By Kennedy Amanze
On May, 29th 2019, a wind of change blew across the land with the inauguration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON as the 6th democratically elected Governor of imo State. The joyful mood of the people was electrifying contagious with Dan Anyiam Stadium filled to the brim and overflowing as people thronged to catch a glimpse of their new Governor. People beamed with smiles as against the frustration which marked the faces of people during the Rescue Mission era.
Among the proclamations which the new Governor made in his maiden address are:
To uphold the principles of rule of law and good governance.
To re-articulate the economy towards investor friendliness.
To overhaul and re-position the Public Service for efficient service delivery.
To revive education.
To reverse injustices arising from confiscation of peoples’ property especially land.
To restore the dignity and esteem of Imo people through economic emancipation.
To address issues of accumulated salaries, pensions and gratuity.
To address infrastructural decay.
To revamp the health sector, etc.
Governor Ihedioha’s covenant with Imo people is best captured in his Mission Statement thus: “To rebuild, re-position and transform Imo into a modern eco-system for education, agriculture, industry, tourism, culture, sports, entertainment, human capital development, science and technology”.
An appraisal of the steps taken so far by the Governor confirms a deliberate and well-articulated march towards achieving his set objectives. It will be recalled that His Excellency set up a Technical Committee upon winning the election which produced a comprehensive blueprint on various sectors which His Excellency has been implementing.
In the first month of the present administration, the Governor has assembled a team of very competent persons from diverse areas of specialization to man various aspects of governance with a charge on each appointee to “Always do the Right Thing”. This is a clear signal that the era of impunity is gone.
As the saying goes, “two or more good heads are better than one”. Governor Ihedioha has been consulting and engaging stakeholders in areas which need critical attention. This has led to the inauguration of some Committees viz:
1. Review of Appointments and recruitments in the Public Service made without due process.
2. Financial Advisory Committee.
3. Payment of Pensions and Gratuity.
4. Recovery of all moveable assets of Government.
5. Investigate the status of newly-established tertiary institutions by the past administration.
These Committees have since swung into action and their shocking revelations are reverberating across the land.
To arrest the huge flood which engulfs the State Capital after every rainfall, the Governor directed immediate de-silting of both surface and underground drainage system of Owerri which had been neglected in the past eight years.
Other critical directives which His Excellency gave at this period include:
Upgrade of Nekede Zoological gardens to restore it as a tourism destination
Total renovation of Dan Anyiam Stadium to return top class soccer to Imo Sports lovers
Restoration of Otamiri Water Scheme
Rehabilitation of some strategic roads to ease the pain of motorists including re-construction of Naze-Nekede-lhiagwa-FUTO-Obinze road.
During the first month also, Governor Ihedioha demonstrated his determination to return Owerri to the status of the cleanest State capital with the evacuation of massive refuse heaps at many locations including Relief Market, Douglas Road, Irete, Egbu Road, Naze, Agbala, Ulakwo, old mechanic village, Hardel Junction, Nkwo Orji, Aladinma etc. The recent clean-up exercise held on Saturday, 29th June, 2019 witnessed a well-co-ordinated effort by ENTRACO and other Agents of the State Government including Political Appointees and top Civil Servants which resulted in prompt evacuation of the mountains of refuse generated by the exercise at various locations. This synergy is sure to be maintained.
With the partnership of the State Government and AfriExim bank as brokered by Governor Ihedioha at the recent economic summit in Russia, the prospect of economic revitalization of Imo State will soon emerge. Imo is indeed on the path of regeneration.