Tackling all State problems at once! 100 days with 100 projects!!

I wonder why everything must be done all at once by the government. Since I knew what is called government, it has been the practice. It played out again to my consternation when Gov. Ihedioha celebrated his first 100 days in office. I expected something different. I was profoundly disappointed. This is the first plank for my critique about this government. At the end of it, it will also be the basis on which it will be judged.
One Indian lecturer speaking at an international conference I attended, talking on India said, “India is big. So are its problems”. On how India is solving its big problems, he said, “big problems are like an elephant. You eat it bit by bit”. When he said that I said, ah, there you are – Nigeria, Imo state. We don’t eat our elephant bit by bit. We eat it at once. We can’t finish it. We die in the attempt. The elephant is wasted. Nothing is achieved.Our governor covered the entire universe in one speech when he rendered account of his first 100 days in office. He couldn’t withstand that temptation to which all others before him had fallen. I discovered about 100 hundred items he hadromanced with and done something about in only 100 days. The items are huge elephants in their own right individually. They are being tackled all at the same time.The Indian man first humbly acknowledged the enormous size of his country’s problem. And then said how it was being wisely engaged – bit by bit.
The difference with ours is that our leaders don’t have that modesty and humility of the Indian. The interest is to prove the vastness of their erudition, even with one speech. Once this is done, it is an achievement on its own for them. It started with Zik, Mbadiwe and the rest. Even Ojukwu had something of this character, though he was quite result-oriented and achieved a whole lot. These other people want to blow the grammar, and that’s all.
I suggest our elephant be eaten bit by bit, henceforth, according to priority. For instance we jumped the issue of the tutelage Rochas rigorously gave the people of Imo state for eight good years on repossessing big time state belongings and property without consequences (yet) for him? He enthroned this impunity in governance and public service, which I am sure a lot of people will learn from him as a way of life. Something must be done, to start with, to turn around this mentality and make the people who will feel justified doing same in future unlearn this teaching. How else can corruption be planted and watered in a place! The finger, in this case, is capable of spreading the oil on it to all other fingers.
Before any other thing else, the impression must be erased by the government  that Rochas has gotten away with all he did. Will government tackle the widespread indiscipline in the civil service where no service is rendered anywhere without bribery? The first bit of the elephant to be eaten is mobilization for good citizenship which was totally destroyed in the past regimes. I don’t know how this can be done. But it must be done, if any other project will make meaning. It is people who execute projects. If they are not reliable, prudent, selfless and honest, how can we make progress with any project?
Every government worker today goes to work and wants to take something home in the way of kick-back or bribery as a legacy from Rochas, since apparently nothing will happen to him. If the governor had made this the major issue in his speech, we would be clapping non-stop, knowing that a new era of realism has indeed set in when there will be no more of ritualistic speeches of declaration of  intensions and wishful thinking – as if wishes were horses. Let’s re-start the state under Ihedioha as an all-embracing moral movement. We need a moral movement based on inviolable truths and virtues of existence. The new government must establish that good character should be a corporate as well as an individual virtue. All should believe in it and work devotedly for it. Then the other things will follow. One wants to see projects taken up in priority ranking, according to their urgency. Imo state must live one day at a time. First things first! If the governor wants advice, it is on this sort of thing. He has a wide field to harvest this advice from.
Since all things to be done depend on availability of funds, he could begin with gathering the financial resources for re-launching the state on a clean slate. Then we can have comprehensive plan to spend prudently whatever fund is available. This is an absolute necessity and imperative for success. Having achieved this, the next issue is employment – get everybody out to work by all means. No excuses.  Progress and development are dependent on productivity. In this respect, the best thing is to get all persons into some form of real productivity, which cumulatively with enrich the state. The policy is that all must do something. No idle person(s). The resultant effect of this is simply that the people will keep busy. Income must come with it. Poverty both of the state and of its people will end. Problem comes when government thinks it should and can employ everybody.
Agriculture, farming and all forms of food production should be tackled next, as the sector that employs the most people. And for the fact that ‘man must wack’! Government has a huge and difficult task in this. The aim is to release all of the huge potentials in it. Agriculture will thrive with serious planning and funding, if only government will appreciate its vast ramifications and put into it enough organisation, professionalism, money, modern science, research and human resources. To throw billions into it first before any other thing will be very wise. Agriculture is the particular sector which if tackled, will abolish hunger in the land, end poverty, terrorism, militancy, criminality and insecurity. It will eliminate corruption, if this is an issue. I don’t believe it is. People are not corrupt. What is corrupt is the state. The state (government) sends a steady, powerful, irresistible message that teaches corruption. It calls upon everybody to be corrupt as the only way to survive. That has to be stopped and cleaned up first. Not by arrest, trial and imprisonment only, but by a movement, reforming the state engine and machinery to be exemplary, responsible and transparently responsive to the needs of all the people without exception. People should be able to emulate government as a model. This only will restore sanity.
Reeling out everything in the universe for government to act upon all at a go is preposterous, absurd and unbelievable. We must have to take the sectors one after the other or in small, manageable groups, monthly or yearly, to make reasonable dent on any of them.  Taking all at a time is a mouth full that cannot be chewed or swallowed. It is inescapable that this government must perform. It must deliver. Roads are important. But it can wait. We cannot be condemned forever to road-building. The priority is setting the moral tone of the state which takes care of all other things. Roads can only be built with the total involvement of all the people in all ways possible. Not by relying wholesale on contracts and contractors. Bringing everybody in the state diligently on board before any other thing is the way to go.

About the author