Restoring Faith in Governance: The Uzodinma strategy to all Ndi Imo

To galvanise Imo people to aspire and achieve together. To ensure that Imo comes before self-interest as we promote the tenets of one people, one destiny. To support, promote and place Imo State on the horizon of limitless opportunities while telling it as it is without bias, compromise, prejudice, favouritism or partisanship.

The need for clarity, certainty and accuracy in understanding the workings of the government in Imo State has never been more urgent than now. A lot of issues critical to our people are deliberately twisted, spinned, unreported, underreported and even mangled to create the impression that our state is under siege, failing and therefore should be avoided by all means.

The state has suffered extensive damages occasioned by an intricately contrived de-marketing agenda by agents of destablisation bent on tarring our people and the government with the brush of shame. There is no denying the fact that Imo, like other states in Nigeria faces enormous challenges of insecurity, infrastructural decay, economic stasis, social and cultural upheavals largely occasioned by resource deficits as a result of global economic downturn. The germane question that arises is “what is the government doing to tackle and resolve these challenges”
The need has therefore arisen for us to come together as a people in absolute collaboration for Effective State Engagement so that we can properly interrogate the state of affairs in Imo. How then do we develop a very effective and sustainable approach in the monitoring and evaluation of programmes that contribute to reducing conflicts, crime and violence and ensure that the shared prosperity agenda of the government is commonly available to all Imo citizens? We need to demand and secure explanations from the government on the inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts of its programmes and activities of political and economic stakeholders on our people.

This platform which ownership is open to all Imo people is a product of the resolute determination of select Imo citizens across the globe to have conversations, share views, exchange ideas, proffer solutions and encourage implementations, provides an opportunity for all Imolites to tell their stories and advance arguments without varnish or prejudice recognizing that only the truth triumphs.
As we come together to defend the dignity of our people and fight the common enemy of poverty, as we remind the government that the state is the duty bearer
and we the people the right holders, we must deploy adequate metrics to measure the progress or otherwise being made in the state.

Imo must be above all interests because we are one people, one destiny.
Together, we aspire, together we achieve. We are stronger united. Let the conversations begin.

Our evidence based submissions which would be published in multiple series are the result of several diligent, assiduous and conscientious interactions between our members who flew from North America, Europe, Asia and Africa to Imo State and many stakeholders, business people, politicians, the clergy, students, market men and women, traditional rulers, town union presidents, commercial vehicle operators, commuters, several citizens and residents of Imo State.

NOTE: We are neither agents of the Imo State government nor any other interest group. We have never met with the Governor of Imo State as a group and we are not eager to meet him, his representatives or any other person or persons with respect to the work we are doing. We are simply Imo citizens desirous of making our state a better place for all. Every submission made here is the result of our honest and unbiased evaluation.

According to John Adams, facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. Here are the verifiable facts on ground.

It is common knowledge that Imo State was raped, pillaged, plundered and fleeced by the officials of the administration that came to rescue it before May 2019. The brigandage and banditry against the state by the then Governor, his family and henchmen were so alarming and intolerable that the ability to recover looted state funds and properties became a campaign talking point. How has Governor Hope Uzodinma fared in this task of recovery from the corrupt profligate state actors of that era?
In his maiden broadcast to Imo people in January 2020, Governor Hope Uzodinma had clearly stated that “The New Imo State offers a new paradigm to redress the ripples of those years of maladministration…” To demonstrate that he was not a speech-conscious politician, he promised firm and courageous leadership, accountability, transparency, financial discipline, inclusiveness and anchored his government on the three pillars of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery and a culture of shared prosperity in which the wealth of Imo State would be used for the good of all.
Available and verifiable evidence on ground shows that since 2011 when Governor Uzodinma was elected to the Senate up till today, he has not shown the slightest proclivity or predisposition towards primitive and unconscionable acquisition of private wealth. He lives in the same house in Abuja, he has not appropriated his neighbour’s lands in his village, he has only owned one property in Owerri that he bought from a family. He has publicly stated severally that his mission in Imo is to serve and not to plunder. He therefore has the moral courage to stand up for what is right and has been committed to protecting the assets of the state from the long hands of crass freebooters and oppressors of the poor.
In leadership, it is always courage that continues to count. A courageous leader is one who is willing to listen to unfiltered feedback which may not necessarily be easy to hear and be ready to implement decisions that would bring about desirable outcomes. He understood clearly upon assumption of office that Imo people yearned for the complete recovery of stolen state and private assets by the administration of the man they elected into office on the pretence of philanthropy.

It is said that transparency is the antidote of hypocrisy and Governor Uzodinma being a transparent and non-hypocritical leader showed up at the foyer of courage because he knew what not to fear. With the currency of courage and transparency and daring to be different from past Governors, his administration has recovered the following illegally converted state assets based on the recommendations of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Lands and Related Matters

• N40 billion Naira Eastern Palm University (now renamed K.O. Mbadiwe University) built with state funds but appropriated by Senator Okorocha and his family. The University has since had its courses duly accredited by the National University Commission.
• Nsu Ceramic Industry with the capacity to generate 20,000 direct and indirect jobs illegally acquired by ex-Governor Okorocha and his fronts.
• Royal Palm Spring Hotels and Apartments Owerri built on State Land.
• Imo Broadcasting Corporation Quarters illegally acquired and transferred to Rochas Foundation
• Owerri Magistrate Quarters, Orlu Road Cooperative Office/Girls Guide Office illegally converted to a private business premises: Market Square Supermarket/Kilimanjaro eatery and hundreds of other properties contained in pages 226 to 272 of the said report.

To be continued in part two of our Restoring Faith in Governance: The Uzodinma Strategy series.

Dr. J. Iyke Zy Agu MD PhD
Texas, USA

Ikenna Duru PhD
London, UK

Chukky M. Obioha (MLITT)
Lagos, Nigeria

Restoring Faith in Governance: The Uzodinma strategy to all Ndi Imo

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