One of my favourite political writers and satirists, Jonathan Swift described vision as; “the art of seeing what is invisible to others”. “Dean Swift” as he was also called, lived between the late 16th century to mid 17th century, yet, his words above remain as relevant today as it was in his time, if not more today. Sometimes, the simplest way to identify great visions is to see how much it is ridiculed or criticised.
History is not scarce of great leaders in politics, religion, business and the sciences who were misunderstood and whose great visions were initially ridiculed and condemned as either impossible or irrelevant, but what stands these leaders out and made them heroes at the end is their tenacity at sustaining these visions and riding it through to the benefit of even those who never gave it a chance.
Apparently, His Excellency Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is making it impossible for the opposition in Imo State to have anythimg of significance to campaign with, hence, their resort to embarrassing levels of mudslinging. This might also be their own strategy of trying to draw attention away from the ongoing distribution of 15,000 laptops to beneficiaries of the Skill-Up Imo program. These laptops are imbued with lucrative programs and softwares that would enable beneficiaries become self-sufficient as they could do a lot while sitting in their homes or offices.
In my education and times as a leader and businessman, I have learnt in unmistakable ways that the greatest achievements ever made in life usually come from the most audacious visions. I have learnt, overtime too, that those who doubt great visions are not bad people in themselves, but while some of them might be genuinely ignorant of the feasibility of such visions, there are others who are merely blinded by partisan interests and loyalty. And in any case, we must not let their doubts deter us from pursuing and actualizing those visions we consider important and helpful to our people.
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As a proud student of the Uzodimma Political and Leadership School of Thought, one thing I can always tell anyone about my leader and principal is that he is a man whose visions are always sterling and inspired by the need to leave the society better than he met it. In his life as a public servant, he is a trailblazer, not necessarily because he is the most brilliant, but certainly he is among the most passionate of visionaries.
No government in the world would ever be able to provide all the jobs required by her citizens. The greatest job of any responsible government is to create opportunities for her citizens to explore their best potentials and become the best they can be. Even the world’s best economies; USA, China, Japan, Russia still deploy their citizens outside their shores for either economic empowerment, education, or for other purposes, so the idea of undertaking to sponsor 4000 of our teeming youths to Europe to expose them to brighter economic and educational opportunities cannot but be applauded. Nigeria is a third world country, and there can never be enough jobs for its citizens, no matter how anyone tries.
The significance of the Nigerian diaspora to our domestic economy cannot also be overstated. Last year alone, Nigerians in the diaspora remitted about 21.9 billion dollars through official channels to Nigeria. This is trillions of Naira pumped into our economy, which directly provided jobs for thousands of those at home and ensured improved economic growth at home. Sending 4000 youths abroad by the State government is no doubt, a direct way of lifting 4000 families out of poverty and in extension, potentially channeling trillions of Naira into Imo State economy through these youths, who are of course being equipped with the necessary tools and education to certainly excel in whichever country they find themselves in.
In a society where families dispose of their most cherished landed properties and even inheritances in order to sponsor their children abroad, and parents pray for their daughters to marry someone in the abroad in order to break the chains of poverty, Imolites of goodwill and indeed, anyone with a development and progressive mindset is excited about this opportunity, and there are strong evidence to show that this is not a mere political promise, because Uzodimma is a promise keeper, who has worked to bring to fruition most of his promises, no matter how audacious they might sound at the onset. If he could send over 1000 Imolites to Israel and Jordan on pilgrimage and more than 200 others to Mecca, just for spiritual exercises, sending 4000 of our youths to Canada and Europe is as good as done.
When we came into the Imo State House of Assembly, the complex was in ruins, and for many months we were operating from makeshift offices. When he assured us that he was going to deliver one of the best State Assembly complexes in the country to us, there were doubts even among some of my colleagues, but today, that promise is a reality. The Orlu-Owerri, Okigwe-Owerri and Owerri -Umuahia roads stand today as evidence of Uzodimma’s capacity to see through any vision he puts his heart to, and I do not have I can assure Imolites, that in a matter of months, 4000 of our youths would not only be airborne to Canada and various countries across Europe, but all of them would be gainfully employed, as they are already undergoing necessary training to get the required skills and education necessary for them to excel in these countries, and repatriate greater opportunities for the development of our home State.
Rt. Hon Amarachi Iwuanyanwu is the deputy speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly