Imo: Situating Governor Uzodimma As Indisputable Imo Charge-de-affaires

By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

The Eagle is the king of the birds. “Ugo wu Eze nnunu”! The eagle soars highest among the birds. It sees farthest. It’s the strongest. It’s the most elegant. Call it primus inter pares among the aves and you won’t be wrong! Welcome to this edition of our short essay series!

There’s a saying among Ndigbo that: “Nnunu ahuru na akwu, ya nwe akwu”! What that simply transliterates into is that the occupant of an office owns the office.

In Imo State, Southeast Nigeria, the executive governor of the State is His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma. He and only he occupies the Office of the Governor, in Imo Government House, Owerri. He’s in ebulliently in charge!

The successful one-day working visit to Imo State by the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, as hosted by the governor, was expected to engender an avalanche of benefits in varying ramifications, tangible and intangible.

The immediate tangible benefits have begun to manifest. It actually began few days after the president returned to Aso Rock from Owerri, with the announcement of Imo State as a beneficiary in the multi-billion naira road construction project approved by the Federal Government.

Students in the Southeast geo-political zone, including Imo State, who were prevented from writing exams in a compulsory subject by enforcers of the sit-at-home order, received a relief, when the Federal Government approved that they be given another opportunity to write the the exam.

Discerning members of the public know that the reprieve that approved by the Federal Government was a direct benefit that must have been made possible by the president’s visit and the interactive Town Hall meeting, where he met and rubbed minds with the authentic leaders of the East.

The next very notable benefit that accrued to Imo State, obviously courtesy of the presidential visit was the appointment by President Buhari of Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume as the Chairman of the Board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.

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And in keeping with his word, Mr. President, Mr. Integrity, Mr. Incorruptible, looks very set to continue to release more and more benefits to Imo State. And as can be arrested to by progress-minded Ndimo, the presidential largesse so far are substantial and far-reaching. It’s like a new day for federal presence in Imo State has dawned.

Misinformed are the petty arguments that Governor Uzodimma has no hands in the outpouring of benefits to Imo State and Imo people after the visit of the president. Can Imo State get any benefits from the Federal Government without the knowledge of the governor?

Isn’t Governor Uzodimma the governor of all Imolites? Can an exclamation of “God forbid”, change the fact that he’s the authentic governor of Imo State? Waky-waky! It’s time Ndimo wake up to the reality of Governor Uzodimma’s serving as Imo governor! God’s case, no appeal!

President Buhari appropriately underscored, appreciated and commended the roles of the Executive Governor of the State, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma in inviting and hosting the president, culminating in all of the above-stated benefits so soon after the visit, with more in the pipeline.

Well-meaning Imolites have also honestly and sincerely been eulogizing and applauding Governor Uzodimma for the feat of successfully hosting the president of Nigeria in Owerri, in what has been recorded as the first presidential working visit to Imo State in over a decade.

It’s unfortunate that some people in the State choose to allow bad politics becloud their medulla oblangata and hamper their thinking faculties from giving honour to Governor Uzodimma, to whom honour is due.

Assuming, but not conceding, that the governor refurbished some projects that were commissioned by President Buhari, what’s wrong with that? Should he have abandoned the projects? Would abandoning the project have been better than refurbishing, repainting and commissioning the project?

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Should the president have refused to commission the project because the incumbent governor “refurbished” the project? Should Mr. President have undermined his good host that is still in active service in his office as governor by commending the past governor?

Probably, if Governor Uzodimma had completed the 27 General Hideout that was originally intended to be 27 General Hospitals, and invited President Buhari, somebody and some people may have castigated him with condemnations, abuses and insults! Elu uwa ekwe mmeta!

We feel that Governor Hope Uzodimma is the eagle in the nest. He’s the sitting governor. He’s the incumbent governor. And as established in our preamble to this short essay, the bird that’s found in the nest, owns the nest.

The governor is completely in charge of the leadership and governance affairs of Imo State. He calls the shots and takes responsibility. The buck ends on his executive table, including the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly buck.

The system is too cynical and hypocritical where some people quickly vilify the governor for whatever they assume or perceive as negative plan, policy, programme or project of the governor and his government, but remain indifferent and mute to the clearly positive acts, actions and activities of the governor and his government. Hypocrisy of hypocrites!

The good work and great feat of Governor Hope Uzodimma successfully inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo State and the accompanying benefits so far should attract commendations and applauses from Imolites and Nigerians, and not condemnations, abuses and insults.

If any other Imolite were to be Imo governor and after successfully inviting the president of the country to the State, with benefits beginning to flow in from the Federal Government, would it be proper for him to be condemned instead of commended?

Ndigbo say: “Ekele onye akidi, ya gwota ozo”! The English say: “One good turn deserves another”! Ndimo must imbibe the culture of appreciating good work of Governor Hope Uzodimma, thanking him for the good he does and praying for more good work and good harvest of good benefits from him.

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We’ll reiterate what we stated in another short essay. It’s not true that there’s only one individual that has the magic wand to transform Imo State with growth and development. It’s not only one cock that can crow in the village! God Almighty is not like that!

Rather, we believe that in varying degrees, under the same situations and circumstances, what Okeke can do, Okafor, Okorie and Okonkwo can also do. The good that Okeke does must not be seen as bad because it wasn’t Okafor, Okorie or Okonkwo that did it.

How could Governor Uzodimma’s successfully inviting President Buhari to Imo State be viewed with negative lenses of condemnation? Since when did a sitting governor successfully hosting a sitting president become a bad thing?

Only the truth shall set free Imo State and Imo people. His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is the governor of Imo State. He’s fully in control. He should be allowed to get the commendations and applauses for the good work he’s doing. Mr. President has shown the way. Let Ndimo emulate the president. The time is Uzodimma o’clock!!

By God’s grace, Imo State must be reconstructed!!

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