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Imo: A state in search of good governance

By Livy-Elcon Emereonye

206

Government is a continuous process and governance is a continuum with some degree of modification and innovation. Even with a change of baton, there should be some degree of continuity in government as no one however gifted or highly placed can reign forever or have a monopoly of ideas. This way, resources can be managed very well for efficiency and effectiveness but this is not the case in Imo State, Nigeria.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, Imo State has been very unfortunate to be governed by people who by all definitions and standards seemed to lack good knowledge of continuity in government or outrightly chose to have nothing to do with it for personal reasons. More like a curse, everyone at the helm of affairs at every given time displayed one degree of leadership dysfunctionality or the other – and at the expense of the masses.

From one government to the other, “Ism Affairs” for personal aggrandizement and conquest of the state – a clear demonstration of poor leadership style as against good democratic ethos – had been enthroned and elevated to high heavens and the people suffer. Every governor would want to erase the name(s) of his predecessor(s), abandon existing projects to start new ones afresh – a ploy to loot, plunder and squander state monies and resources.

Most times, Imo State is on the news for wrong reasons because those at the helm of affairs lack every iota of civility, decency and decorum. Every governor would want to outshine his predecessor but on wrong notes, making the sordid “past” look more glorious than the “present” hopeless situation before the led. Different slogans and jargons at different times had emanated from the government, showing how myopic the people can be at displaying their poor leadership qualities.

Like a people on “Destruction Competition”, it seems there is a Demon in Douglas House that takes every sense of reasonability away from its Chief occupant and equips same with a complex syndrome that urges him into vindictive-destructive mission especially when the erroneous belief of supremacy and omnipotence becloud his mindset. And to show that they “own” the state, they abuse almost everything!

It is like the only thing every Imo State governor does and excels at is to erase the legacies of his predecessors – and this is done at all cost with the speed of orgasm at the end of which he gets exhausted and worn out, devoid of meaningful ideas for developmental strides and thereafter resort to propaganda!

Anyone who chooses to fight dirty just to make another person look bad might end up in shame for those who live by propaganda, die by propaganda. It’s often difficult to stop a small war with another big war because there will be more casualties at the end so in trying to fight imaginary wars, he wastes time and gets out of office on a bad note. This has consequences. And so far, the end of one bad era brought in another worse era.

A visit to Imo State especially Owerri will show a picture of a state in its blurred shadow. There is no form of continuity instead there is a frenzy competition at destroying the work of previous governments at expense of taxpayers’ money.

The roads and other projects of the previous government have been destroyed with everything charted away. The roundabouts, road pavements and demarcations are constantly being destroyed! But why?

There are so many things begging for attention in the state and finding solutions to them can be very engaging but they are neglected on the excuses that there is paucity of funds yet the government derives joy from chasing rats and wasting the little available resources on things that have no impact on the people.

The resources deployed for destructive missions can be channeled into things that can have direct benefits to the people. Instead of spending money to pull down roundabouts, such monies can be used to pay salaries and pensions; instead of paying for roads to be destroyed more roads should be tarred or upgraded; instead of allowing buildings to lie fallow and grow weeds, such buildings should be converted into factories or be leased out to willing investors and industrialists. All the roads opened up in the state should be made more motorable not to be abandoned to grow weeds. Government should not be used to settle personal scores.

The schools in the state should be maintained and made functional, not closed in sheer display of vindictive governance of which the governed remain the primary victims. It pays to consolidate and improve on existing structures than to start all over again.

A 4-year term or at most an 8-year tenure is not eternity. However, the effects and memories of things done within such a period can last longer than imagined so there is a need for caution!

It should be stated without equivocation that after politics comes governance – and regardless of political ideologies and parties what the people want from every government is good governance with meaningful dividends of democracy.

Real politics through cross pollination of ideas should bring out the best in the people not the monster in them. Therefore, the erosive politics of bitterness with its resultant ugly trend of using political offices to settle scores and widen the margin of enmity should stop forthwith in Imo State. Anyone that needs to be probed should be probed constitutionally and legally and if found guilty be punished but not to destroy the work of such a person or persons.

It is high time the governors worked with the existing master plan so that every successive government will continue from where its predecessor stopped. This way, the state will save costs and develop absolutely for the good of all. The earlier this is done, the better.

Email: livy_elcon@yahoo.com

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