By Igboeli Arinze
When the Supreme Court announced him as Governor of Imo State, many were skeptical about what the two time Senator would offer to the people of Imo State in terms of governance. The Orlu born politician fresh from his numerous battles with Rochas Okorocha who simply wanted to turn Imo into Okorocha and Sons INC and then the legal battles with former Governor Ihedioha had a number of question marks on what he had to offer to Ndi Imo. Many questioned his political background as a PDP Senator, a party that had largely squandered the nation’s commonwealth, divvying up for their estates, families and harem of wives and concubines such commonwealth, that ought to have gone into schools, roads, power and infrastructure, healthcare and agriculture. Uzodinma was seen as a buccaneer by many owing to his past association with the PDP.
The song however today rings differently, and so like Philip of the Bible said to Nathaniel, something good too can come from the PDP irrespective of association, but even at that, Hope’s political trajectory did not start with the PDP but the All Nigeria People’s Party and for political expediency he like many others took to cross carpeting to fulfill their political ambitions.
Perhaps, frustrated by the PDP’s lack of vision, Uzodinma called it quits, pitching his tent back to his roots, the APC even at a time it was not popular to associate with the party.
Hitting the ground running, Governor Hope Uzodinma has sought to turn Imo around, away from the squandermania and the mismanagement that was initially witnessed under the administrations of the past, under the auspices of “A Shared Prosperity” anchored on his 3 R’s of Recovery, Reconstruction and Rehabilation, his administration has helped Imo save N2bn of its resources by simply automating the state’s finances. Not done, he has also sought to bolster the will of civil servants in Imo to work, with a rehabilitation of the secretariat and the provision of vehicles to ease the movement of civil servants in the state.
A state like Imo State must surely grapple with its infrastructural challenges if it is indeed going to be an admirable investment hub for prospective investors. Governor Uzodinma surely does not intend to be left behind as he has so far attempted to address the sorry state of the roads neglected by past administrations. As I write this the Governor has embarked on 60 Road projects, completing 15 in blitzkrieg manner with a number of these projects nearing completion , all in just one year of his administration.
Healthcare and Education have also seen Uzodinma galvanize the resources of Imo into laudable projects, such as an Emergency Operation Centre(EOC) at Umuguma General hospital, the 250 bed Specialist hospital for infectious deceases at Orlu, 4 state of the art Isolation and treatment centres in different parts of the state in addition to the provision of 34 ambulances for the 27 local governments.
Likewise in education, Uzodinma has advanced policies that will allow Imo State University, the state’s fledging academic institution clamber into the top ranked universities in the Federation. In addition to this he has established the University of Agriculture and environmental sciences. It is also noteworthy of celebrating the fact that the state’s schools of nursing which had lost their accreditation status prior to his emerging have all regained their accreditation under the Uzodinma administration.
The building of 305 classroom blocks in all the wards in the state is ongoing while all the schools of nursing in the state de- accredited since 2005 have been re- accredited under Uzodimma’s watch.
Need I mention that in addition to the construction of classroom blocks in the 305 wards in the state, the state government has also introduced a number of pro pupil policies aimed at ensuring the provision of qualitative primary education in the state.
But then the governor must deal with the issue of non payment of pensioners and civil servants who claim that they are been owed by the state. Since the enhancement of human welfare is the supreme mandate of any government, it does not give Uzodinma’s administration any shine if people are on a daily basis protesting about unpaid salaries and pensions. Matter of fact it paints the government as anti people and gives the opposition the impetus to throw stones at its numerous achievements.
The government has repeatedly stated that it is not owing but the people who are protesting say otherwise, it is the duty of the government to find a solution to this, if these people were illegally hired or are fraudsters as the government suggests then it should prove such and perhaps prosecute these people.
Again, it may be that some of these workers and pensioners are been victimized because of their allegiance to past administrations, if this is so , then it is also necessary for the governor to rise above the politics if not then the government must state its case.
Like I said, Hope Uzodinma seems to have a progressive agenda for NdiImo but then he must deal with certain matters before they become his undoing.
Igboeli Arinze is the Managing Editor of HawkEye Communications.