By Chukwudi Ikpe
As he takes over the mantle of leadership, newly sworn in governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Chukwuemeka Nkem Ihedioha, has been charged to be a good shepherd and lead the state to good pasture, so that it will grow politically, socially, economically and otherwise.
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Chukwuma Oparah, Ph.D, JP gave the charge during the week, in an exclusive interview with Christian Voice in his office.
According to him, every leader, whether religious, political or traditional should exhibit righteousness in his dealings because leadership comes from God who is righteous.
The Bishop further explained that, in order to succeed; every leader must behave like and follow the footsteps of Christ, who was described as a good shepherd by the scripture.
He therefore called on the new governor to adhere strictly to the principles of good leadership, putting others first before himself.
“The new governor should think about Imolites first before himself, just as a good shepherd thinks about his sheep. It should be leadership by example because people are watching. He should embark only on projects that are necessary when they are necessary, the prelate said.
Bishop Oparah, who decried the rate of kidnapping and other crimes, tasked Ihedioha to ensure adequate security of the masses, stressing that it is the responsibility of the government to provide security.
“The staff is a symbol of guidance. A good shepherd uses his staff to direct his sheep away from danger and guide them to safety”, he illustrated.
The outspoken prelate outlined payment of workers’ salaries and welfare of pensioners among priorities that need urgent attention from the new governor.
He condemned in its entirety, the witch-lumting attacks on each other, by successive administrations, describing it as unnecessary and enjoined Ihedioha and his team not to be distracted by the past but to focus on the future.
The man of God appealed to the new governor not to abandon unfinished projects of the immediate past administration, stressing that, if successive governments continue to abandon unfinished projects of past administrations, it will only amount to wastage of public funds.
Bishop Oparah urged Ihedioha to use his position as governor of Imo State to ensure that the federal government restores Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE) back to university status.
While congratulating the new governor on his inauguration, the Bishop advised him to always seek advise from esteemed church leaders and to shun sycophants. He also advised the governor to remain humble and not to be carried away by his new position.
Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, former Deputy speaker, Federal House of Representatives, was last Wednesday, sworn in as the governor of Imo State, following his emergence in the 2019 governorship election. He takes over from Owelle Rochas Okorocha who ruled the state for eight years from 2011 to 2019.