GOVERNOR IHEDIOHA: SEPARATING HOPE FROM HYPE.

For the average Nigerian, the politician is that man who does not honour his words. He is economical with the truth and finds it an arduous task to also trust another man.

Paul Bamikole, the great revelational speaker of God’s words, may have captured this notion when he stated: “God forbid that we become so brainwashed as to embrace a politician as a messiah and believe what the media portrays him or her to be. Until their tenure is up and they have done their bit, every politician is another politician”.

Specifically, the last sentence of Bamikole’s statement suggests that to trust our Presidents, Governors, Lawmakers and other political office holders while they still enjoy the paraphernalia of their offices is a big risk. He may be right, but not 100%. Granted that we live in a clime where “every politician is just another politician”, this theory may not apply to all politicians. There is, of course, an exception to every rule.

To be fair, the Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, is an exception to the rule of every politician being dishonest and insincere. The appellations: a leader, father and team player, fits him better. His close friends would tell you that he appreciates talent and capacity. He has enviable leadership acumen and dexterity. However, if there are imolites who still take the governor’s “My word My Bond” mantra with a pinch of salt, more reasons to reconsider their stance have emerged. One of such is the emergence of Hon. Chiji Collins as Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly.

It is on record that after the elections in March, no House of Assembly member elect of the ruling People’s Democratic Party in the state emerged from Okigwe Senatorial Zone where the new speaker hails from. PDP lost all six state constituencies to AA and APGA candidates whose gubernatorial candidates were Gov. Ihedioha’s arch rivals in the race for the government house. It therefore became a dicey situation for Governor Ihedioha. Since the Deputy governor is of Orlu senatorial zone and Gov. Ihedioha himself belongs to Owerri zone, the governor had only two options, to either thwart the age long power sharing arrangement in the state by supporting any lucky person from Orlu zone to become Speaker or choose to throw his weight behind a supposed political enemy who contributed nothing to his election, for the much sought after position.

It is said that the true character of a man is known when he is given money or power. All of these Gov. Emeka Ihedioha has today, but he has remained the same man he had been. As recent events have shown, it is therefore reality than a wishful thought that the newly elected number one citizen of Imo State is a man of impeccable and unimpeachable character – firm, sincere, reliable and trustworthy.

Gov. Ihedioha had before now spoken highly of his commitment to unite Imo leaders across the various political divides. He had severally told everyone who cared to listen that his words are his bond. The man was not joking about all he had said.

Two times the leaders of Okigwe zone paid him courtesy visits to solicit his support to produce the Speaker of the legislative arm of the government, the governor reiterated his belief in equity and fairness. He assured them he would be a faithful ally and partner. Gov. Ihedioha told the delegations that he will damn the feared negative political consequences and support the zone to produce the Speaker, to ensure equitable distribution of power along the tripod on which the state stands.

For another politician, this could have proved a mere lip service, but for Gov. Ihedioha, it is either he commits to his words or he commits to nothing. Today, the people of Okigwe zone have got their wish. The chosen one became Hon. Collins Chiji who not only hails from Isiala Mbano LGA as the APGA House of Assembly candidate in the last election, but also a close confidant and loyalist of the Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, the Imo APGA guber candidate in the last election. What is the implication of this? Now that Gov. Ihedioha took what ordinarily should rank as a political risk by reposing confidence in a friend to a supposed political foe, he has proven his commitment to uniting Imo state. He has also kept his promise to support Okigwe to clinch the Speakership of the 9th Assembly at all cost. Having done these, Gov. Ihedioha has proven wrong those who doubted his strength in character.

Furthermore, he has exhibited the character of a good leader, father and elder statesman. Importantly, he has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is the governor Imo citizens have long craved to have – brave, sincere, trustworthy and reliable.

Imo people can go to bed with the assurance that they have a governor they can always trust, a man whose words are his bond. There is little or no doubt now that people of the state should expect their homeland to be rebuilt as their governor has promised. It is evident, the promise keeper will surely keep to his promise and words. Having assured Imolites of equal opportunity for all, Governor Ihedioha’s government will also demand for equal responsibility from all.

Imo is indeed back on track!

Obinna Duruaku

Founder: Imo Grassroot Voters Movement (IGVM)

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