The hue and cry of the 2011 election especially that of the Governorship election in Imo State has come and gone with its attendant passions and emotions on various divides. No gain saying the beauty of democracy lies in the diversity of opinions, views and inclinations as freely expressed by the people vis a vis the political parties, their manifestoes and candidates. During electioneering period the electorates and even the contestants hold on tenaciously to their views and shades of political opinions until the election is held and won by the opinion of the majority. While the majority will have their way, the minority they say will equally enjoy their say which may comparatively be either superior or inferior to that of the former.
Once a winner emerges in a democracy, he ceases to be the representative of his sympathizers and allies but instead transforms to become that of the entire electorates and carries everybody along.Imo people have indeed decided though against my humble opinion but in the practice of democracy I have no option as a minority than to remain with my view while lending every necessary respect to the decision of the majority. The popular decision of Imo people and the unrivalled vigilance displayed in its assertion and defense has opened a new front in the study of elections in developing countries.
The electorates in both divides displayed vigilance, commitment, sincerity and defied any form of intimidation in holding on to their opinions. This act demands kudos for the Imo electorate.The crux now is that we have Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the Governor elect to steer the ship of governance in Imo State for the next four years.
If he will keep to his promise of single four year tenure and hand over to an Owerri zone (a zone that now share the fate of the South East in Nigeria) Governor is a one billion Naira question to be answered by posterity. As bonafide citizens of this state irrespective of our pre election alignments (which I have stated mine based on the imperative of zoning to give every segment of the state a sense of belonging) we are under obligation to ensure that the incoming government does not fail or get entrapped in those pitfalls responsible for the non performance of previous governments in the state since 1999. By this I mean that governance has become too serious a responsibility to be left in the hands of the leader and his sympathizers and allies.
The burning enthusiasm for good governance in Imo state by the electorates with its concomitant alertness, vigilance and fearlessness must be sustained in advising and in constructive critique of the incoming administration. The citizens must begin to understand and to stand up to their civic responsibilities now that the setting is fresh by presenting an expectation target for the government. Serious efforts should be made by both civil society and community groups to place an order of governance priority before the new government as a guide to the need of the people.
I have no doubt in my mind that Owelle has a decent and responsible team like Prof. A. G. Anwuka (though he introduced school fee increment and verification of result fees in IMSU), Prince Eze Madumere (a very intelligent and highly loved prince by his Mbieri people), Cmrd. Uche Nwosu (pioneer director of transport in IMSU) and a whole other articulate people travelling with him yet he must be mindful of the entrance of sycophants and the AGIP (Any Government in Power) politicians who are now seriously digging their ways to him.
The implication is that once these politicians whom the last election has exposed as worthless and fake in their self made leader status gets around him, they will immediately becloud him and re establish their cabal. I have read a lot of newspaper advertorials whose cost run into millions of Naira by most of these unpopular self made leaders and even LGA chairmen congratulating Rochas.
The fact is that these people who were responsible for the woos of previous governments in the state are mere praise singers who are seeking for recognition and an avenue to reconnect their looting pipe back to the government. They offer nothing to the society other than enriching themselves and continous assurance if His Excellency that he is popular, even when his policies are anti people.In as much as Owelle is expected to carry everybody along but he must be wary of some of these spent forces who will offer his government no substance.
The clamour for generational change is real and cannot be over looked by the present government, else the Owelle will be transforming to an Ikiri. Owelle should ensure that the old politicians from 65years and above are retired, he should appoint more of vibrant and articulate younger people into positions. He should be gender sensitive and must give every zone of the state equitable representation in his government. We expect tolerance to dissenting views with a no wagging tongue. Thuggery and touts should be completely eradicated in this government of great expectations.
One thing everybody expects from Owelle now is prudency in financial management in both appropriation and otherwise. I expected him to have emulated Late President Yar’ Adua in directing no newspaper congratulatory advertorials, visits or jingles (as I now hear every morning on the radio) which has a record of wastage and sychophancy in our polity because those money could have been used in a more productive venture than in a mere eulogizing spree. Anyway we will have the opportunity to verify the more by his disposition on this after May 29.
The people of Imo state especially those of Okigwe and Owerri zone have expressed their goodwill to him by given him a preparation ground for his presidency race in 2015(if the rumours are correct) and he has a duty to reciprocate it by not Orlurizing Imo again as we witnessed between 1999 and 2007. We are happy that his Chief of Staff, Prince Madumere is not from Orlu like in the case of Udenwa and Ohakim. We are equally expecting his SSG to come from Okigwe zone and the increase of development and projects in Owerri and Okigwe zones since Orlu has got a reasonable share of the State cake.
On the part of the people it must be noted that at the peak of the campaign fury, candidates (including Owelle) made both realistic and unrealistic promises to the electorates but now that the chips are down we must exercise patience while remaining steadfast in our expectations of fulfillment of campaign promises. We must acknowledge the fact that government takes time to stabilize (thank God we are not expecting any Guber litigation). I have always classified Rochas alongside the likes of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Marcel Nlemigbo, Mrs. Ijeoma Nwafor, individuals who have invested hugely on philanthropism and human development (note that I am only using the humanitarian heavy weights around my domain as references) and this quality assures me that the new man will lead with a human face.
The incoming government on her part should ensure that quality PR is established and sustained after swearing in and such should be used to ensure that the citizens are adequately informed and involved in the governance of the state.
I wish Owelle Rochas Okorocha a successful single (or two) tenure(s) as the Governor of Imo state.
Comrd. Aku Obidinma (Abdul)