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Hon. Emeka Ihiedioha
By Luke Okoro
There have been voices of dissent since the Imo state Governor-elect, Rt Hon EmekaIhedioha set up committee to see the smooth handover of government from the out-going RochasOkorochaadministration. Indeed, many had wondered why such a huge number of people in a committee that would simply supervise a takeover of government. The committee is headed by Mr. Ernest Ebi, a former banker and an eminent economist. According to those opposing the committee, it is a signal that the Governor-elect would run a bogus administration with huge public funds going into it as a huge waste. They also argued that it showed the unpreparedness of Ihedioha for the challenge of governing Imo state. Come to think of it, the Governor-elect should have already developed a blueprint – having sought for the same office in 2015 – to run the state.
Whereas these sentiments are genuine with their canvassers also being sincere, the point must be noted that the in-coming government of Rt Hon Ihedioha is coming on the heels of popular demand. What the Governor-elect has done is to give room for public involvement in the governing process of the state. This is the set up for deeper application of inclusive administration by his government. One of the vices of the Rochas leadership has been the way his family took over Imo government. Perhaps, Ihedioha wants to begin from the out-set to lay a foundation of inclusive government for the next four years. We should give him a benefit of doubt, rather than take him to the cleaners.
For those having monitored the development of issues in Imo state in the past eight years, the discovery is clear that there is no governing structure as every sector or facet of government was collapsed into the governor’s briefcase. The civil service was not in existence, the private sector was in comatose, just as government business or public sector became a matter of the more you look, the less you see. Today, one wonders how many private and public industries, companies or businesses are in existence. Even the ones said to have been privatized: where are they? The reality is that the out-going government killed both private and public enterprise in the state.
It is, therefore, a welcome development that the Governor-elect has deliberately chosen the committee members with a sectoral mandate to draw up immediate rescue programmeto revamp the economy of the state as soon as the new administration is in place.
Interestingly Ebi is not new in policy formulation. As the Deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN between 1999 and 2009, his capacity to guide the committee is not in doubt. It is on record that his decade long headship of the Department of Policy and Corporate Governance in the CBN that remained the golden era in the country’s financial services industry in the area of policy formulation and corporate governance.
Given that two good heads are better than one, the expectation of Imolites is for the Ebi-led team to be thorough and professional in the assignment to ensure that every sector of Imo economy and life is involved in the revamp and rescue programme of the in-coming government. The truth must be told that the past eight years had been locust years with massive loss of values by the people. In the light of this reality, Imolites would not want to wait for that long to begin to see the fruit of their fight to eradicate the Rochas years from their lives. This must start immediately from May 29, 2019. If the Ebi-committee would make it happen, so be it.