Connect with us

Uzodimma: Two Years Of Firm Hand On The Plough


Uzodimma: Two Years Of Firm Hand On The Plough

By Oguwike Nwachuku

“I have used Owerri/Orlu road, now under reconstruction. A lot of work is going on there, including on Sundays. I couldn’t believe it. But it made me happy and pleasantly surprised. You and the Governor must continue along this trajectory. My people, Ndigbo say: “Agbachaa  oso, aguwa mile.”

The above was sent to me last week as text message by Mr. Kanayo Esinulo, one of Nigeria’s respected media practitioners who was former aide to late Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu when the latter was on exile in Cote d’ Ivoire.

Oga Kanayo as we fondly call him said he was home recently to attend to some family matters and decided to use the opportunity to go round Imo to see things for himself and be properly informed as an indigene of the state.

Yours sincerely was pleasantly surprised over the text message from a man many editors and senior journalists across Nigeria respect so much sent to me.

The reason is because Oga Kanayo is a man who has seen it all as far as Nigeria is concerned, particularly as regards evaluating good and poor governance in the country, including Imo State where he comes from.  

Exactly two years ago, Saturday, January 15, 2020 to be precise, Senator Hope Odidika Uzodimma mounted the saddle as Governor of Imo State.

His swearing-in ceremony was greeted with much fanfare, excitement and expectation, more so given that Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, earlier sworn-in as Governor and whom he took office from, was said not to have won the election that brought him into power in the first place as was ruled by the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020.

In my intervention last year on Governor Uzodimma’s one year in office, I pointed out clearly that his is a purposeful government, devoid of deceit, corruption, recklessness, fraud and arbitrariness. I had indicated that time will tell that Uzodimma was fully prepared to pilot the affairs of Imo State.

Today, as Governor Uzodimma marks his second year in office, I am glad to report that I have been vindicated on our assessment of his administration as a purposeful one going by what he has been able to achieve and the plan afloat for what he will also achieve in the coming years as Governor.

Barely a year in office, Governor Uzodimma dealt with the myriad dilap­idated roads he inherited that doted the Owerri metropolis, mandating the Ministry of Works to inter­vene on them without delay.

Thus the following roads within the Owerri capital territory were given immediate attention: Douglas to Naze junction, Links Hotel, Pius Nwo­ga Road, Hospital junction, Umu­guma to High Court Road, Bank Road/Assumpta Avenue, Emman­uel College to Pastoral Centre, Imo Police Headquarters Road, Nekede Old Road bridge, Amako­hia Flyover Road, Bishops Court Roundabout, Ebere Links end of new Government House Road, Amakohia-Onitsha (DSS Road), Works Road by Bala Suya, Cher­ubim junction to Owerri Club Road, Ahiajoku Centre- Port Har­court Road, Umezuruike-Ware­house Road, among others.

Others were also graded by the Ministry of Works such as: Road Safety-Toronto-Or­ji, Ihitte Ogada-Awaka-Eme­kuku-Ekemmegbuoha, Old Road Nekede-Area H junction, Nwa­chukwu Orizu extension, Umu­guma, Port Harcourt Road-Holy Rosary International College, Uchenna Bus-Stop, Ring Road in Irete, Umuguma last roundabout Road, Industrial Layout (Celes­tine Izunobi Crescent), Nwachuk­wu Orizu by World Bank Road, Holy Trinity World Bank Road, Ejimkeonye Street, World Bank Road, among others.

All together, 57 road projects were embarked on by Governor Uzodimma’s ad­ministration during his first year in office with eight completed and commissioned, 25 nearing completion and the rest receiving serious attention.

While Governor Uzodimma was yet to mark one year in office he awarded the contracts for the reconstruction of the Owerri/Orlu and Ow­erri /Okigwe roads, and today, works on the roads are progressing at a speed that is unprecedented as date for their commissioning draws closer.

Of course those were the tangible things, but the intangibles, such as the automation process for the workers pay, were also outstanding and glaring.

Today, the scorecard of Governor Uzodimma, two years down the road has left the naysayers with nothing more to say because of the many completed projects that dot the Imo State landscape which are to his credit.

The speed at which the vehicle of Governor Uzodimma’s Shared Prosperity 3-R mantra – Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery –is moving has reinforced the confidence the people have in the Governor that he has not come to Imo State to joke or jest.

Daily, Governor Uzodimma addresses the basic needs of Ndi-Imo who trusted him with their mandate to provide them with sincere and God-fearing leadership two years ago.

A man who believes that ideas are the source of all things, Governor Uzodimma, has since assumption of office, January 15, 2020, remained strategic in the implementation of government policies and programmes, exhibiting the highest level of prudence and frugality in the management of the people’s common patrimony and resources which before now, was taken for granted by his predecessors.

Forget the rabid antagonism of the political opponents and their minions against Governor Uzodimma’s administration, often laced in mischief, deceit, propaganda, blackmail, ignorance and perhaps, the syndrome of without me nothing will work in Imo, the truth remains that the Governor has proven beyond reasonable doubt that his hands are firmly on the plough and that the result is not only re-assuring, but can be positively measured.

Only those still laying claim to a government that Ndi-Imo have come to realize is on course for their collective greatness and good would not know that the way Governor Uzodimma is going in terms of extra-ordinary commitment to service delivery in all facets of human endeavour in Imo, his seat remains assured for the next six years, depending on his choice. 

Governor Uzodimma has not only pursued infrastructural development and renewal with uncommon zest, but he is working hard to recover, rehabilitate and reconstruct the jaded and almost dead project called Imo that past administrations left behind before January 15, 2020 when providence thrust him on the people to rescue the ship of state that was dangerously cascading.

Under Governor Uzodimma’s watch, Ndi-Imo have witnessed a rejuvenated public sector workforce where both human and material resources matter in the calculation of government. Training and retraining of workers, provision of inevitable resources to all levels of staff for optimum services are today taken seriously like never before.

To say that Governor Uzodimma has turned the Imo Civil Service into a disciplined and productive aspect of governance is to say the least.

Workers are trained at will, their health and welfare given priority attention, emoluments paid as at when due as a result of the automation process of staff and pensioners which he initiated, and prosperity generally being shared to the good people of Imo State.

Today in Imo, it has become a routine for all verified workers and pensioners to receive their full pay as at when due because Governor Uzodimma does not consider payment of salary as a core achievement of any responsible government contrary to what was obtainable before his coming to power.

Never in the history of Imo State before now was budgetary allocation done in such a manner that capital expenditure would take the lion share of the year’s total appropriation the way the Governor Uzodimma administration has done. Take the 2022 budget for instance – while the recurrent expenditure is N96.7 billion, that of the capital expenditure stands at N284.7 billion in a total appropriation of N381.4 billion for 2022.   

Are we therefore surprised that within two years of holding power, no fewer than 94 roads are either under construction, fully completed or nearly completion by the Governor Uzodimma  administration?

These are outside the state of the art urban renewal projects within the Owerri metropolis that recently saw the removal of ubiquity of roundabouts constituting nuisance and generally regarded as the major source of harrowing gridlock in Owerri capital city.

The ongoing Owerri-Orlu and Owerri-Okigwe roads are two major signature projects which Governor Uzodimma has embarked on, but which past governments could not have dared venturing into because the leaders before him lacked the large heart to embark on programmes that can strengthen the state’s economy to boost commerce, industry and tourism. Simply put, those before Governor Uzodimma were not interested in projects that are enduring and capable of impacting the people positively.

New buildings have, since Uzodimma became Governor, germinated inside the once ramshackle and grossly unmaintained and aesthetically defective Government House. The newly constructed Executive Chamber, the Banquet Hall, the Governor’s Lodge, et al go to show the test of the man who calls the shot in Douglas House.

Attending to water infrastructure, building and equipping hospitals in all the 305 Electoral Wards in Imo, encouraging youth empowerment/employment through cash transfers to 15,000 youths and strategic investment/partnership in hitherto moribund companies like the Adapalm, Owerri Standard Shoe Company, Nsu Ceramics, among others are clear indications of Governor Uzodimma’s private sector background which he is bringing to bear in his administration.

Governor Uzodimma’s scorecard in agriculture, tourism, housing , commerce and industry, health, land administration, local government administration, social development, youth empowerment/skill acquisition, education, rule of law /justice administration, et al in the past two years remains astonishing and points to his readiness to implement to the letter the content of his programme encapsulated in sharing prosperity to all Imo people through recovering, rehabilitating and reconstructing what was left of the sick Imo State before his coming.

While most governors in the country are struggling with the strategy on how to deal with the devastating security challenge in their states, Governor Uzodimma has left Imo as not one of those states designated as “dangerous places to visit in Nigeria” despite the thinking of the political opponents who would rather Imo becomes a perpetual hotbed for insecurity because that would favour their political calculation.

In Imo today, only those who are against the interest of the masses, the people are blind to see that Governor Uzodimma has made appreciable progress after two years in office. Those in this category are the greedy, selfish and corrupt ones who feed fat on the common resources of the people and in most cases use their resources to impoverish them and keep the state perpetually down. Like Oga Kanayo, their consciences would not permit to say the truth and shame the devil.

Nwachuku, Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Governor Uzodimma, writes from Owerri.

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News

To Top