Governor Uzodinma became the first to share the office of the Special Adviser SA, to nearly all the three Hundred and Five Wards in Imo State.

Even though he may also have done that for his reelection purpose, but those appointments benefited a lot of families in the State.

Therefore, expecting that the Governor will do same thing in his last term is illusionary.

As an incumbent Governor who will in next few years be addressed as “Outgoing Governor,” Uzodinma has to plan his exit, which commences with his second term.

Therefore, every appointment he is making now are strategic, and those opportuned  to get any should  be graceful and thank God.

I foresee these young men appointed in the LGAs to be his fore bearers to his political many plans in the future.

Most of the new Sole Administrators were once Councilors and therefore know the terrain of their LGAs. Infact they are sent there now for political cum Administrative purposes which will soon become clearer in the days ahead.

While some of these “Monitor” LGA Sole Administrators came from the known LGA party Leaders, the majority of them were from the new Leaders Uzodinma is gradually producing in the LGAs. And most of them are young and vibrant.

The only challenge facing the Governor now is how seamless these emerging new Turks would be received by the already entrenched old Leaders who feel threatened of being retired too early or by force by the latest development.

The scenario is nearly the same in all the LGAs. It is certain that soon the reactions will start spilling out from the LGAs.

But the Governor has the power to rein in such resistance. Though political solutions usually last when done through round table discussion.

The Governor would have helped the situation more if he had appointed some members in to the LGA system to work with these Sole Administrators, to accommodate more people in the LGAs and the Leaders too.

Much as the Governor said they would last sixty days for elections to hold, but such pronouncements in the past were not kept, making the Leaders apprehensive that their days are now numbered if the present SOLADS stay longer in office.

Had the Governor opened opportunities for others who also worked for him, the grumbling may not be this loud.

Now, the opportunity left is only Board membership, which if Leaders fail to make any contributions will postpone but shift the battle line.

However, it will be pleasant to these frustrated leaders if Governor Uzodinma will be magnanimous enough to release more funds to the LGAs this time, so that the Appointees can be able to execute some physically seen projects, and extend hands of succor to the Leaders through award of contracts.

During the reigns of Governors Okorocha and Ihedioha, even though they dealt with unelected Administrators in the LGAs, infrastructure could be pointed at as achievements, which even the grassroots can attest to till now.

But during the Uzodinma era, it seems as if all the Sole Administrators do is to pay only workers salary, while the LGAs suffer lack infrastructural development.

Well, since Uzodinma is changing “Status Quos” in his second term, we pray that Imo LGAs will from hence wear facelifts that will gladden the hearts of the Local Communities and the masses, which will add to Uzodinma’s Government rating.

And to the newly appointed Sole Administrators, to whom much is given, much is expected.

But then, they need the tools to carry out their jobs. The development of LGAs is the sum total of a State’s development. May these “Monitors” monitor well.