Uzodimma: Making Positive Impact With Zero Tolerance For Malfeasance
According to Thomas Jefferson, an American statesman and Founding Father, who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809: ” When we come to the moral principles on which the government is to be administered, we come to what is proper for all conditions of society. Liberty, truth, probity, honour, are declared to be the four cardinal principles of society. I believe that morality, compassion, generosity, are innate elements of the human constitution; that there exists a right, independent of force.”
So far, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma has administered the affairs of Imo State with the four cardinal principles of society and the three innate elements of human constitution as espoused by Thomas Jefferson.
Amidst the euphoria surrounding the historic and superlative victory of Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma – candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 11, 2023 off-cycle gubernatorial election as conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he never lost focus on his official duties as his schedule remains tight.
First, was his assent to the executive bill that extended the retirement age of teachers to 65 or 40 years of active service.
The bill on new retirement age for teachers in public schools in the state is the first bill passed by the 10th State House of Assembly since its inauguration in June, 2023 and after signing the bill into law, Governor Uzodimma, pointed out that Imo State has decided to replicate the federal government policy so as to help institutions in the state function optimally.
For many years, Imo teachers have been clamouring for the extension of their retirement age and successive administrations including the one that came to power riding on the crest of a wave of unsustainable promise of free education to deceive Imo voters, could not hearken to that passionate plea until Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma and the 10th Assembly came on board.
Now, Imo teachers will have a sense of belonging because of the fulfillment of a long-held dream by the People’s Governor, sagacious Governor, caring Governor, stylish and visionary leader with the Midas Touch, who is in the saddle to make things happen uninterruptedly in Imo State and for Imo people.
Without doubt, the good times are here but the best is yet to come in the second term of office.
Not quite long ago, Imo people woke up to hear the bad news of gunmen ambushing the joint patrol of the military, Department of State Security, Police, and other paramilitary agencies in Umualumaku Community, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, which led to the death of 12 brave security operatives, while many sustained injuries.
As at that time, tongues wagged and many, especially detractors of the Shared Prosperity Administration of Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma made useless and unguarded remarks – some even floated the idea of declaring state of emergency in Imo but in the end, truth prevailed and Uzodimma was once again, vindicated but he had another plan – yes, Uzodimma planned to assuage the pains of the bereaved families and appreciate the gallant security operatives some high-ranking, who paid the ultimate price in defence of Imo State.
Therefore, on Monday, November 20, 2023 the caring Governor of Imo State, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, in an emotional ceremony at the Imo Government House, doled out N185 million naira to the families of the slain security personnel and to the injured survivors.
Speaking, Gov. Uzodimma in an emotion-laden voice, said: “It is indeed with a very sober heart that I speak to you this afternoon on this occasion that is marking the remembrance of our gallant officers, who lost their lives and some, who were injured on various days and various occasions at different times…we pray that the almighty God, who used them to protect our state will give you the heart to bear the loss.”
In fact, only a purposeful and caring leader can make such a bold move because the various security agencies involved, have welfare departments that do take care of such cases but Governor Uzodimma as a man with a heart of gold and a leader with overflowing milk of human kindness decided to go the extra mile to give succour to the families of these great and patriotic Nigerians, who put their precious lives on the line for peace and security in the state.
That singular act, lends credence to my factual declaration that Uzodimma is the best Governor in Nigeria and the negation of naysayers is irrelevant.
Next is the big one, I mean the clear demonstration of no-nonsense disposition by Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma that resulted in the suspension of a commissioner and Special Adviser/ General Manager.
I am sure, many did not see that coming because of the assumption that Gov. Uzodimma, who just recently got re-elected for a second term of office (by winning in all the 27 Local Government Areas of the State and in the process setting a record, breaking a jinx and proving a point even to his opponents) may still be basking in his moment of glory occasioned by the landmark electoral victory. However, Gov. Uzodimma, remains as focused as ever.
Yes, the suspension of the two appointees should serve as a big lesson and a deterrence to others.
Upon assumption of office in January 2020, Governor Uzodimma promised to institute a new paradigm and he started with the payroll system thieves and ghost workers. Thereafter, he signed into law, a bill that stopped the payment of pension to former Governors, Deputy Governors etc. He did not get worried about the fact that he will also be affected ultimately.
It is also on record that Governor Uzodimma has offered Imo people the most financially transparent administration, with the use of the Single Treasury Account (TSA), which has made it impossible for anyone to steal Imo State government money without being detected.
Governor Uzodimma, has indeed proven that he means business with zero tolerance for corruption and abuse of office.
As his appointees, our primary duty is to ensure the success of his administration by acting in accordance with his modus operandi, policies and rules of engagement. We must do what he wants us to do and not what we want to do because he, who pays the piper, calls the tune.
Appointees should be true apostles and stainless ambassadors of the Shared Prosperity Administration and desist from atrocious acts that will not only embarrass the government but also attract opprobrium, repudiation and cause dissaffection among the populace.
One thing certain is that government appointment is not for personal aggrandizement or an opportunity to amass wealth at the expense of the masses or to engage in unethical conduct.
It is not a case of “Heaven helps those who help themselves,” an idiotic catchphrase from the pit of hell that borders on corruption and criminality, allegedly first coined by the English political theorist Algernon Sidney and later popularized by Benjamin Franklin, a Deist. In case you do not know, a Deist is one, who believes that while a supreme being did create the universe, that supreme being does not involve itself in human affairs.
I am of the view that government appointment is an opportunity for one to serve and contribute one’s quota conscientiously to the overall development of the State for the benefit of Imo people and by so doing, we will get the Imo of our dreams.
Governor Uzodimma is a servant-leader and at any given opportunity he reiterates the fact that Imo Government money belongs to Imo people and that he will definitely give account of his stewardship even as he challenges anyone with proof of abuse of office or corruption against him to tell the world – and he is not joking.
As appointees, let us endeavour to put in our best in terms of hard work and dedication. We should also avoid any act of sabotage and corruption because such will not be tolerated by the corruption-free and results – oriented administration of Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma.
God bless Imo State!
– Hon. Prince Ben AHANONU is Special Adviser (CSDP) to the Governor of Imo State.