Feelers received from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) especially around the Owerri North axis of the party indicate that all may not be well with the ruling party. This stems from the politics of appointment rocking the party. Here some party big wigs have been fingered to have objected to the Governor’s nomination of a professional accountant, Nick Opara-Ndudu as commissioner. The objection it was further gathered was rooted in the fact that the candidate is seen as having joined the party mid-stream and was not part of the struggle from the beginning which midwifed the party’s victory at the polls.
The antagonists against Opara-Ndudu in the Owerri North insist that they must not fall victim like Owerri-West and Owerri Municipal where appointees from these two local governments were adjudged as not belonging to the party. In the case of Owerri Municipal Barr. NdukweNnawuchi (SAN), who was appointed the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General was considered neither a politician nor a member of the party. UcheOnyeagucha, appointed from Owerri-West as the Secretary to the Government of Imo State was also seen joining the party mid-stream like Opara-Ndudu.
Fingered in this ‘unholy’ behaviour are the roles of an influential female party chieftain who had once called the shots from Abuja and also another federal parliamentarian currently serving in Abuja among others.I am not a politician and even if I am one I strongly doubt if the argument posited by those who shot down the nomination of the would-have-been commissioner would have ever gone down well with me. It is clearly preposterous and puts down merit in place of other primordial interests.
‘In my own thinking’, Ihedioha having promised to rebuild Imo need to assemble a crack team that will enable him deliver on his promise because fail or succeed he takes responsibility for his actions and inactions. Now that Okorocha ran riot over Imo nobody is calling his party but him. Our politics sadly has remained one of chop I chop (stomach infrastructure) where people are not motivated to serve the populace but only their selfish interest. Here every contribution by anybody to see the party through is viewed as something that must be rewarded either with political patronage: appointments or contract awards. Whose interest is being served and that for sure remains the ugly side of our politics.
As the man on the driving seat he takes all the knocks and possibly blessings. If this is the case why should we not allow him free hand to choose his team he is sure that support him to deliver. Why can’t we take a break from the ugly past? Why can’t we do something when we know that the status quo has not helped matters? Must people invest in politics as get rich quick process? Can we not be selfless for the interest of others? I will urge Ihedioha to be courageous enough to take a bold step to begin to change politics in Imo. In all sincerity can we say that our process is right?
AgreedEmeka may have leveraged on the support of many people to ascend to power but must he reward everybody? Those who have made contributions to the emergence of Ihedioha should see such efforts as their own sacrifice for the redemption of the state. Engr. EmekaUdokporo, President, Ihiagwa Town Management Committee once said, ‘’that Mr. A helped you to win election does not mean that Mr. A must be in power when he lacks what it takes to deliver that assignment. The right people must be used to do the right job. If we use the right people for the right job things will change. It doesn’t matter anybody that helped you to be in power there must be a purpose for that.’’
Continuing, he said, ‘’another thing you must do for people which is very important is to do what is right and live right. When people begin to see our people as those that are willing to do the right thing people will know that the time for the real change has come. But when a leader is corrupt every other person around him will be corrupt. When a leader is not corrupt people are watching him and what will happen: every other person around him that is corrupt will run because there is no free lunch.’’
Imo people want to see a star studded team of professionals with strong personal effectiveness ready to apply the right business models to get things on course. To get Imo working again is not rocket science. There are global best practices which are not the exclusive preserve of the private sector. Today states like Ebonyi and AkwaIbom have become reference points of development, whatever that is happening there can also happen here at a greater level if we have the right team.
As a response to our political tragedy, Dr. Sam Amadi, a public policy analyst in my last interview with him had this to say, ‘let the middle class, professionals and those who are economically stable and not going to politics as a survival strategy should populate the political class. The real answer to our political tragedy is to get back professionals into politics. It does two things. One, it creates a pool of people who can actually have the ways of solving problem. It changes the dependency factor in politics because it has to employ impoverished people and the unemployed young people in the rural areas who are the catchment constituency of politicians. They are not going to sell their votes and they are going to make decisions based on who needs the money. When professionals come in, they change the dynamics.
Continuing, he stated that, ‘they create expectations and that expectations becomes the measuring lines of those who perform or not perform, so that in the next election there would have been a high bench marked expectations to sort out those who will continue or not. So over time we will have good governance. Take the case of Anambra for example because of the conflict between a god father and god son, getting new setting Anambra professionals came together and that is how Peter Obi came into focus. Obi has engendered some professional touch from vicious to virtuous which after him someone who may not be exactly like but comparable to him has sustained that. Look at the array of people they parade in their circles. So Anambra people have shown us that we can change politics through the infusion of professionals and by getting new actors to the game. We are not talking theories here; it happened in Anambra and can happen in Imo or elsewhere.’’