The Christian Holy Writ admonishes that people must calculate very well the cost of building a house before commencing its construction. In business, commerce and industry, entrepreneurs undertake feasibility studies of their area of business interest with the aim of determining its viability and potentiality for success. To that extent, politics is a very huge business, second only to religion. That why every true politician does not undermine the role of research and strategy to drive his politics to success. In politics such quintessential planning and strategizing for a successful delivery is called ideology and manifesto.
In this short essay, I am purposed to preview in series the dream, vision and mission that His Excellency, RT. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has for the people of Imo State that he passionately wish to serve as governor from 2019. As an experienced career politician, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria understands too well the need to calculate via thorough feasibility studies what are his purposes, plans, requirements, demands challenges, prospects, propensities and possibilities of providing government and governance tot the Imo place and people.
It was for that cause the former Deputy Speaker of the House commissioned a think-tank group that empirically studied Imo State in her entirety to determine the true status of the state with regards to her socio-economic potentials and drawbacks vis-à-vis her capacity and capabilities for revitalization, reorganization and repositioning for reasonable and responsible exploration, exploitation and delivery of the true dividends of democracy to the good people of Imo State. The report and recommendations have since been customized, adopted and published as his ideology, manifesto, roadmap, compass, focal point etc that he intends to deploy to drive the sound administration for sustainable growth and development of the state.
From his personal experience garnered from a cognate twenty three years of direct service in both the presidency for four years and the National Assembly where he served for nineteen years of which for twelve years, eight of which were as a principal officer saddled with tremendous executive duties and responsibilities, Rt. Hon. Emeka Igedioha articulated his vision for Imo State thus: “To shape and sustain an environment of peace and prosperity in Imo State, through a government that is accountable to its people. In this context, we shall lay emphasis on key sectors that will lead to wealth creation and social economic development of our people.”
In the same vein, the former Chief Whip of the Federal House of Representatives (2001-2011), in a very concise but comprehensive way expresses his mission in Imo State as: “To establish a transparent and accountable government that is responsive to the needs of the citizenry of our state, and committed to implementing a policy agenda that provides steep change in the livelihood of our people. To this end, we shall build a sustainable State where the promotion of human capital will be at its core, whilst providing the necessary infrastructure to harness investment and engender economic growth. Only through a focus on these two core Government responsibilities can we secure the future of our current generation and that of our children.”
With the above-stated vision and mission, it could be deduced that incontrovertibly, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is very well prepared, through service as governor, to lead Imo State out of the woods that the expiring regime of Governor Rochas Okorocha led the state into.
In the preamble of his testament of purpose, captioned “Together We Will Rebuild Imo” Chief Emeka Ihedioha stated thus: “My experience of the past many years as a public servant, a distinguished legislator and committed Imo patriot, has provided me with a deep understanding of the immense challenges facing our dear state, Imo, and the expectations of different stakeholders. More so, it has strengthened my resolve to serve our great state as governor”.
While William Shakespeare averred that “There is no art to find the minds construction on the face”, the above-stated quote is a manifestation of the true nature of Chief Ihedioha’s well calculated decision to become the governor of Imo State. QED!
Without leaving any room for doubt, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha means well for Imo State. One immediate instance to support that conclusion is the fact that of all the 25 gubernatorial candidates in the 2015 election, it was only Ihedioha that had a well-researched and well-structured, verifiable and accountable manifesto that was submitted to the public domain for critical analysis by relevant pundits.
In the parlance of business management and administration, “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail”. Quite conscious of the wisdom in that wit, Chief Emeka Ihedioha chose to plan first and ahead for success than risk failure ab initio in haphazard, staccato, and confused governance delivery. The result is the very impressive document cataloguing his plans, policies, programmes and projects that will take Imo State to a high level.
He stated thus: “With deep sense of humility and utmost gratitude to Almighty God, I have painstakingly and deliberately prepared myself for the task am now embarking on.
“At every step of the way, we have made it clear that our programmes are aimed at ensuring transparency and overall socio-economic growth and development of our dear state. This establishes my eagerness to be held accountable by the 4.8 million citizens of Imo State.”
As an author, teacher, journalist, editor, and even publisher, I can tell a true confession from the bottom of the heart when I see it. From the above-quoted statements, Chief Ihedioha has opened his heart and poured out pointed words that prove his will to lead by serving. I am an exponent of the fact that whatever anybody says that ends up in prints and is published for public consumption conveys a very highly significant level of altruism. The author has made himself or herself available for scrutiny with praise should he be found to have kept his words or disrepute and shame should be found to have declared falsehood and failed to walk his talk. That is why Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha’s pet-phrase has remained: “My Word Is My Bond”!
To ensure that he knew and understood the what, where, when, why and how of his vision and mission to be elected Imo governor, Chief Ihedioha believes in wide consultation on public issues before embarking on its implementation.
He said: “In the course of my preparations, my team and I visited the 27 Local Government Areas, held consultative meetings in all the 305 electoral wards and met with people from all works of life at close quarters. We listened to the views expressed by our people, and we talked to all stakeholders: business people, both big corporations and local traders alike; private and public sector practitioners, farmers, traders, the physically challenged and so on. We attended to numerous other activities and met with all cadres of the society in our state. Following from these conversations we have come to understand the challenges of our people.
“I hold myself accountable to them, each and everyone, particularly the over 1.8 million Imo voters. I have, therefore, placed before my fellow citizens, our vision for Imo State, not just as a place, but a home to us all. Here I have explained my convictions and set forth my policy platforms for our beloved state.”
I do not about you, my reader, but I sure know that the propositions made by Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha cannot be equated with vamvum, bubuyaya yabis of the expiring Rochas Okorocha’s rescue mission regime. I believe Chief Ihedioha cannot afford to turn a southpaw overnight,That means he cannot deviate and compromise on his highly coveted and much cherished attribute of integrity. I believe that truly Ihedioha’s words are his bond.
P.S: In the sequels in the series, I shall meticulously preview further what Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has made public as what he plans to do in and for Imo State when he assumes office as the governor. Please keep the date and follow Ihedioha’s strides to Douglas House in 2019.