IMO: SIX MONTHS OF FAILED LEADERSHIP AND SHADOW-CHASING: July 14, 2020 made it full six months since the current regime in Imo State took over power. It gained impetus via a highly controversial judgement of the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020.


This regime succeeded the Imo PDP RebuildImo administration led by Governor Emeka Ihedioha CON, which was in office for only seven months and half, earning the fancy sobriquet of “award-winning administration” for its numerous signature achievements in its short tenure!


In this short essay, my purpose isn’t to do a comparative analysis of this regime and its predecessor, the RebuildImo administration. There’s no basis for comparison! It’s like comparing light and darkness!


Rather, I’ll show in summary how this regime wasted a whole of six months on wilful deception and unnecessary frivolities in the guise of providing leadership.


To be generous with the truth, this regime proved to be a task force regime that wasted six months chasing money from ghosts in civil service and in pension, and in the process of chasing money, stopped pension stipends of past governors, speakers and their deputies.


To chase more and bigger money, this regime turned itself into a vicious media task force on funds recovery, when it deployed vindictive vendetta by lies falsehood, propaganda, blackmail and all sorts of verbal brigandage against the Imo PDP RebuildImo administration operators, falsely accusing them of misappropriating N19.63 billion belonging to the Local Government system, during its seven-month tenure in the State. All turned out to be lies!

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It’s on record that for the first six months in 2020, this regime has remained an audio regime, talking too much and doing too little! And what do they talk about? Imaginary unseen large sums of money “recovered” from this or that person or ghosts here and there. Much talk about “recovery” but no talk about any kobo recovered! How much has been recovered? Where is it?


The grossly confused regime has publicly claimed to have “recovered” N2 billion from ghost workers and pensioners. It has “recovered” N1.3 billion from past governors, speakers and their deputies. It has “recovered” N330 million from eight pensioners. It even “recovered” two buses donated to Imo PDP!


Yet, there’s no evidence of the veracity of the various money this regime continually inundate Imo people and members of the public with! Ironically, the regime still can’t pay salaries and pensions, in spite of all the billions “recovered”!

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Let me state directly from this outset that nobody that knows the self-acclaimed chief driver of the regime expected anything other than the toying, wobbling and fumbling with government and governance that has characterized the first six months of the regime. So, this short essay is more of “I told you” reflections on the manifestations of the envisaged poor performance and failure of this regime! We’re vindicated!


Truth is, nobody gives what he doesn’t have. You may be a driver but driving on an unfamiliar road impairs your driving capacity. For instance, a driver may easily drive from Orlu into Owerri and park. Sure! He too is a driver! But can he also drive from Orlu to Abuja as some other drivers do, with the same leg and speed he drove from Orlu to Owerri? Of course, both have similar driver’s licences, but their driving capacities aren’t and can’t be the same!


Leadership is about learning, practice and experience. Everybody feels some leadership traits in himself. But the innate leadership capacity with which a man controls his wife and children is different from the leadership acumen required for leading millions of people from Owerri, Orlu, and Okigwe zones that converged in Imo State!


Incidentally, just as we screamed even before the Supreme Court struck, the chief driver of the current regime can drive the pleasure car that his known private and public life is, but he can’t drive a Dangote trailer which Imo State is!


After six months, it’s time enough to count miles after the poor first-round race by this regime. Instructively, advocates of “it’s too early to criticize this regime” have lost voice, and likely joined in taking pecks at the regime for lackluster and abysmally below average performance! It’s getting to late to continue dilly-dallying over the constructive criticism of this regime! If anybody loves Imo State and Imo people, the right time to criticize this regime is now!


The eyelashes of family and friends get too itchy when a bad dancer is mis-dancing at the Village Square dancing festival. I really feel sorry for the confused, steadily drowning voices of the Songs of Praise, choir of this regime!


Specifically, going by sectoral assessment, no sector scored 20% in the performance rating of this regime. Hence, it’s not out of place to conclude cumulatively that the regime failed woefully in its first six months in office! It’s F9 parallel!


The signature failure of the regime is located in its failure to pay salaries and pensions as and when due. The regime only succeeded in disorganizing the applauded system of seamless payment of salaries and pensions that it inherited from the Imo PDP RebuildImo administration in January 2020.


So much has so far been exposed by Imo workers and pensioners, Imo opposition, and not surprisingly, by the regime itself, on the non-payment of salaries and pensions. It won’t be necessary to adumbrate further on it here. No need! This regime scored big zero in that subject!


The education sector, for instance, can’t be assessed because of the negative impact of the poorly managed Covid-19 pandemic, which has probably hit the education sector more than any other sector. But truth is that the education sector in Imo State is as good as dead from coronavirus infection!


Simply put, whether by omission or co-ommission, this regime scored zero in education in its first six months in office! Teachers have not been paid for the months that Covid-19 brouhaha began. And the argument by this regime, as we hear, is that teachers shouldn’t expect to be paid, when they didn’t teach! Can you imagine that?


For the same challenges of the mismanaged Covid-19 pandemic in Imo State, this regime also failed utterly in the health sector. Consequently, Ndimo have had to rely more and more on all sorts alternative medicines, ranging from Baba Ijebu’s Gbogbonise, to Dr. Igodo’s Komkom Cleanser, to Dr. Agnes Nwanma’s Herbal Mixture, not forgetting Alladin Seven Keys Herbal Mixture, to mention but few!


The result was that virtually all mortuaries in the State have remained steadily filled up to the brim, with their operators rejecting fresh body entrants. Ndimo, therefore, are resorting to use of “underground mortuaries”, whereby departed loved ones are hurriedly buried few hours after giving up the ghost, with funeral shifted to a future date!


Probably, in recognition of the unprecedented rise in deaths in the State since January 2020, this regime, in celebration of its first six months in office, last week or so procured 27 fairly used commuter buses, with “Ambulance” inscribed on them and donated to the 27 LGAs of the State. It would have been complete if this regime also hurriedly built state-owned, more-enlarged mortuaries in each of the 27 LGAs! That may have earned it 80% in death delivery and 20% in healthcare delivery!


Since 1976, when this State was created, Imo roads have never been as bad as they’re under the watch of this regime since January 2020. Agreed, the period 2011-2019 was terrible for Imo roads. But within the period January 14, 2020 to July 14, 2020 of this regime, the situation has turned from terrible to horrible. There’s no road anywhere in Imo State. That’s talking about all the roads that lead into and from the capital, Owerri.


For crying out loud, Imo roads don’t start and end with the Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) roads being patched here and there in parts of Owerri Municipal, as this regime would want the world to believe.


Roads like MCC, Chukwuma Nwoha, Dick Tiger, Amaigbo, Relief Market, Douglas and few other such city roads, now witnessing substandard construction, are roads commenced since October 2019 by the RebuildImo administration under the RAMP roads projects after necessary counterpart fundings were paid! Are they the only roads in Imo State?


Let it be reminded that Imo roads also include roads in the 305 wards, 700 autonomous communities, 27 LGAs of Imo State. It’ll be surprising if it’s found that 10% of Imo roads are in motorable conditions!


What else need be said? This is a regime of darkness which quenched the seven-month ray of light that it inherited. It ended the joy and happiness that Ndimo were beginning to enjoy after they lost the real taste of joy of and happiness.


Consequently, this regime has unfortunately reinstated the lack of confidence in government, of which its predecessor had redefined and got Ndimo to start developing a better attitude towards government and governance.


In summary, there’s no joy in Imo State today. There’s no joy in any sector. No joy in marriages and families. No joy among men, women, youths and children. Getting along has turned into a matter of girding the life with George wrapper, suffering and smiling! It’s a moment of sadness and sorrow in Imo State right now! Nothing to celebrate at mid year of this strange regime!


Therefore, while the regime obviously will roll out its drums and assemble its choristers to be drumming drums and singing songs of vainglorious praises, with copious felicitations and congratulations, truth is that they’ll only be celebrating failure shrouded in sheer bravado and braggadocio! The simple truth is that the first six months of this regime was a collosal failure!


By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!



Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

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