By Kissinger Ikeokwu
Okenze Blyden Amajirionwu is a man I have respect for. I have always struggled to ignore his infinitesimal gaffs against Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, but have found it irresistible not to join issues with his latest gaff titled “IMO PDP, A FAILED POLITICAL PARTY WITH A FORECLOSED FUTURE”. In that piece Okenze Amajirionwu lumped what would have been 3 topics for debate in one and I forgive him for some good reasons. In all the three topics he raised I have chosen to ignore the veiled and subtle threats of barrage of litigations against the Director of PDP New Media, Ambrose Nwaogwugwu because that aspect has been adequately taken care of.
Then let me address Okenze Amajirionwu’s obsession with the party called “PDP”. In that piece, Okenze Amajirionwu set out to paint a picture that PDP is dead and buried in Imo. But I ask how? Okenze Amajirionwu was recently appointed a Special Adviser by Governor Hope Uzodinma. Till date he has not been assigned a designation, something Ihedioha will never do before swearing in. If Ihedioha chooses someone for a job, he must have factored the person’s competence and peculiar relevance to his vision and project. Ihedioha does not appoint a person and defer decision on which area he deems the person to fit in and function. The only deduction one can make about the non-designation of Blyden Amajirionwu is that they were only handed them a lifeline to earn wages than actual competence or suitability in a field of relevance. No wonder the first assignment for Blyden is to be writing about PDP, a party in opposition.
Let me use this medium to advise Okenze Blyden that his job as Special Adviser is to serve Imo people and not to be throwing stones at PDP. The Ihedioha Rebuild Imo team has set a tall order for the Hope Uzodinma administration and they will continue to leave under the shadows of Ihedioha’s just eighth month’s midas touch on Imo State. In eight months of Ihedioha’s reign, none of his aides had time to write an article about APC, APGA or AA. What for? They got down to work. They were busy rebuilding Imo from the ruins of the Okorocha administration which Okenze Amajirionwu was a big beneficiary. The only license anyone has to talk about the now out gone Ihedioha administration is to compare what Governor Uzodinma is doing today against the way the Ihedioha administration did it. Any thing short of that amounts to cluelessness and lack of understanding of the burden the accidental victory has placed on Governor Uzodinma and his team. Yes APC is in power, but men like Okenze Amajirionwu can not just stop talking about the PDP. That shows you how much a factor the PDP is. Take it or leave it, PDP has nothing to prove. They have established themselves as more organized, deepened in terms of party management and crisis resolution. Anyone who witnessed the catastrophe that became of APC, a party in power in Imo, Rivers, Ogun, Zamfara and still compare the PDP to APC in terms of consensus building, crisis resolution and party organization must be suffering from acute dementia.
Now let me address the few issues of governance Okenze Amajirionwu raised. One was the roads awarded by the Ihedioha administration and the ImoSUBEB school renovation contracts. I will not dwell on the hoax by a supposed government aide who has not learnt that while in government you speak with facts and not raise conjectures. His claim that bribes were extorted from someone or people before they were awarded SUBEB construction jobs remains a hoax and without basis since he never claimed he was directly involved nor did he mention anyone as the receiver of the said bribes. I resolve that allegation as balderdash.
I wish to remind Okenze Amajirionwu that after suffering ill fate on the 14th January, 2020 when the Supreme Court gave the verdict which we have left to the Supreme God, top APC and Hope Uzodinma henchmen gave a verdict that Ihedioha performed exceedingly well in his eighth months service to the State. Even Governor Hope Uzodinma did not betray that verdict when he vowed to continue the projects commenced by Governor Ihedioha. Many supporters of the Governor Uzodinma have boasted that one of his biggest credits since assuming office was continuing the projects commenced by Ihedioha. Imo people and the opposition APC were amazed at the beacons of good governance Ihedioha laid within eight months, which if was allowed to incubate in four years would have put Imo on the map of top developed states in Nigeria.
In case Okenze Amajirionwu does not know, his Governor Hope Uzodinma government is in its fourth month. In the next four months Imo people would place what they have achieved side by side with what Ihedioha achieved in eight months. I will politely ask Okenze amujuonwu to keep quiet and start compiling what Governor Uzodinma has done differently. Let him show us a single tender process the Uzodinma administration has made. I challenge him to show us a single procurement publication by the current administration. Having asked for Imo people’s mandate and gotten it, Okenze Amajirionwu should demonstrate a typical procurement process under Governor Uzodinma or shut up. This is not a time to talk the talk, but a time to show that which you say you will do better.
For the records, Governor Ohakim signed the Imo State Procurement Law No. 12 of 2010. After coming into Law, no government from 2010 till date tried to implement the Imo State Procurement Law except Ihedioha. Upon assuming office as governor on the 29th May, 2019, Ihedioha as governor appointed Mr Pascal Egwim as Director General Imo State Bureau of Public Procurement, Price and Intelligence BPPPI on the 15th day of June, 2019. That was 17 days on the saddle as governor. That was one bold step towards implementation of the Imo State Procurement Law which was meant to engender accountability and probity in government procurement process. Placing the Ihedioha and Hope Uzodinma administration side by side after nearly 100 days in office, there is no mention of the Imo procurement Law in the procurements being done by the present administration. No doubt Ihedioha changed the system from his predecessor who used his Principal Secretary in the place of the BPPPI which is the body empowered by law to handle procurement bids on behalf of Imo State Government. I am sure Okenze Amajirionwu did not know that the government he is serving is already in breach of Imo standard procurement law three months after being in office.
Good governance is not brick and mortar. The processes leading to the delivery of the projects is vital as the delivery of the projects it’s self. Ihedioha laid beacons of transparency, accountability and good governance. That was why even when he was ousted by the Supreme Court the road contracts awarded under his administration kept going on. That was kudos to a wonderful procurement process done by Engr. Ben Ekwueme. We shall continue to guide and advise this government on good governance.
Finally, I wish to let Okenze Amajirionwu know that light can never be compared with darkness. So far so good, the four months of Governor Ihedioha can never be compared to what Governor Uzodinma is doing in four months. Ihedioha’s four months was activity packed. There was no single day of rest. By the first four months, he already had all the vital institution of governance adequately set up. He had originality of programs he wanted to implement for the betterment of Ndi Imo. He began setting foundations for his signature projects. He was ready in all fronts. His media team, speech writers, economic and technical team were all intact. His structure began from the campaigns, so there was never a case of learning on the job.
It is good to reiterate that Ihedioha served Imo State for just 7 months and two weeks. Therefore in the next three months, we shall be comparing what Governor Hope Uzodinma has achieved in seven months to the verdict of Imo people about Ihedioha’s knack for quality service delivery. A verdict that has encrypted Ihedioha’s name in the heart of Imo people.