A blueprint for Imo State (Open Letter to Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Governor-Elect of Imo State)
By: Okoroji Chidiebere Alexander M.Ed
” The great revolution in the history of man, paet, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free”- John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States)
“Truth never damages a cause that is just”- Mahatma Gandhi
Permit me to use this medium to congratulate and reach out to the Imo State Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, in order to rebuild the state of Imo and make it the heartland of Eastern Region. Your Excellency, this letter is not meant to wash our linings in the public, but to sort out what is itching most of our fellow Imolites at hearts for over a decade.
Let me begin by making a passionate plea that you reconsider and change your mind on the allegedly reappointment of some of the members of the cabal that has served Imo and under the Ex-Governors and woefully failed us at their various ministries/sectors.
It was recently gathered that some persons are desperately engaged in lobbying you for re-appointment ahead of the May 29 inauguration, after most of them had served in various capacities in the past governments and administrations and failed.
The truth is; Imo needs fresh minds and blood to fill in these various positions and rebuild IMO to our tastes and dreams. If you will retain some of the members of the past cabinet, then we don’t have to call your administration a government for “REBUILDING and CONSOLIDATION” but instead a “STAGNANT, UNPRODUCTIVE, and UNPROGRESSIVE government”.
I want to remind you that most of them that failed the state have been holding ranking positions from 1999 to date, but unfortunately they can’t yield any positive result to the populace. In fact, they’re like disaster to the state, Especially most of them who seeks defection to retain their political career. Retire whoever served before and failed from holding any ranking position, if not they will still fail you. The truth is; with or without them, you will by Gods grace reach the apex of your political career.
Your Excellency, I want to draw your attention to Five major areas that need your quick intervention. They are Education, Health, Power, Industry, Rural Development; and youth empowerment; these should be your top priorities.
On education, our state is not doing well in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE). Let’s agree that the state government is trying in the educational sector and past governments has built schools here and there without any meaningful strategic plans to ensure it brings about the results needed to attain better positions on the said exams, does that mean our children are naturally dull, or it is the sector that lacks enough qualified teachers, teaching facilities or proper supervision?
The truth is; I’m not exposing the outgoing governor or to condemn his administration but I must even commend him for transforming the state in terms of, infrastructural development, tertiary education, road constructions, security, agriculture, job creation, and other related developments he brought to the state.
My piece is just to remind and notify you (Governor-elect) that the aforementioned areas need a declaration of a “state of emergency” in order to curb the menace.
As we know, Imo is one of the States that and will benefits from the oil payments by the Federal Government, which fund is to be used for the development of strategic areas in the state, like providing quality education, clean water, better road networks and other social amenities for her citizens, so we should consider that education is the fundamental requirement and the key driving factor for meaningful and sustainable development. In this regard, therefore, our collective willingness and ability to provide and maintain an effective community-centred and sustainable educational system in Imo state is more than a prerequisite for every other sectors like industries, power, security, housing, transportation, entertainment etc to function effectively and efficiently, there is need for the citizens to be educated both the young and old respectively.
Nigeria is already on the top list of countries with large number of out-of-school children, Imo State inclusive. If you want to succeed on education, your government must invest in an effective ‘Teaching, Learning and Assessment’ (TLA) paradigm with proper supervision that can sustain our motivation and to enable us traverse the ‘education for sustainable development’ route easily. In compliment, this approach will mitigate against and curb the tension in the east especially those seeking political-independence. Education and human development will end these struggles and make life better for everyone. It must be emphasized that, the fundamental of any education system is the sound primary and secondary education.
To curb this menace, there is need to maintain high standard of secondary education, with special attention to the science and technology education. There should be one special science and technical school each for boys and girls in each of the senatorial districts. These special schools must be supplied by network of functional primary schools.
Talking about health care delivery, comprehensive health centres (CHCs) should be constructed, equipped and adequately staffed at each of the electoral wards across the state. There should be functional general hospitals in all local government headquarters which shall serve as links to the special zonal referral hospitals in order to ease the hardship of the rural communities.
On Power, the government needs to provide alternative such as solar etc to enable our industries function effectively. With power, industrial works becomes easy and living cost becomes affordable as the cost of production reduced drastically.
On industry, the government should focus on commercializing our indigenous produce, reduce tax on locally produced goods and services, promote entrepreneurship, provide each senatorial district a Mega Ultramodern Markets system, provide an enabling environment, promote research and training for producers and service providers. And make available investment opportunities for foreigners to partner.
On Rural Development, the government needs to focus on a Roadmap to integrate Rural and Urban partnership, thereby providing a better roadmap for businesses, transportation, industrialization and commercialization and also maintaining our core tradition values as Igbos.
On the youth empowerment, young persons and women empowerment, political and leadership development should be considered. The youths have participated immensely during your electioneering campaign period especially the Ihedioha New Media Center (INMC), we then expect and request your government to empower young men and women. They should be given some percentages in order to fully participate in the government. Youths are no longer leaders of tomorrow but they are leaders of today, tomorrow and
backbone of the society.
Then job opportunities to our teeming youths should also be your top most priority in order to reduce the rate of poverty in the state.
On the new Imo, the #REBUILDIMO @Rebuildimo1 on twitter should be medium and means of publications if approved. The outgoing government have the RESCUEIMO. There is need to give IMO a new face and hope with the slogan REBUILDIMO. The government should ensure that every sectors gets its attention. Also the government house titled THE DOUGLAS HOUSE name should be officially abolished as a result of the bad and negative history the name holds for the good people of Mbaise and Igbos in general. THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE should be officially recognized as it is in your power to rewrite history for good!
In summary, Your Excellency sir, my advice to you is; as you take over the mantle of leadership come May 29, you should embark on in paying surprise visits to all the sectors, especially public schools, hospitals/clinics and secretariats in order to see proper bureaucracy run in your administration. Also, you shouldn’t allow sycophancy, godfatherism, tribalism and their actors to destroy your political career.
Finally, I shall not relent to always use this very important medium to advise you sincerely on the way forward, because poor bureaucracy is taking almost all the sectors in the state. A stitch in time saves nine!
@OkorojiCA writes from Kebbi via
email@example.com or 07062600246